|ABSA 2012: Winds of change blow through ABSA round 2 Toyota Dealer 400.|
The winds of change will blow through this year’s Toyota Dealer 400, round two of the South African "ABSA Off Road Championship", in Mpumalanga on April 13 and 14. After being based at the Lydenburg Rugby Club in recent years race headquarters and the designated service point will this season switch to the new state of the art Lydenburg Toyota premises.
"The switch places race headquarters in a high visibility area of Lydenburg and the race is already generating a great deal of interest in the town and surrounding areas," said race director Adri Roets. "Once again we have had tremendous co-operation from Lydenburg Toyota dealer principal Fanie Erasmus and his team, provincial and town authorities and landowners."
Roets added that changes to the event also extended to the route. A large proportion of the route is new with the race to be run over two loops of approximately 175 kilometres.
"We have taken cognisance of feedback from competitors over the last couple of seasons, and there is a new section of around 75 kilometres that is mountainous," said Roets. "The objective has always been to provide a route that is interesting and a good test of men and machinery. "Apart from the new section there are subtle changes to the route from last year, and I think we are in for a good race."
The route now heads towards Roossenekal and into the mountain area on the way to Vermont on the Dullstroom road. From Vermont the course takes in the Coramandel farm and crosses a ridge to Badfontein before winding through Witklip to Rietfontein and Kromdraai.
On the way back to race headquarters for the compulsory stop at the end of the first loop the route crosses the Dullstroom road to Enkeldoorns and Roossenekal. The final stretch takes competitors to the designated service point via the Lydenburg airfield.
"The section from the airfield to Vermont is around 75 kilometres long and is all new terrain," said Roets. "It is a technical and challenging section and while we have previously used the stretch between Coramandel and Rietfontein it is equally technical and challenging."
The Donaldson Prologue on Friday, April 13 to determine race start positions will be run over 60 kilometres. The prologue starts at Lydenburg Toyota and goes towards the airfield across the Boomplaats road and ends at the Roossenekal road about 30 kilometres from Lydenburg.
The event will again be spectator friendly with good viewing areas during the Donaldson Prologue and the race. The prologue route runs for long sections alongside the main Roossenekal road, and during the race additional spectating areas are in the Rietfontein area where the route again runs along the main road.
"The traditional start outside the dealership will again be a highlight and spectators will again be able to mingle with competitors before the race gets underway." said Roets.
Public entry to race headquarters and the designated service point is free of charge, and there is also no charge for entry to spectator areas along the route. The Donaldson Prologue will start at 12:30 on April 13 and the race at 08:30 on April 14.
2012/03/28 | 09:02 CET | ARTICLE: MR/SY/FORTUNE