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ABSA 2009: Changes to Toyota Dealer 400 Rally route.

The route for the Toyota Dealer 400, the penultimate round of the South African Absa Off Road Championship in Mpumalanga, Lydenburg on October 2 and 3, has been completed and shows significant changes from previous year. The event is again being organised by the South African Motor Sport Club (SAM) under race director Willie du Plessis. Significant changes to the route include shifting the designated service point from the Lydenburg Rugby Club and the elimination of the Long Tom Pass section run in previous years.

"The route has undergone something of a revamp," said du Plessis. "This follows feedback from competitors over recent years, and our desire to come up with fresh ideas. We felt the Long Tom section had reached its sell by date, and the changes again make for a highly interesting route that has a little of everything. It will be a challenge."

A 70 kilometre prologue to determine start positions for the race will start at the rugby club and will pass the Lydenburg airfield and the Lydenburg Toyota spectator point on the R540. The designated service area will also be located at the Lydenburg Toyota spectator point.

The start of the race will again be at Lydenburg Toyota in the town centre with the opening loop a short 110 kilometre section that takes in the Kwena Dam area. The second loop will be 180 kilometres in length with about 80 percent of the route taking in new territory in the Sterkspruit, Rhenosterhoek and Kalmoesfontein areas. "The mountain sections of the route will be particularly taxing," said du Plessis. "The course is a scenic one but crews will be too busy to enjoy the views."

Du Plessis added that the route was again user friendly with easy access to good viewing locations from major roads. With Mpumalanga within easy reach of Gauteng and Limpopo it is expected that the event will again draw large crowds of off road enthusiasts. Documentation will be at Lydenburg Toyota with the prologue scheduled to start at 12:30 on October 2. The race will start at 08:00 on October 3.

2009/09/04 | 12:41 CET | Editor: MR/HS/Charmaine Fortune

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