2022 Rally-Raid championship to continue as planned

The 2022 South African Rally-Raid Championship got underway on a high, although not so dry, note with the Mpumalanga 400 taking place in and around a wet Dullstroom, towards the end of March. Severe weather, and unprecedented flooding during April caused massive humanitarian devastation only three weeks before the planned #TeamHilux Sugarbelt 400, and the subsequent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare KwaZulu-Natal a national state of disaster, forced the SA Rally-Raid Exco to postpone the event.

The flooding impacted landowners and many areas of the proposed route were impassable with the conditions not allowing for alternative routes to be identified.

Given the current circumstances and the effects of trying to reshuffle the calendar, the decision was made to cancel the 2022 #TeamHilux Sugarbelt 400 for the 2022 season. This, however, does not mean the event is lost to competitors or the area and the SA Rally-Raid Exco has assured the Beaumont Farmer’s Association, landowners and involved parties of their commitment for the 2023 season.

The food donation initiative sponsored by Malalane Toyota, a member of the #TeamHilux Rally-Raid squad, that was scheduled to take place during the event, will still go ahead with 1000 learners from six schools in the Eston/Mid-Illovo area benefitting from this gesture.

“The traditional Sugarbelt 400 has a proud history and regarded by many as a true cross-country event, and we have every intention of returning to the Eston/Mid Illovo area next year,” said SA Rally-Raid CEO Archie Rutherford.

The rest of the season will consist of four challenging events. Next up will be the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA (TGRSA) 1000 Desert Race that will take place over three days on 24, 25 and 26 June over a thousand kilometres in the Upington area of the Northern Cape. Competitors will just have enough time to catch their breath and recover from the testing marathon race before travelling to Bronkhorstspruit for the halfway mark event of the season on 19 and 20 August.

From there the popular Nampo 400 will be next on the calendar when teams will return to the Bothaville area in the Free State to compete on 30 September and 1 October before rounding off the season with the Parys 400 on 12 November. The SA Rally-Raid Exco, in collaboration with the landowners, are investigating the possibilities   of staging the Parys 400 as a double-header on 11 and 12 November, featuring two one-day events.

Should this be feasible, the SA Rally-Raid Championship hope to make an announcement by mid-July.

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