The Nkomazi 400, round two of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, is rapidly turning into a community project in the Mpumalanga town of Malalane on the border of the Kruger National Park.
The event is a new one on the Donaldson Cross Country Championship calendar, and replaces the Toyota Dealer 400 which for many years was based in Lydenburg. Nkomazi means ‘place of water’ with the race part of a master plan to take Cross Country Racing to different locations in South Africa and neighbouring territories.
“The Nkomazi 400 is one of two new events, along with a race in Lesotho, on this year’s calendar,” said South African National Off Road Association (SANORA) chief executive Richard Schilling. “We also had two new events on the 2012 calendar, and have adopted a policy of constantly looking for new venues.
“The Toyota Dealer 400 remains on the calendar but has been switched to Eston in the Pietermaritzburg area. This provides Toyota the opportunity of sponsoring an event within close proximity of their manufacturing plant in Prospecton,”
Schilling added that with around 60 entries and their entourages the Donaldson Cross Country Championship events provide major cash injections for regions which stage races. A race of this nature would help put Malalane on the map and would foster a community spirit.
For those with a penchant for camping on events a camp area has been established at the Riverview Primary School at a charge of R100 per person per night. The camp area will be administered by staff from the Riverview school and provision has been made for adequate shower and ablution facilities.
Plans also include a display area and flea market with the Riverview school charging a nominal fee for stand space. There will also be a display of Malalane Toyota products on view, as well as the Force Fuel tanker which supplies fuel to competitors.
A kiddies play area that will feature the Donaldson jumping castle has also been established and will be supervised by Riverview school staff.
SANORA route director Adri Roets is putting the finishing touches to a route that will be made up of two loops of 170kilometres each. From the designated service park at Riverview school the route heads west and takes in Radley Estate, Kaluga, the Timrite Forests, private property and the Three Sisters in the Holnek area.
“It is primarily a technical route with a couple of fast and open sections,” said Roets. “It is a scenic route but a tough one and passes twice under the N4 and there are no road crossings.
“There are plenty of spectator points but the tree site in the Timrite forest is going to be a highlight.”