The town of Jwaneng was this past weekend invaded by motorsport enthusiasts from all over Botswana and the African continent as the Toyota 1000 Kalahari desert race made its way into the mining town .
Even though it was the first time the race was hosted in Jwaneng, it certainly carried on with the vibe and thrill from Kumakwane, as this year it was no different because the event enjoyed overwhelming support both from the spectators as well as the competitors.
Reigning 2013 1000 desert race champions Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy from Castrol Team Toyota Hilux retained their championship and were crowned the 2014 production vehicle category race winners with their T01 car. This comes after the formidable driver pair completed their race after 5 hours 8 minutes 40 seconds.
Second place was clinched by another Team Castrol Toyota in a T23 car driven by Leeroy Poulter and co-driver Rob Howie (who made the switch from Ford) finishing after 5 hours 9 minutes 12 seconds while on third place was racing franchise Malalane Toyota’s Johan Horn and co-driver Werner Horn who finished after 5 hours 21 minutes and 49 seconds.
Overall it was a fantastic day for Toyota as they dominated proceedings from the start to the finish of the race to fill the podium. Sharing his experience, Taylor told Gazette Sport that, “the experience in the new circuit (Jwaneng) was very good. The reason behind our success was the phenomenal support and passion we received from Batswana who regularly come to this event, and this makes Botswana a Toyota country more than a diamond country” he said.
Botswana’s representatives in the race had mixed fortunes as the local lads’ presence was only felt at the motorbike category. This comes after Doug Morris and Jeff Wiknson claimed 1st and 2nd positions respectively (all Botswana ) in the B1 (small engine) bikes category while Ross Brunch (Botswana ) came in 1st in the B2 (big engine bikes) followed by South African compatriots Louw Schimidt and Kevin Tyler.
In the B3 (quad bikes) Berne Berster and fellow South Africans Brian Baraguaneth and Ted Barbier reigned supreme to fill the three podium spots respectively. The luck did not favor some of the local representatives who featured in the Special vehicle category (Sand masters) as Mogray Mabile could not finish the race as well as Quintin Sullward among other driver crews from Botswana due to mechanical failures. Thus, the winners of the 2014 Kalahari 1000 challenge have qualified for the 2015 Dakar Rally to be held in South America.