The sixth and final round of the 2019 South African National Cross Country Series (SACCS) will take place on 1 and 2 November at Parys in the Free State and although most championship titles have been decided, tantalising racing can be expected as the runner-up positions and final standings still have to be decided.
After five rounds, that included the gruelling Toyota 1000 Desert Race (TDR 1000), a marathon event over three days in Botswana where competitors had the opportunity to score double points, the season will be rounded off with the Parys 400 where teams will race in an area they have not competed before.
Situated on the banks of the Vaal River, the picturesque little town of Parys is a popular weekend destination with lots of adventures and activities as well as pretty scenery enjoyed by locals and visitors. Now a popular town for artists with the suspension bridge as a unique attraction, Parys is also in the 5km buffer zone of the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site.
The weekend buzz will be upped a level or two when the colourful SACCS racing caravan enters the area. While the racing action and activities will be hugely exciting for spectators and enthusiasts, it will be a bit more serious for competitors who have one last chance to prove their mettle.
The Parys airfield will be the hub from where the race will start and finish on both days while Race Headquarters as well as the Designated Service Point (DSP) will also be situated here.
From the Parys airfield the route will head in a southerly direction, pass under the N1 before turning east towards the farm Dover from where it will turn north-west to Weiveld Boerevereniging. From here it will again turn west under the N1 to return to the airfield. The route will present competitors with a good combination of grazing and cultivated fields including some technical sections while a few rocky ridges and stream crossings will add to the challenge.
Spectators will be spoiled with racing action from the powerful vehicles with roaring engines at the spectator stadium section immediately after the start along the R59. There will be ample dedicated parking and safe spectating can be enjoyed. Maps will be available from Race Headquarters and spectators will be able to view the action from the best vantage points while they will also be able to get up close and personal with their racing heroes in DSP.
As always, a national cross country event will not be possible without the support of the landowners and the local community who will have a variety of food, refreshments and tasty treats available at the airfield. In return, SACCS will again give back to the community and the Weiveld School will be the beneficiary school to receive school shoes and gift bags.
The action will start early on Friday, 1 November with documentation and scrutineering at the Parys airfield before the flag drops at 13:00 for the start of the 45km Qualifying Race to determine the starting order for the race on Saturday. The main race on Saturday, 2 November starts at 08:00 and will consist of a 180km loop competitors will have to complete twice. There will be a compulsory 30 minute service break after the first loop with the second loop starting at 12:00.
With Parys only 150 kilometres from central Gauteng and about an hour’s drive from the West Rand and Potchefstroom, Cross Country enthusiasts are within a short drive to be part of the final SACCS action of the season. Add to that the fact that various competing vehicles and competitors, busy with final preparations for the upcoming Dakar Rally in January 2020 in Saudi Arabia will also be in action at Parys, and this becomes a weekend not to miss.