Polokwane: Route preview

TOUGH ROUTE FOR LIMPOPO 400 What is expected to be a huge field of around 100 vehicles will have a tough time of it on the Limpopo 400, round six of the Absa Off Road Championship, on September 12 and 13. Based at the Meropa Casino and ...

TOUGH ROUTE FOR LIMPOPO 400

What is expected to be a huge field of around 100 vehicles will have a tough time of it on the Limpopo 400, round six of the Absa Off Road Championship, on September 12 and 13.

Based at the Meropa Casino and Entertainment Wold on the outskirts of Polokwane, the event will provide crews with one of the toughest tests of the season. Organised this year by the 4 Wheel Drive Club of South Africa, the event will cater for both national and regional entries.

"The route is pretty much the same as last year, but will be run in reverse," said route director Jan van As who is a local businessman. "It has a bit of everything with fast sections interspersed with gulleys, washouts, thick riverbed sand and typical bushveld terrain.

"At this time of the year there is not much rain around in this part of the world and the indications are it will be hot and dusty. All that does is make it a little tougher on competitors and machinery."

Documentation and scrutineering will take place at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World from 10h00 to 13h00 on Friday, September 12. And in a departure from the norm the prologue to determine start positions for the race proper will be run over only 20 kilometres.

"The shorter than usual prologue is an effort to cut costs for both competitors and the organisers," said Clerk of the Course Skean Drummond. The prologue will start outside Polokwane on the Matlala Road and will finish at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World.

The race proper will start at the Ysterberg Pleasure Resort with the route to be run over two loops of 180 kilometres each. The designated service point and the finish will be at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World which will also host the prize-giving.

Drummond added that as usual the event would be ultra spectator friendly. Long sections of the route run alongside the Matlala and Steilloop roads with numerous road crossings. There will be seven spectator points on the Matlala road and four off the Steilloop road offering enthusiasts a variety of opportunities to see the vehicles.

With tight championship battles having emerged in both the Production and Special Vehicle categories the Limpopo 400 could make or break some championship challenges. With this in mind the event has the makings of a crackerjack race.

"Polokwane is within easy reach of all the major centres and we expect the event to draw an entry of around 100 vehicles," Drummond said. "With the state of various championships delicately poised we also expect an influx of off road enthusiasts."

-credit: saorc

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