Six championship events in South Africa and Botswana Long regarded as the most competitive championship of its kind in world motorsport, cross country racing has embarked on a new journey with a healthy future.The national car and motorcycle/quad championships open in Lichtenburg on March 31, and have been rebranded as the South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) with a new era dawning for cross country motor racing. The two championships will consist of six rounds in South Africa and Botswana, and will run in conjunction with each other sharing a common venue.

Last season saw SANORA take responsibility, under the auspices of Motorsport South Africa, for both championships with cars and motorcycles/quads reunited under one umbrella. The motorcycles/quads ran alongside the cars in four of the six events making up the national calendar, with the format offering stakeholders and cross country motor racing enthusiasts a bigger show with increased business opportunities and highly competitive racing.

The new season also sees SACCS enter into a partnership with Total South Africa who will be the energy service provider for the series. Total Excellium will supply fuel for both championships with Total joining the cross country family along with Ford and Toyota who are long standing partners in the car championship.

“We enjoy strong bonds with our stakeholders, and this applies not only to Ford and Toyota but also to motorcycle importers and distributers Yamaha, KTM and Husqvarna,” said SACCS chief executive officer Siegfried Rousseau.  “Cross country racing is built on solid foundations but we are entering a new chapter, and there is plenty of room for optimism where our sport is concerned.”

Rousseau added last season was an integration phase where the necessary structures to run the car and motorcycle/quad championships side by side were put in place. This season will be a consolidation phase and SACCS is excited about the potential for growth offered by the two championships.

“Race routes will be integrated to take maximum advantage of the characteristics of each venue,” Rousseau said, “and combined events will ease the financial pressure on event organisation. Where necessary, SACCS will not hesitate to embrace positive restructuring to strengthen interaction with all our stakeholders.”

Race headquarters, the start/finish and designated service park for the season opener will all be located at the show grounds on the outskirts of Lichtenburg. Public entry to these areas and spectator points along the route is free of charge.