New event announced

ABSA Off Road Championship Heads For The Mountains A new event, provisionally known as the Lesotho Mountain Kingdom 400, makes its appearance on the Absa Off Road Championship calendar on August 20 and 21 and replaces the Queen Motor Spares...

ABSA Off Road Championship Heads For The Mountains

A new event, provisionally known as the Lesotho Mountain Kingdom 400, makes its appearance on the Absa Off Road Championship calendar on August 20 and 21 and replaces the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400.

"The Settler Off Road Club, which organises the Tarka 400 recently advised us that they were unable to organise the event on the scheduled date," said MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission president, Piet Swanepoel. "We attempted to reschedule the Tarka 400 but unfortunately this proved to be impossible and we decided to investigate a proposal we had received from the Lesotho Off Road Association to stage an event in Lesotho."

"A series of meetings were held in Lesotho recently with high ranking government officials, the state broadcaster, potential sponsors and the Lesotho Off Road Association and the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission Exco is satisfied that the necessary manpower, logistical and financial support exists to ensure that the event will be a success."

The Lesotho Mountain Kingdom 400 will be based out of Maseru and will be jointly organised by the Lesotho Off Road Association and members of the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission Exco with Exco appointees and multiple Roof of Africa Rally winners Richard Schilling and Ashley Thorn, who is based in Lesotho, involved in the route planning.

The event format will differ from existing events in that there will be a short competition section on a man made short course at the racecourse where the Roof of Africa Rally ended in the past followed by a Prologue of approximately 35 kilometres to the south of Maseru on the Friday.

Saturday's main event will consist of two laps of approximately 180 kilometres, which will include some tortuous, highly technical terrain in the lowlands.

"The route will certainly not be fast and, in true Roof of Africa Rally tradition, it will be a test of man and machine," said Peter Luck from the Lesotho Off Road Association. "Excitement is already mounting at official and public level at the prospect of the Production and Special Vehicles returning to Lesotho, which, after all, is where off road racing first began in 1967."

The Lesotho Mountain Kingdom 400 will be round five of the Absa Off Road Championship and is expected to attract a large entry.

-msa-

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