|ABSA 2010: South African Toyota Dealer 400 Rally plannings underway.|
A change in date has necessitated the organisers of the Toyota Dealer 400, round two of the Absa Off Road Championship on April 16 and 17, to move into fast forward mode. The event, in previous years the penultimate race of the season, fell in a high fire risk window that often proved problematical. That issue has been alleviated by bringing the event forward, but it has placed a heavy burden on the organisers.
"We have had to expedite matters somewhat," said race director Adri Roets. "Fortunately most of the systems are already in place and only need to be fine tuned. On top of that Fanie Erasmus and his team at Lydenburg Toyota have over the years built up a great relationship with farmers, landowners and members of the community. This is important for the success of events, and it has made our job a lot easier."
Fanie Erasmus Snr. said the event was financially important to Lydenburg and to Mpumalanga. The race generated millions of Rands to Lydenburg and Mpumalanga coffers, with an additional spin-off in that it exposed the area as a tourist destination.
"It is a community effort but there are major role players like local landowners Piet Rabie, Paul Mare and Neil Englebrecht who do a wonderful job liaising with other landowners and helping with route planning," Erasmus said. "Bringing the race forward has posed a few problems, but nothing we cannot handle."
Roets said this year race headquarters, the designated service point and the finish would all return to the Lydenburg Rugby Club. The start, however, will again be from outside Lydenburg Toyota, in Voortrekker Street, and is again expected to draw a big crowd of enthusiasts.
“Planning for the route is well underway, and so far there are no problems," said Roets. "We are keen on establishing a clover leaf course and are working along those lines. The region offers great possibilities in terms of different terrain and, whatever the final outcome, it is going to be a route that will provide competitors with a demanding test."
2010/02/08 | 21:42 CET | Editor: MR/HS/FORTUNE