The opening round of The Donaldson Cross Country Championship, the RFS 400 on March 1 and 2, will provide competitors with a daunting start to what promises to be another highly competitive season.
The race will again be based at the Tarlton International Raceway near Krugersdorp with the route taking competitors through the Magaliesburg area. The event is also the first to be run under the Donaldson banner and new cross country nomenclature.
“It has not been easy finding new territory to make the route more interesting for competitors,” said South African National Off Road Racing Association (SANORA) route director Adri Roets. “A number of new landowners were approached for permission to utilise their properties, and were more than helpful.
“With the help of landowners about 60 percent of the route runs through virgin territory and there is a good spread of varying terrain.”
Roets added that good rains in the area in recent months had led to extremely high grass. This would make it difficult for competitors to follow the route, and co-drivers would have their work cut out.
The route will be made up of two loops of 160 kilometres with a compulsory 15 minute halt at the designated service area at Tarlton International Raceway at the end of the first lap. The prologue on Friday, 1 March to determine grid positions will be run over a 55 kilometre route that takes in sections of the race course.
Roets added that as usual the event would be spectator friendly. There are a number of god viewing points all within easy reach of the Tarlton complex.
Race headquarters and the designated service area will be located at Tarlton International Raceway with public entry to these areas free of charge. There will also be free public entry to spectator points along the route.
The prologue will start at 12:30 on March 1 and the race at 08:30 on March 2.