VARIED ROUTE FOR TOYOTA DEALER 400 Competitors on the Toyota Dealer 400, penultimate round of the Absa Off Road Championship on October 27 and 28, can start gearing up for a tough and varied weekend. The event, based in Lydenburg in...
VARIED ROUTE FOR TOYOTA DEALER 400
Competitors on the Toyota Dealer 400, penultimate round of the Absa Off Road Championship on October 27 and 28, can start gearing up for a tough and varied weekend.
The event, based in Lydenburg in Mpumalanga, is again being organised by the South African Motorsport Club (SAM) and chief organiser Willie du Plessis says the route has a little bit of everything. The region offers a wide variety of terrain, and du Plessis and his team have taken full advantage of that fact.
"There is an interesting combination of forest, veld and mountain," said du Plessis. "It offers the competitors a little of everything and there are fast and slow sections, plenty of rocks and a fair bit of water.
"It is going to be challenging but fair, and competitors will have to work hard for good results."
The event will kick off on October 27 with a 32 kilometre prologue that will start at Lydenburg Toyota at 13h00. A short street section will take crews on the route with the prologue deciding start positions for the race proper on October 28.
The main race will start at Lydenburg Toyota at 08h00 on Saturday, October 28 with the first leg a 124 kilometre loop that will end back at the designated service park at the Lydenburg rugby field. Competitors will be allowed 15 minutes for servicing, and will then travel on a 27 kilometre decontrolled section of the route to the start of the second leg.
The second leg starts about 30 kilometres outside Lydenburg on Long Tom Pass, and will finish outside Sabie. There will then be a 55 kilometre decontrolled section back to the designated service park at Lydenburg rugby field.
Competitors will again be allowed 15 minutes for servicing before the start of the third and final leg of the event, and will be the same as the first loop, with the lead cars expected back at the finish at approximately 14:45. It is the second leg, however, that du Plessis reckons will tax competitors to the hilt.
"It is here that the event could be won or lost," said du Plessis. "The terrain is varied and experience is likely to play a role."
Du Plessis added that the event would also be spectator friendly. A large number of good spectator vantage points will be located within easy proximity of the start and finish in Lydenburg.
With championships in the Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle categories closely poised, the Toyota Dealer 400 could turn out to be the most important event of the season for championship challengers. It will offer some crews the opportunity to consolidate, and for others it will provide a last roll of the dice.