The only thing different about the RFS Endurance Race, the opening round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship in Vryburg in the North West province on April 1 and 2, will be a completely new route. For the rest a typical Kalahari route will provide competitors with plenty of sand – and then some more sand. That apart, however, the event will turn back the clock nearly three decades, with the Production and Special Vehicle category cars sharing the same stage as the South African Motorcycle and Quad Championship competitors.
North West province is the spiritual home of cross country racing, but not since the late 1980s have the cars and motorcycles shared the same venue. The weekend will provide cross country enthusiasts with a tasty menu that also includes round two of the Northern Regions Cross Country Championship, and the opening round of the national motorcycle and quad series. The motorcycle and quad competitors will race over a different route, but for them it will also be a diet consisting mainly of sand.
Route director Adri Roets says: ‘There has been little or no rain in the area and the route for the cars is dry, flat and fast but tree stumps, small trees and bushes will be a constant threat. Races in the North West are never easy and a completely new route will also provide crews with a challenge. The more experienced crews will know exactly what to expect, and the weekend should produce some close and exciting racing across the board.’ The qualifying race for the cars will be run over a 190 kilometre route, with the race made up of two loops of 245 kilometres. The qualifying race will determine race start positions, and there will be a compulsory 20 minute service halt at the end of the first racing loop.
The qualifying race route for the RFS Endurance Race will take competitors north east from race headquarters at the Vryburg Motor Club towards Devondale and Zoutpan. The route then heads to Stella and Vierkraal on the way back to race headquarters. The two 245 kilometre race loops will take competitors to Devondale, Kameel and Stella.
The route then veers towards Beesdam and Vierkraal before heading back to the designated service park and the finish. Race headquarters, the start/finish for all categories and the designated service park will all be located at the Vryburg Motor Club. Refreshments will be available, and access to these areas and spectator points along the route is free of charge.
Roets says: ‘There are plenty of designated spectator points along the car route, and these provide for quality viewing. These points are all within easy reach of race headquarters, and are served by tar and good quality dirt roads.’ The RFS Endurance qualifying race on April 1 will start at 10:30 and the race at 07:30 on April 2.