Since 2015 the Toyota Gazoo team has had an iron grip on the marathon Toyota 1000km Desert Race. Having blown away most of their competition including entries from Ford and Nissan, many will expect the Toyota Gazoo team to run away with the title when the 2017 edition of the 1000 km Desert Race commences in Jwaneng mining town this weekend. However, Toyota will have their hands full in the elite FIA class when they go head to head with a new entry in the form of the Elf Renault Duster team.
With Toyota rivals Nissan competing in another off Road event in China, it will be the Elf Duster that will be keeping the Toyota’s in check. However, the dominant Toyota Gazoo team will bring two entries in the FIA class with pilots like South African champions Leeroy Poulter/Rob Howie and Giniel de Villiers/Dennis Murphy vying for victory once again.
Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson will pilot the fire breathing Renault. However, it is the Toyota team that will be coming with a massive advantage given their experience in the Desert Race. Local motorsport enthusiasts will also be treated to some celebrity, as they will have a chance to see former Dakar winner Giniel de Villiers in action. De Villiers is best known for winning the 2009 Dakar Rally with team VW.
The Desert Race, which is the third event of the South African Cross Country series starts with a qualifying race on Friday and concludes on Sunday. Double points will be up for grabs in the weekend marathon race scheduled for Jwaneng and surrounding areas. Class T, for vehicles over four litres and with solid axle rear suspension, is another kettle of fish and this is where most of the action will unfold.
The category has had two different winners on the first two events and only six points separate the first three crews. Meanwhile Class S for cars up to four litres with solid axle rear suspension will also feature fast and furious action. Former South African champion Jannie Visser, with son Chris doing the co-driving in a Toyota Hilux, will revel in the conditions and will be hard to beat.
The qualifying race will start at 13:00 on June 23 and the race at 08:15 on June 24 and 25. Public access to spectator points is free of charge with enthusiasts able to follow the race via the RallySafe app. RallySafe is downloaded free of charge and is compatible with iOS and Android operating systems. The app is user friendly and provides maps, split times and results.
New GU Stadium Excites Mochudi based soccer rivals
Officials at Mochudi village’s biggest soccer clubs Mochudi Centre Chiefs and Mochudi Rovers are excited at the news that their district will soon have a state of the art football stadium after property and construction magnate Nicholas Zackhem announced the erection of the facility for Gaborone United.
Zackhem, owner and director of Zac Construction, revealed recently to this publication that a football stadium would be built in Bokaa village at a cost of P70 million, with the hope that all phases will be completed by 2025.
Edwin Mothulatshipi, Chairman of Centre Chiefs, as well as Mochudi Rovers’ Chairman Sugar Molefhe both spoke to The Midweek Sun on what the construction of the stadium means for their respective clubs. Both admit they would jump at the opportunity to use the facility for their official matches, and based on what Gaborone United financier Zackhem has shared with The Midweek Sun, it will not be difficult for all the other clubs based around the area to use the facility. TO READ THE COMPLETE STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S EDITION (11 August 2021) OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.
Local hockey body to incur massive financial loss post Covid-19
Botswana Hockey Association (BHA) President Unaswi Matebu has confessed that her Association will suffer major financial losses post the Covid 19 pandemic that has left the sport fraternity at a standstill.
Matebu recently told this publication that the current situation does not only have tremendous effects on their schedule, but also there will be financial implications more especially that the association does not have full time sponsors.
“We had to cancel most of our calendar activities such as tournaments, national team trainings, Board meetings, and club activities since mid-March this year, all of which have cost us money to prepare for,” Matebu remarked in an interview.
Additionally she said the planning phase for their 5-year Development Plan which was supposed to be launched in June will have to be postponed. Also there are national competitions that were postponed till further notice despite them having already set up teams and having already started preparing.
“Our Indoor Hockey Senior National teams had already started preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations – a World Cup qualifier – that was supposed to be held in June, 2020, in South Africa. Our Field Hockey Senior National teams had already begun preparations for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers that were supposed to be held in August, 2020 in Zimbabwe,” she added.
Moreover, it was going to be an excessively detailed and decorated year for local hockey governing body, with the Youth National teams having already began preparations for the Africa Youth Championships that were billed for September, 2020, in Ghana.
“Player conditioning has obviously been affected because athletes are currently not training as planned and what we had achieved so far might go to waste. We are only hoping that the Continental and World Hockey governing bodies will give us enough time to prepare for these competitions post the pandemic.”