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2012-06-01 08:28

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The Absa Off-Road championship has been given a huge boost with the inclusion of the Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race which could earn an African crew free entry into the 2013 Dakar Rally.

The Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race is round four of the series and is one of four events in Botswana, China, Australia and Egypt that form part of the Dakar Challenge.

Winners of the Dakar Challenge for each of the four events will be given free registration for drivers and vehicles for the 2013 Dakar Rally in South America.


The Dakar Challenge is open to competitors who have never taken part in the Dakar Rally. The aim is to provide amateur riders and drivers the opportunity to compete in the world’s most gruelling race.

Richard Schilling, head of the South African off-road Racing Commission, said: "The successes of the Imperial Toyota and Century Racing teams at the 2012 Dakar Rally we already have a high profile on the event, but this opens another door for competitors.

“Being part of a series like the Dakar Challenge provides another tremendous lift for African off-road racing on the international stage,” Schilling added.

“Benefits will accrue in both the short and long term, and inclusion in the Dakar Challenge adds another dimension to the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race which is already the biggest annual sports and social event in Botswana.”

The Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race is the only marathon event on the Absa Off-Road championship calendar and will be run from June 22 to 24.

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