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Desert Race 1000 2023: Red-Lined returns to Botswana

Desert Race beckons for five-car Red-Lined team

Red-Lined Motorsport heads back to Botswana for the first time in several seasons with a five-car team ready to tackle the ‘Big One’ in the South African Rally Raid Championship. The occasion is the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, which returns to the Jwaneng area in Northern Botswana over the weekend of 23 to 25 June.

Chris Visser and Albertus Venter will once again be chasing that elusive T1+ podium as they continue to develop the team’s new Dragon Energy powered REVO T1+. Visser is a previous winner of this prestigious race and has over the years produced a formidable Desert Race record. “The Desert is one of my favourite races,Chris admitted. “We’re really are getting the hang of our Red-Lined REVO T1+ in its prototype V8 guise and cannot wait to take on the demanding Botswana sand!”

Red-Lined also heads to Botswana looking to build on its string of five FIA T1 class successes on the trot as Johan de Bruyn and Gerhard Schutte are keen to get back to winning ways aboard their OdorCure REVO T1. “We started the season on the front foot, but the last race was tough, so we are focused on getting back out front this weekend,” Johan pointed out. “This is a long, hard race, so the real focus is on a good finish and points haul.”

Also, out in a Red-Lined REVO T1 and fresh off a debut win at the Sugarbelt 400, are T1 class championship leaders Nicolas Pienaar and Carl Swanepoel in their Super Energi version. They are determined to build on their strong start to the Championship. “Our strategy is more of the same!” Nicolas warned off his a double podium start to the season.

Dutch teenager Pim Klaassen meanwhile makes his South African Rally Raid Championship debut aboard his dad Dave’s DaklaPack Rallysport VK50 with local notes man Wade Harris showing him the way. Red-Lined Academy driver Klaassen will be making his national championship debut in Botswana after his first ever rally raid event earlier in the year in a Northern Regions event.

Last but not least, father and son pairing, Rudi and Gerhard Heinlein will make their Desert Race debut aboard their Red-Lined VK56. Gerhard will be behind the wheel with dad Rudi in the hot seat and after a great showing at the recent Coetzerdam 300 regional race.

“Red-Lined Motorsport has enjoyed an incredible start to the 2023 season,” team boss Terence Marsh concludes. “The plan is to try and continue with our current form, but we all know how tough and demanding the Botswana Desert Race can be, so there are no guarantees! Chris and Albertus have produced two great results first time out in our new V8 powered REVO T1+ and will look to build on this as they wait on us to step them up to the much-awaited twin turbo GT-R powered REVO T1+ later in the year. Our T1 class REVOs are chasing their sixth class win and eighth podium on the trot, so long may this form last. And then to wrap it all up we have our young Desert Race debutants behind the wheel, Pim and Gerhard who are both targeting a good finish and a bag full of experience, as they continue to build their Rally Raid foundations.  Special thanks once again to our entire Red-Lined team for the never-ending effort that goes into every facet of our preparations and planning. Now we look forward to another adventurous weekend in the desert!”

*Red-Lined Motorsport competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Energy, PentaSure, OMP, ExpandaSign, Ingco Tools and Wheel Collision.


Source Red-Lined via Motorsport Media

SA Cross Country Championship: South African moto championship set for desert battle

Cross Country Nationals head for Ganyesa

It’s all to play for as the Trademore South African Cross Country Championship limbers up to its annual desert race at Excelsior Farm at Ganyesa north of Vryburg this weekend. Davin Cocker’s OR2 Husqvarna and OR1 KTM rider Bradley Cox arrive in the Northwest tied in the championship lead, but under pressure from Seniors’ sensation Kerim Fitz-Gerald and his KTM, and Honda rider Michael Pentecost.

OR2 man Scott Heygate sits sixth in the overall title chase on his KTM, ahead of OR3 leaders, Honda lads Haydn Cole and Erik Merry. Second OR1 man, Gareth Cole is next up on his Honda from High School leader Luke Walker, and OR3 riders, Kawasaki lad Wian Wentzel, and Ryan Pelser’s Husqvarna. Pieter Holl leads Masters for Kawasaki, while Murray Smith tops the Junior pops on his Husqvarna.

The opening two races saw a typical Gauteng route at the Legends opener before a far more technical challenge at Jolivet in KZN. Pending dry conditions, Ganyesa brings a different challenge in the Kalahari semi-desert. That said, freezing and wet conditions wreaked havoc in last year’s race there, so anything can still happen

It’s between Bradley Cox on his Brother Leader Tread KTM and Michael Pentecost in open class 450cc OR1. They will have the closest attentions of Honda trio, Pentecost’s Franchise Co Tork Craft teammate Gareth Cole, Ian Rall, and Hayden Louw. Factory Husqvarna racer Davin Cocker is the 350cc OR2 man to beat with two wins in two races so far. Scott Heygate, fellow KTM riders Kyle Eggar, sister Leah Heygate, Juan Niebuhr, and Teak Harrower on a GasGas will present his toughest opposition.

Kerim Fitz-Gerald has been in sensational Seniors’ form on his KTM this season, as his overall championship third suggests. But he has Honda duo, comeback king Louwrens Mahoney and Wynand Delport, Marco Cocci on a Yamaha and the late starting 2022 champion Kenny Gilbert’s Kawasaki on his case. Masters has been all about Pieter Holl and his Kawasaki in 2023, but Mielies Le Roux on a KTM, Husqvarna rider Wayne Farmer and Brian Bontekoning’s Kawasaki, among others, will have other ideas.

Luke Walker leads Thomas Scales’ similar KTM in the 125 cc high school chase. They have Sherco duo, Daniel Peckham and Blake Young, KTM trio Brandon Clarke, Rory Donaldson and Nathan Westerdale, and Derek Karam on a Yamaha to cope with too. Murray Smith leads the 85 Junior chase on his Franchise Co Tork Craft Husqvarna from Franco Fourie’s KTM, Corbin Muller’s Husqvarna and KTM kids Mackenzie Bam and Drikus van der Merwe.

GJ Coetzee is the 65 cc lad to beat on his Husqvarna, which is precisely what KTM gang Zach Wichmann, Cambeul du Preez and Joshua Fotheringham, Matthew Meyer on a GasGas, and Wilco du Plooy’s Yamaha intend to do. Honda arrives at Ganyesa in the 2023 Trademore South African Cross Country Manufacturers Championship lead just 10 points clear of KTM, with Husqvarna fighting Kawasaki for third ahead of Sherco, Yamaha and GasGas.


Source: SA Cross Country via Motorsport Media

Desert Race 1000 2023: Angola Rally Team present at TGR 1000 Desert Race

With an eye on the “DAKAR RALLY”, the Angolan Rally Raid Angola Rally Team will compete between 23 and 25 June for another preparation to this great challenge, the TGRSA-1000 DESERT RACE – the most iconic all-terrain race in South Africa, in the Kalahari Desert.

The Angolan Rally Team, which continues to work hard on its preparation for the world’s royal race, the “DAKAR RALLY”, will compete between 23 and 25 June in the Republic of Botswana the race called TGRSA – 1000 DESERT RACE. This will be another internationalization of the team, which, step by step, will be affirming itself in the region as one of the teams to pay attention to.

The duo João Lota (Pilot) and Nuno Santos (Navegador) say they are prepared for this challenge, which, despite being slightly different from what they have done overseas, will add substantial added values to their journey towards the “Dakar Rally”, which is intended to be a reality very soon. Competitiveness, as expected on a race of this scale, is expected to be high both in quantity and in quality, and the tracks are expected technically demanding and fast.

The TGRSA-1000 DESERT RACE is part of the competition calendar of the prestigious South African All-Terrain Championship where it is considered the “Queen” race. The race will start from the city of Jwaneng, the heart of the Kalahari desert, and will force competitors to travel more than 1000Km of special timetables over 3 days.
The TGRSA-1000 DESERT RACE is also part of the limited set of races selected for the “ROAD TO DAKAR” challenge.

With 5 titles in the National Rally Raid Championship, and after the 3rd International podium won last year in the “Crono Rally” in South Africa, the team will compete shortly after returning to Angola the “Quissama Rally”, where they will defend the newly achieved leadership in the national championship (Class E1) after the victory in the Blue Bay Rally in May.

Angola Rally Team is registered in the G-SXS category, with a CAN AM Maverick X3 car and will have the assistance service of the South African team “MOTO-NETIX”.



Source Angola Rally Team

Desert Race 1000 2023: A demanding challenge awaits crews at the iconic Toyota Gazoo Racing 1000 Kalahari Botswana Desert Race

After not competing in Botswana since 2019, the South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) returns to the neighbouring country for the Toyota Gazoo Racing 1 000 Kalahari Botswana Desert Race (TGR 1000) that will take place at Jwaneng over three days from 23 to 25 June.
Jwaneng last hosted the TGR 1000 Desert Race in 2018 making it an all-new event for quite a few current competitors. Almost 1 000 kilometres of gruelling racing over three days in desert-like conditions adds to the challenge, and all these factors contribute to the many reasons why the Desert Race in Botswana remains an iconic event, since its inception in 1991.
The weekend’s programme features a feast of national championship racing with round three of the SA Rally-Raid Championship and rounds two and three of the Botswana Motorsport (BMS) Off Road Motorcycle and Quad Championships.
“It is great to have the cars, motorcycles and the quads under one roof,” said SARRC chief executive officer Archie Rutherford.The weekend is regarded as the premier sporting and social event in Botswana and is the blue-chip event on the SARRC calendar. The weekend promises to provide for some spectacular racing and once again we have had unbelievable support from the Botswana Tourism Organisation, the Botswana Police Service, various Land Boards, the Jwaneng District Commissioner, the Jwaneng Town Council and Debswana who own the Jwaneng diamond mine.”
As in the past, the route contains all the characteristics of the Desert Race and while it might feel familiar to those with desert racing experience, it is a well-known fact that a possible sting in the tail can change things at any moment.
The cars, motorcycles and quads will each do an ‘east’ loop and a ‘west’ loop in the race. The cars will complete the ‘east’ loop on Saturday, 24 June and the ‘west’ loop on Sunday, 25 June and vice versa for the motorcycles and quads.
For the 2023 edition of the TGR 1000 Kalahari Botswana Desert Race, SARRC competitors will have to take on a 61 kilometre Pirelli Qualifying Race at 12:30 on Friday, 23 June from the Start/Finish of the event at the Jwaneng Sports Complex. The results of the qualifier will determine the starting order for the race on Saturday, 24 June with the fastest 10 teams having the opportunity to draw and choose their starting positions.
On Saturday, the route will consist of two loops of 220 kilometres that will take competitors to the east of Jwaneng towards Sese, Betesankwe, Tsonyane and Lefhoko before turning back to Jwaneng, while they will have to complete a 214 kilometre loop twice towards the south western side of Jwaneng on Sunday.
Competitors can expect a route consisting of a variety of tight and fast sections and will bypass Mokhomma and Semane before turning in a northerly direction, crossing the A2 up to the northern district border, before returning to Jwaneng on the western side of the Debswana mine.
On Sunday competitors will start the race route stretching towards the southwestern side of Jwaneng with the results of Saturdays race determining the starting order for the first of the two loops on the last day. Teams who failed to complete the racing section on Saturday, can try again on Sunday, as a healthy haul of points towards the various championships are up for grabs.
Race Headquarters and the Designated Service Point (DSP) will be situated at the Jwaneng Sport Complex and teams will return on both days to the DSP, at the halfway mark of the race, for a compulsory service break before taking on the remaining loop.
As the TGR 1000 Kalahari Botswana Desert Race has grown into the biggest sporting events in Botswana over the years, thousands of spectators from both the hosting country as well as South Africa are again expected to follow the race, and vantage points will be easily assessable while the Botswana Police Service will be out in full force to control the traffic flow.
The event will again incorporate the Road to Dakar competition and with Toyota’s sponsorship, as part of the TGR 1000 Kalahari Botswana Desert Race, this competition opens the door for local competitors to achieve their dream as the prize is an entry to participate in the Dakar Rally.
Enthusiasts can follow the race on the RallySafe App that is available as a free download on the iStore and Google PlayStore. The standings during the course of each day as well as maps and relevant information will be available on the App.


Source: SARRC
Photo: Plan C Productions

SARRC 2023: Two back-to-back victories give Lategan / Cummings an early advantage in SA Rally-Raid Championship

An overall victory for Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings with their Toyota DKR Hilux T1+ at the recent Sugarbelt 400, resulted in the team taking a firm lead in Production Vehicle Category of the 2023 SA Rally-Raid Championship as they have also claimed the victory after the season opener.

With five rounds of the championship still ahead, anything can, however, still happen and if the first two events are anything to go by, the unexpected can be expected during the rest of the season.

In the Overall Production Vehicle Championship, Lategan/Cummings (60 points) lead their team-mates, Giniel de Villiers/Dennis Murphy and Gareth Woolridge/Boyd Dreyer (NWM Ford Castrol T1+ Ranger) by 19 points with these three teams sharing the podium after both the Nkomazi 400 and the Sugarbelt 400.

Guy Botterill/Simon Vacy-Lyle, the third Toyota Gazoo Racing DKR Hilux T1+ team have been scoring consistently and are fourth (30 points) with Chris Visser/Albertus Venter (Red-Lined Motorsport) getting the 2023 season off to a solid start with the new Red-Lined REVO T1+ in fifth place (21 points) despite some challenges.

Two more FIA T1+ teams find themselves in the top 10. Lance Trethewey/Adriaan Roets are sixth with the 2x4 King Price Xtreme CR6 (18 points) and the Horn brothers, Johan and Werner (#TeamHilux Rally-Raid DKR T1+) ninth (12 points) despite not competing in the season opener.

Three FIA T1 teams fill the rest of the openings. With an FIA T1 victory each, Red-Lined Motorsport’s Nic Pienaar/Carl Swanepoel, Red-Lined REVO, (18 points) and Johan de Bruyn/Gerhard Schutte, Red-Lined REVO (nine points) are seventh and 10th respectively while the defending T1 champions, Eben Basson/Leander Pienaar (#TeamHilux Rally-Raid Hilux) are eighth, two points ahead of their team-mates, the Horn brothers.

In the FIA T1+ championship, the standings at the front are mostly the same although the points differ due to all competitors awarded an additional five points for starting an event. Lategan/Cummings (70 points) lead both Woolridge/Dreyer and De Villiers/Murphy (51 points) with Botterill/Vacy-Lyle fourth (40 points); Visser/Venter (32 points) fifth and Trethewey/Roets sixth (29 points).

Behind them teams making up the rest of the top 10 could only finish one of the two events. Gary Bertholdt/Henry Köhne (Renergen Toyota Hilux) and Lance Woolridge/Kenny Gilbert (NWM Ford Castrol Team T1+ Ranger) both have 18 points with Simon Murray/Achim Bergmann in the 2x4 WCT HT2 Toyota and the Horn brothers trailing them by a single point.

The FIA T1 championship has new leaders with a victory and a runner-up result pushing Pienaar/Swanepoel to the top step of the podium (63 points), 12 points ahead of Basson/Pienaar (51 points) with the class winners of the opening round, De Bruyn/Schutte, dropping to third, albeit trailing the 2022 champions by a mere two points. The Blignaut brothers, Fouché and Bertus (#TeamHilux Rally-Raid Hilux) are the only other team in the class to have completed both events putting them in fourth place (34 points).

The order is then somewhat scrambled, as Jayden Els (King Price Xtreme SVR) made use of two navigators at the Sugarbelt 400. Elvéne Vonk took ill halfway through the event and was replaced by Köhne with the two navigators sharing the total amount of points earned. This puts Els fifth of the drivers’ standings (28 points). Johan van Staden (KEC Racing Renault Duster) is sixth (25 points) followed by the two German drivers, Jurgen Schröder and his son, Daniel, both in similar Nissan Navara vehicles, who have accumulated 22 points.

Two more Red-Lined Motorsport international drivers, Dutch driver, Dave Klaassen who competed in the season opener and the 18 year-old lady driver from Dubai, Aliyyah Koloc, who took on the Sugarbelt 400, round off the FIA T1 Drivers’ Championship top 10 with 15 points each.
Between the FIA T1 navigators Johan van Staden’s son, Sean, trails Bertus Blignaut by nine points and is fifth (25 points) followed by the two South Africans, Ryan Bland and Stuart Gregory, who navigate for the German drivers, Daniel and Jurgen. Both have 22 points. Vonk, Els’s regular navigator, is eighth (19 points) followed by the Dutch navigator, Tessa Rooth who sits next to Klaassen and Riaan Greyling who read the notes for the Dubai youngster. Both have 15 points and round off the top 10.

Only three teams have competed in Class T with Hendrik and Heinrich du Plessis (Ford Ranger) the only team to start both events. The Du Plessis duo won the season opener and have gathered 22 points in total so far this season, leading the victors – and the only finishers – of the Sugarbelt 400, Schalk Burger/Henk Janse van Vuuren (King Price Xtreme VW Amarok), by five points. The Nienaber brothers, Nico and Juandre (King Price Xtreme Renault Duster) are third with five points.

Toyota lead the Manufacturers standings (167 points) followed by Ford (61 points) and Nissan (47 points) rounding off the podium. Century Racing are fourth (22 points); Renault has six and Volkswagen three.

Teams are now preparing for the only marathon race on the calendar, the Toyota Gazoo Raging 1000 Kalahari Botswana Desert Race that takes place over three days from 23 to 25 June. And after not racing in Botswana for three years, the Desert Race will return to the Jwaneng area in the south of Botswana.


Source SACCR
Images: Plan C Productions

As a service to the sport we all love and follow, Rally-Raid Network posts numerous media releases from a wide variety of sources on our website. Due to the large number, and some times short time available, it is nearly impossible to review each public release. These articles are written by reporters or press officers who work for various organizers, teams, drivers, riders, and other parties, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rally-Raid Network.