New events on the calendar always ramp up interest and the Harrismith 400 on July 28 and 29, fourth round of the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS), will be no different.
The event will be based at the Eeram Farmers Complex on the outskirts of the bustling agricultural area of Harrismith in the eastern Free State, and will kick off the second half of the season for crews in the Auto and Moto championships. The event will bring with it typical Highveld terrain with fast, flowing and undulating sandy tracks and close championship battles add to the air of expectation that surrounds the event.
“There has been incredible support from the local community and businessman and former cross country competitor Kobus van Tonder,” said route director Adri Roets. “Kobus has been a tower of strength in the planning for the race, and the route offers competitors something completely different.
“At this time of year conditions will be dry and dusty but the route has a few surprises that will test competitors.”
There will be an early start for the Moto brigade on Friday, July 28. A 20 kilometre Super Pole to determine grid positions starts at 07:00 and is followed by three loops of approximately 120 kilometres each.
There will be a compulsory ten minute service halt at the completion of the first two loops. There will also be an invitation race for the Northern Regions and KwaZulu-Natal regional Moto competitors.
The Auto competitors will tackle a 48 kilometre qualifying race for grid positions starting at 14:00 on Friday, 28 July. A compact 200 kilometre route will be completed twice on the Saturday with a compulsory 20 minute service halt after the first lap.
Race headquarters, the start/finish and designated service park will all be situated at the Eeram Farmers Complex with public access to these areas free of charge. The Moto and Auto routes also offer numerous vantage points for spectators, public entry to these areas is free of charge and there will also be an invitation race for Northern Regions and KwaZulu-Natal regional competitors.
The main race starts at 08:00 on Saturday, July 29 with the local Vroue Landbou Unie and farmers supplying an array of meals, snacks and beverages throughout the weekend. There will be ample parking and spectators can look forward to a bumper weekend of cross country motor racing within easy reach from KZN or Gauteng along the N3 highway.
Cross country enthusiasts can also follow the fortunes of their favourite teams at home or in the office on the RallySafe App, which can be downloaded free of charge, for iOS or Android systems. The app is user friendly and enthusiasts can follow the race via maps which chart the progress of each car with split and overall times.