Typical Kalahari Route For Vryburg Endurance

Sand, and lots of it, all add up to a typical Kalahari route for the Vryburg Endurance, round five of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, on September 11 and 12.  One of two endurance events on the Donaldson calendar, the Vryburg Endurance will be run over a total distance of 700 kilometres, and is the penultimate event in the championship.  Castrol Team Toyota Hilux crew Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie have a tight hold on the Production Vehicle championship while former champions, Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen (Motorite BAT Viper), will make the trip to North West province with a 17 point advantage in the Special Vehicle title stakes.

Race direcotr Adri Roets says:  ‘It was a challenge to find a route that meets the endurance race distance requirements, but we have had incredible support from landowners and the local community.  The end result is a typical Kalahari route that is not too technical with plenty of sand and rocky outcrops.  Because of the added distance for the endurance format, much of the route is virgin territory and that will provide crews with an additional challenge.’  Proceedings open on September 11 with a 200 kilometre qualifying race to determine grid positions. From race headquarters at the Vryburg Motor Club crews head towards Louwna before heading home via Armmoedsvlakte.  The event also includes a round of the Northern Regions Cross Country Championship and the first of two loops on Saturday, September 12 is a 300 kilometre run with a refuel point at 230 kilometres. 

 
The regional race will end at the refuel.  National competitors will then be faced with an additional 70 kilometres before the compulsory 20-minute stop at the designated service park (DSP), and the final 200 kilometre dash back to the finish at the Vryburg Motor Club.  Roets says:  ‘The route runs primarily to the north of Vryburg, and from the start heads for Excelsior and Ganeysa before turning west to the furthest point from home base at Louwna.  The home stretch is via Useful and Armmoedsvlakte and there are numerous spectator points along the entire route that offer good viewing of the action and adventure.’  Vryburg is the spiritual home of cross country racing in South Africa, and a race that is run against the backdrop of a carnival atmosphere always draws huge support from Vryburg and surrounding areas. 
 
The local community is again banding together to provide a wide range of refreshment stalls and other entertainment at  the Vryburg Motor Club, with public entry to race headquarters and spectator viewing points free of charge.  The qualifying race on Friday, September 11 will start at 10:30 and the race on Saturday, September 12 at 07:30.  Spectator guides providing competitor and route information will be available at race headquarters.
 
Photo credit: Dave Lebbitter