The South African Cross Country Championship (SACCS) will, in many ways, present a fresh face when the 2020 series opens in Mpumalanga at the end of February.
New venues, new rules and regulations, new faces and the fledgling Side by Side (SxS) national championship all add up to an exciting start to a new decade for the SACCS championship, which last year consistently attracted good fields. And, with the trend likely to be unchanged, both the Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle championships will again be highly competitive.
Three new events will make their debut on the SACCS calendar this year. The events in KwaZulu Natal and the Free State will form part of a seven event race calendar in South Africa and Botswana. The KZN event will see Cross Country racing return to the Easton / Mid Illovo area for the first time in many years with new events in Clarens and Bothaville.
“We are delighted to see Cross Country racing break into new territory,” said SACCS chief executive officer Archie Rutherford. “Last season saw the introduction of two new events which turned out to be great successes, and we are confident this year’s debut events will be equally successful.
“The return to KwaZulu Natal is particularly pleasing and the new events will provide competitors with additional challenges in what is already a highly competitive championship.”
The season will start on February 28 and 29 with the 2018 award winning Mpumalanga 400 in Dullstroom. The event will again be supported by Malalane Toyota and the Horn family, who have for many years been involved in Cross Country racing via farther Johan and more recently brothers Johan and Werner Horn.
The SACCS championship returns to the Eston/Mid Illovo area in KwaZulu Natal for the popular Sugarbelt 400 steeped in history and tradition on April 3 and 4 after a hiatus of five years. The first new event of the season will be the Clarens 400 on May 22 and 23 and will be run in the foothills of the majestic Maluti Mountains.
The aim is to bring high-profile venues into the SACCS championship that benefit the community. Cross Country races provide a major financial boost for local communities via accommodation, food and beverage sales, fuel sales, incidental expenses and future travel destinations.