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15 June, 2012
No hidden terrors on TDR route
Competitors on this year's Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race (TDR) can heave a sigh of relief.
There are no new hidden terrors on the route of the fourth round of the 2012 Absa Off Road Championship. The only marathon event on the off-road calendar also incorporates a round of the Dakar Challenge, with the winning crew eligible for a free entry into the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America.
"There are about 100 kilometres of new terrain, but the changes have been designed to create some additional special spectator points," said race director Alan Reid of the Four Wheel Drive Club of SA, the race organisers. "The changes are mainly on racing section two and take competitors through a quarry and some river beds in the Kolobeng area. The prologue route remains unchanged and competitors will be faced with the sort of challenges for which this race is famous."
Race headquarters and the designated service park (DSP) are again located at the village of Kumakwane, around 20 kilometres from Gaborone. The DSP and access roads have again been maintained and improved by locally-based competitor Keith du Toit and his team from Babcock Botswana.
"Once again we are grateful for the co-operation we have had from the Kumakwane local authority, and Dr Kruger and Festus Malan who allow us to use their land for race headquarters," said Reid. "The village of Kumakwane will again be setting up public areas for local traders to sell food, drinks and other wares. They will also sell parking vouchers and the village reap substantial financial benefits from the race."
Reid added that the Botswana police would also play a major role in the smooth running of the race. The police will deploy 500 uniformed and plain clothes officers as well as patrol cars, motorcycle patrolmen, a helicopter and other equipment along the route. There will be a strong police presence at the DSP and at public areas.
For those with a head for statistics the route will travel past about 450 homesteads and 28 villages north, east and west of Kumakwane. The route also passes through areas controlled by three land boards in the Thamaga, Kweneng and Kgatleng districts.
"We have had amazing support from local authorities in these areas, as well as the Botswana Tourism Organisation, the Department of Tourism and Environment, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority and the Botswana Department of Health," said Reid. "Many other departments have come together to make this race happen, and without this co-operation we would not be able to run the event."
Reid added that this year more local business concerns - including G4S Security, Generators Botswana, O3 Water and Bokomo Botswana - were joining hands with the race as minor sponsors by providing products or services.
Access to race headquarters and the DSP will be controlled, but entry to spectator areas will be free of charge.
The Donaldson Prologue to determine race grid position will start at 12:30 on 22 June and racing
sections one and two will start at 08:30 on 23 and 24 June.
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