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2014-06-23 13:55

CHARMAINE FORTUNE

A MUDDY AFFAIR: Nissan Navara crew Terence Marsh / Stefan Terblanche will take part in the 2014 Dakar Challenge. Image: Motorpics

JOHANNESBURG, Gauteng - Crews from the Production and Special Vehicle categories will be chasing a free entry into the 2015 Dakar Rally – via the Dakar Challenge.

It will be run in conjunction with the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race over June 27-29 2014.

Dakar Challenge winners will be given a free entry to the South American classic. The winners of an invitation motorcycle race on June 28 and 29, organised by Botswana Motorsport, will also win a free entry to the 2015 event.

TOUGH COMPETITION

South Africa is one of only three countries to form part of the Dakar Challenge which brings additional prestige to the 1000 Desert Race. The event is again the halfway point in the eight-round Donaldson Cross-Country championship.

Topping the list of Production Vehicle entries are the Ford Racing pair of Gary Bertholdt/Siegfried Rousseau, and Nissan Navara crews Terence Marsh/ Stefan Terblanche and Mike Whitehouse/George Myburgh. Springbok rugby legend Terblanche is also competing in the Imperial Auto celebrity challenge and the Botswana outing is his third cross country race.

Tough competition for the Ford and Nissan crews will come from fellow Class T campaigners Jason Venter and Vince van Allemann in the Toyota Hilux and Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger in the BMW X3. Venter’s father, Deon, and Ian Palmer have also thrown their hats into the ring in a second Hilux, with the pair currently leading the Class S championship.

South African champions Evan Hutchison and Danie Stassen lead the Special Vehicle challenge. After two non-finishes the team will be looking to take advantage of the double points on offer for the race and, a win that would see them on the way to South America.

Also in the frame will be other Class A crews in Keith du Toit/Xander Mare, Capetonian Derick du Toit and Craig Gray and brothers Eduardo and Riccardo Argazzi.

The Class P challenge will be in the hands of John Thomson and Maurice Zermatten, Colin Matthews and Rodney Burke.

Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service park will all be located at the Jwaneng Sports Complex and surrounding showground area. There will restricted access to these areas, with free public entry to spectator points along the route.
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