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Desert race spectacle returns 1.

The biting winter breeze will never deter thousands of motorsport fanatics to travel to the mining town of Jwaneng and experience the adrenalin pumping action of the annual Toyota Desert Race, popularly known as Mantshwabisi.

Multitudes of curious spectators are expected to travel to Jwaneng and its surrounding areas and fill up spectator points passing through the villages of Sese, Tshono, Lubutse, Lefhoko, Maokane, Seherelela and Tsonyane amongst others which annually provide perfect viewpoints. Once again bitter rivalry and plenty of talent is on offer in the FIA, class T and P categories where a lot of attention in the spectators is.

It is an open secret that the Toyota team has garnered much support locally since the days of the legendary driver Duncan Vos.

The team was last beaten in the race in 2011 when veteran driver, Chris Visser and his co-driver Japie Badenhorst won that dramatic race for the Ford team.

Since then Toyota has had an upper race through the exploits of Vos, crowd favourite Anthony Taylor, Leeroy Poulter and new kid of the block Giniel De Villiers.

Veteran driver, Visser will add excitement to the already packed line-up in his Toyota Hilux Atlas Copco team together with co-driver Phillip Herselman.

Another interesting contender is the Elf Renault Duster team of the experienced Johan Van Staden and Mike Lawrenson.

The FIA class boasts 10 cars with a lot of horsepower and some spectators might put their money on the fire-breathing Red Lined Motorsport team on their fire-breathing Nissan Navara.

Although it has gained little popularity over the years, the talent and massive experience of Terrence Marsh and Shameer Variawa might trouble the Toyota teams at this year's race. Variawa is a three times sand master champion. The special vehicle category also has some exciting competition lined up in the likes of local driver, Keith du Toit and his co-driver Carolyn Swan in their BAT viper.

In an interview yesterday, Botswana Tourism Organisation's (BTO) communications manager, Keitumetse Setlang confirmed that it was all systems go for the country's flagship motorsport event. She said they engaged the private sector in their entertainment and campsite logistics.

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Publication:Botswana Daily News (Gaborone, Botswana)
Date:Jun 21, 2018
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