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The South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) will venture into new territory when the series visit the Vryheid area in northern KwaZulu-Natal where a level playing field awaits competitors when they start the inaugural PS Laser Promac Vryheid 400 on 24 and 25 May. And if the exhilarating action at the season opener is anything to go by, this second round of the 2024 national championship will be an event spectators and enthusiasts cannot dare to miss.

As one of the more interesting towns on the Battlefields route where the Anglo-Boer War took place between 1899 and 1902, Vryheid is a coal mining and cattle farming town and for the PS Laser Promac Vryheid 400 race, the Vryheid Flying Club will be the hub of the activities. The Race Headquarters as well as the Start/Finish and the Designated Service Point (DSP) will be situated here and it is here where spectators can rub shoulders with the competitors while they can also get a closer look at the powerful racing machines.

For this Super Event, a short 15 kilometre Castrol Qualifying Race on Friday, 24 May will start at 09:30 and will determine the starting order for the 38 kilometre Stage One which starts at 13:00.

These results will determine the order for the line-up of Stage Two on Saturday, 25 May when the first team takes on the 174 kilometre racing section at 07:30. After completion of Stage Two, competitors will take a compulsory 30-minute break at the DSP before embarking on the third and final stage of 174 kilometres in anticipation of receiving the chequered flag and popping the bubbly on the podium at the Vryheid Flying Club.

A challenging, but very scenic route has been designed for the teams with the mountainous area offering interesting and varied terrain. The route will start off in the lowlands next to mealie fields and rivers before meandering up and over the mountain on a spectacular road with a very steep decent going down.
Time for the heartrate to settle somewhat as the route then works its way into and around the timber plantations before veering to yet another spectacular mountain section.

The route includes a bit of everything with some severe rocky sections in the mountains as well as challenging jeep tracks while there are also nice open and faster flowing sections in and around the forests.

The undulating terrain makes for an exciting and challenging route that will test the concentration and those who can deliver the complete package, will be rewarded with well-earned results.

Spectators will also have the opportunity to support their local heroes as the PS Laser Promac Vryheid 400 will form two rounds of the KZN Regional Championship with regional teams having to complete the two stages of approximately 174 kilometres each on Saturday, 25 May.

All the action will be based at the Vryheid Flying Club in the hamlet of Vryheid where the local community will have mouth-watering treats available while there will also be a shaded beer garden and entertainment for the whole family.

The race can also be followed on the RallySafe App, available as a free download from the iStore and Google PlayStore or on Facebook: saccsauto; Instagram: saccs_auto and Twitter: @SACCS.Auto

Published by: SA National Cross Country Series – Charmaine Fortune

Photography by: Dave Ledbitter

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