Sugarbelt 400 pre-event route news

NO MAJOR ROUTE SURPRISES FOR NISSAN SUGARBELT 400 Off road competitors heading for KwaZulu-Natal for the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 on May 5 and 6 will be relieved to know that clerk of the course Rex Boreham does not have any nasty surprises up his...

NO MAJOR ROUTE SURPRISES FOR NISSAN SUGARBELT 400

Off road competitors heading for KwaZulu-Natal for the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 on May 5 and 6 will be relieved to know that clerk of the course Rex Boreham does not have any nasty surprises up his sleeve when it comes to the route.

The KZN event is round two of the Absa Off Road Championship with the route always providing for a tough test of man and machinery. A mixture of fast and tight sections, with some serious drop offs, keep crews on their toes and it will be no different this year.

The event will again be based at the Beaumont Eston Farmers Club, and there is also good news for spectators. The route will be spectator friendly with a number of viewing points not far from the start and finish at the club that are easily accessible.

"I think the route is tough enough without us going out to look for ways of making it even more difficult," said Boreham. "It passes through the same sort of areas as last year and we have found some new sections but, by and large, there are no major surprises."

In one major departure from recent years, however, the Nissan Sugarbelt 400 will make use of a dedicated refuel pit area. At the end of the first completed lap of approximately 200 kilometres, all competitors will be required to pass through this area whether or not they intend refueling.

"The refuel area has its own separate time allowance," said Boreham. "At the end of the first lap cars will be booked into the designated service point for 15 minutes.

"After they have serviced crews will be booked out of the DSP, and will then proceed to the refuel pit area where they will be booked in for a further 10 minutes. Once the 10 minute allowance has expired, cars will pass through a control point and will be allowed to resume racing."

The opening west loop of about 113 kilometres will take crews towards Mid Illovo before returning to the designated service point. Competitors will then tackle an east loop of approximately 90 kilometres before heading back to the DSP for servicing and refueling.

Lap two of the event will follow the same format. Competitors will first tackle the west loop with the second east loop a dash for the finish.

"On the return leg the west and east loops join up about 12 kilometres from the start and finish at the club, so there will be continuous action along this section for spectators," said Boreham. "The most popular spectator viewpoint is again likely to be the high speed section next to the tar road about eight kilometers from the start.

"There is also a fast section on the other side of the road, and all spectators have to do to catch the action is walk from one side of road to the other."

Boreham added there were a number of other good spectator points on the West loop on the road towards Mid Illovo. The East loop, on the South Coast tar road, also offers three excellent vantage points. All spectator points will be very clearly marked from the main arterials.

-msa-

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