SANORA has overhauled race formats and a number of rules and regulations for events counting towards the 2017 national cross country car and motorcycle and quad racing championships.

The changes are aimed at reducing event and competitor costs in a tough economic climate.  As of 2017 all the cross country car and motorcycle and quad championships will be run from the same venue with separate routes for the cars and motorcycles/quads.

SANORA added details of the calendar venues will be published once logistical and other factors have been settled.  A key factor was to ensure venues had the infrastructure to accommodate the cross country series, and have the ability to cater for the number of competitors as well as separate routes for cars and motorcycle/quads.

“One of the important challenges facing cross country racing in a tough economic climate is putting a cap on event organisation and management costs, and making racing more affordable for competitors,” said SANORA chief executive officer Siegfried Rousseau. “The important message from meetings with Production and Special Vehicle competitors, our partners and sponsors is to cut the cost of racing without detracting from the adventure, excitement and fun factor of cross country racing.

“It is equally important that we create a sustainable platform for our current investors and potential new partners.”

The car championship will consist of five 360 to 400 kilometre events and the marathon Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Botswana. The Botswana event will retain its current format, with the five remaining races consisting of a qualifying race of between 10 to 20 kilometres and two loops of between 180 to 200 kilometres.

With the exception of the Toyota 1000 Desert Race all races will be run on two minute dust gaps. Under the new format qualifying races will start at approximately 14:00 on the Friday.

Two rounds of the Northern Regions Cross Country Championship and one round of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Regional Championship will be run in conjunction with the national series.

Rousseau added he had also met with motorcycle and quad importers and Motorsport South Africa, and event formats for the motorcycle and quad championship will remain unchanged. The championship will comprise five events between 300 and 400 kilometres and the Botswana marathon event.

The marathon event will retain the same format as 2016. The remaining five races will consist of a qualifying event of between 40 to 50 kilometres with the main race run over two heats of approximately 400 to 450 kilometres.

Rousseau said the changes to race formats and distances would also necessitate alterations to MSA Standing Supplementary Regulations.  These would be published as soon as possible and included national seedings, qualifying race category rotation, scoring, routes, time bars and other matters that stem from the amendments implemented by SANORA.

“SANORA has always had a policy of engaging with competitors, partners and stakeholders,” Rousseau said. “We have listened to numerous suggestions, we have strong structures in place and believe 2017 will see the best cross country series to date.”

The 2017 calendar is as follows:

31 March 1 April Round One
12 & 13 May Round Two
23,24,25 June Round Three TDR
28 / 29 July Round Four
15 & 16 September Round Five
27 / 28 October Round Six
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