SUGARBELT 450 – Variety name of the game
VARIETY THE NAME OF THE GAME ON SUGARBELT 450
Taxing route a mixture of sugarcane fields, plantations and open veld
Variety will be the name of the game when competitors take on a taxing route on the Sugarbelt 450, round two of this year’s Donaldson Cross Country Championship, in KwaZulu-Natal on May 8 and 9.
Crews will, however, feel at home with a race format that has characterised the Donaldson series in recent seasons. With the exception of the Toyota 1000 Desert Race all events were previously run over approximately 450 kilometres, but this season sees races split into three categories – sprint events, endurance races and the Botswana desert classic which falls under the marathon category.
The recent RFS Endurance in Harrismith was run over just short of 700 kilometres, and the switch to a sprint format provides crews with a new set of tactical options. Once again based at the Beaumont Eston Farmers Club on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, the Sugarbelt 450 has down the years provided crews with a stern test with a mixture of sugarcane, plantation and open veld sections.
The event will be made up of a 100 kilometre qualifying race to determine start positions, and two loops of approximately 160 kilometres. There will be a compulsory 20 minute service halt at the end of the first loop.
“It is a typical Sugarbelt 450 route,” said route director Adri Roets. “The variety of terrain will keep crews on their toes, and maximum concentration will be needed.”
As is always the case with the Sugarbelt 450 the route is spectator friendly with numerous viewing points along the entire route. All the spectator points are easily accessible on good quality roads from the start/finish, and public access to these areas is free of charge. Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point will all be located at the Beaumont Eston Farmers club and public access to these areas is also free of charge.
The qualifying race will start at 11:30 on May 8 and the race at 08:30 the following day, with spectator guides and catering facilities available at race headquarters at the Eston Beaumont Farmers Club..
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