Mmabatho: Route information

Fast and dusty race for O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel 500. Competitors making an assault on the O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel 500, round four of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, can start gearing up for a fast -- and dusty -- event on July 26 and ...

Fast and dusty race for O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel 500.

Competitors making an assault on the O'Hagan's / Kopanong Hotel 500, round four of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, can start gearing up for a fast -- and dusty -- event on July 26 and 27.

The North West Province is not renowned for rainy weather at this time of year, and an event that marks the halfway mark in the Bankfin series is going to be dusty. That is one guarantee from the organisers.

The other guarantee is that the event is going to be run at a fast pace. Much of the route, with competitors negotiating two loops of 200 kilometres each west of Mafikeng, is made up of riverbeds and flat sections - and that is going to see speeds above the average on an off-road event.

"The route has a little of everything, but riverbeds and flat sections predominate and the flat bits are going to be very fast," said event organiser Jeremy Minchin. "There are some twisty and rocky sections, but for the most part it is going to fast and dusty."

With race headquarters at the Tusk Resort in Mmabatho, proceedings get underway on July 26 with a 60 kilometre Prologue to determine grid positions for racing section two on July 27. The Prologue starts at 13h00 and will be run in classes with the Class T brigade first away.

Racing section two starts at the Tusk Resort at 08h00 on July 27 with the first vehicles expected back at the finish, at the same venue, at around 13h15. With some tight battles emerging throughout the various championship classes in both the Production and Special Vehicle categories, an entry of more than 70 vehicles is expected.

"With the season at the halfway stage, this is an event that could make or break some championship challenges," said MSA Off-Road Car Racing Commission president Piet Swanepoel. "So far this season we have seen three different overall winners in both the Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle categories.

"That is an indication of just how competitive it is out there, and with one or two exceptions championship challengers cannot afford a bad event."

-msa-

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