All roads lead to Phikwe for Toyota 1000 Desert Race

Yes, it is that time of the year when those who revel in revving engines and raising a storm in the desert can’t be stopped for anything

The sleepy town of Selibe-Phikwe will come alive with action for the annual Toyota 1000 Desert Race. Slated for 21, 22 and 23 June, the Toyota 1000 Desert Race (TDR 1000) is the largest motor cross country event in southern Africa.

Taking place for the first time in the town known for copper mining, a fresh challenge awaits competitors when they tackle a gruelling thousand kilometres of the 2019 TDR 1000 in Phikwe. With double points up for grabs, as well as personal challenges and the ultimate aim of beating the desert, it will be a weekend where teams, service crews and supporters will be challenged to the limit.

The leading team will be out of the starting blocks at 8.15am to tackle the first of the day’s two loops. Production and Special Vehicle teams as well as SxS teams will head east around Phikwe towards Tobane before veering off south to Sefhophe where they will cross the A15 road and continue south to Mogapi. From there they will turn north and return to the stadium in Selebi-Phikwe.

Teams that complete all three days successfully will get to proudly tick off almost 1000 kilometres in Botswana’s harsh terrain and the points scored will be the reward for this epic challenge.

The TDR 1000 is regarded as the most testing event on Botswana’s – and South Africa’s – motor sports calendar and for many, participating in this event means much more than the points scored. To be able to complete as many TDR 1000 kilometres as possible, competitors who failed to complete Heat One will be allowed to start Heat Two on Sunday.

Spectators will be in for a treat because good views are available from various vantage points. Enthusiasts will also be able to follow the TDR 1000 action on the Toyota-sponsored RallySafe App that can be downloaded free of charge for Android and iOS devices. The standings during the course of the day and other relevant info will be available on the App.

The event, with sponsorship from Toyota, has been run in Botswana since 1991. It traverses thousands of kilometres in several regions, including Gaborone, Mantshwabisi, Lentsweletau, Hatsalatladi and Kumakwane with the last stop being the small mining town of Jwaneng.