Dust Challenge Series and Tankwa Dust Rally – rules and information
- The Dust Challenge Series will consist of four (4) different events. These events will be deemed qualifiers for the Grand Final or Tankwa Dust Challenge, but winners and placings will still be published and announced at each event.
- For each event, the competitors will be placed on a scale with the last placed getting one (1) point on the log, and first placed getting forty (40) points on the log. The first three placed competitors will automatically qualify for the Grand Final.
- If an event is won by a person who has already qualified, the next best finisher will gain the qualification spot for the final. At the conclusion of the fourth event, the next three best placed competitors on the overall log will gain qualification to the final, giving a final field of 15 vehicles.
- In the event of a tie on the overall log, the competitor with the highest placed finish at any of the events will continue to the final. If it is still a tie, the competitor with the most completed obstacles will continue to the final. If it is still a tie, a coin flip will decide who goes to the final.
- The four qualifying events will be:
- Midnight Challenge:
This event will take place in the Cape Town area. Competitors will meet up and register at a location to be disclosed upon which they will be given their sticker pack with the exception of their competitor’s number. A prologue event will be held at the location to determine the competitor’s number and the order in which they will be set off on the trail. The trail will be driven after sun down and competitors will be set off one by one with a 3 minute gap between competitors to ensure that they drive in their ‘own darkness’ with only the lights on their vehicle lighting the way. On the trail there will be a number of checkpoints. At these checkpoints a marshall will explain the obstacle and the options available to the competitors. At the completion of the first trail, competitors will have a transit stage to the next trail where they will once again be set off to complete the trail in the dark. Upon completion of the final trail by all competitors, scores will be tallied and winners will be announced.
- Sand Challenge:
Competitors will meet up and register at the main gate of Atlantis Dunes. A prologue event will be held at the location to determine the competitor’s number and the order in which they will be set off on the trail. Each team will receive a set of ten (10) coordinates in a random order of ten (10) locations in the dunes. Each location will be an obstacle that a competitor has one opportunity of completing. After completion/failure to complete the obstacle, the competitor must set off towards any of the remaining obstacles that they have not yet been to. The order in which obstacles are completed does not matter. However, if a competitor arrives at a certain location for the second time, penalty points will be deducted from their final score. Competitors must have a GPS in the vehicle and at the start, the distance on the GPS will be reset so that upon return to the finish line, the total distance travelled can be accurately noted from the GPS. Notes on the time and other pertinent information will also be taken when the GPS-distance is reset, to prevent another reset in the dunes. The odometer of the vehicle will also be noted to confirm that no tampering with the GPS has taken place. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that the GPS is powered on at all times and in working order.
- Weekend Challenge:
Once again competitors will meet up at a location to be disclosed and a prologue will be held to determine starting order. This is an overnight challenge where competitors must be entirely self-sufficient for the overnight stay, as it will be at a location without any amenities or ablutions. Competitors will need to carry all their required gear along in their vehicle, as trailers will not be allowed. Competitors will set off staggered from each other and each team will receive their first checkpoint 1 minute before departure. Upon reaching the first checkpoint, competitors will receive their second checkpoint and so forth. At the checkpoints the time of arrival will be noted as well as the distance travelled. Competitors must have a GPS in the vehicle and at the start, the distance on the GPS will be reset so that upon return to the finish line, the total distance travelled can be accurately noted from the GPS. Notes on the time and other pertinent information will also be taken when the GPS-distance is reset, to prevent another reset along the route. The odometer of the vehicle will also be noted to confirm that no tampering with the GPS has taken place. It is the responsibility of the competitor to ensure that the GPS is powered on at all times and in working order. The checkpoints will be on a number of different trails, and points will be awarded for obstacles on the trail and the total distance travelled, as well as the performance on the regularity raid stages. For this event, families are welcome.
- Mud and Grime Challenge:
For this challenge, there will be a number of obstacles and challenges on a muddy trail/track. Competitors will meet up and a prologue will be held to determine starting order. Each obstacle will have a start and finish gate and the way in which a competitor completes the obstacle will count points – with points being deducted for failure to complete the obstacle, as well as getting stuck in the obstacle. Points will not be deducted for stopping, but reversing or rolling back will cost points. Competitors will be free to find their own line through an obstacle, but be aware that reckless driving as judged by the marshall and clerk of the course will be penalised. The aim is to find a way over and through an obstacle that is safe for the vehicle, competitors and bystanders. Total distance travelled and time will not be taken into consideration for this event.
- Midnight Challenge:
- The grand final:
The Grand Final will take place in the Tankwa Karoo over a weekend, starting on the Friday morning. Competitors must be at the venue on the Thursday-evening for registration. The prologue to determine starting order will be held on Friday-morning. The final will be two legs. First will be a trail drive from the venue, heading out on a 4×4 trail into the Cederberg Mountains and returning on another trail to the venue. On the trail there will be checkpoints with obstacles and points will be awarded for successful completion of the obstacles and time taken on the regularity stages between checkpoints. The second leg of the event will be a regularity raid stage on a circular route starting and finishing at the same place. This event will be ran with a target time for each stage and points will be awarded accordingly. A combination of the points scored on the two legs will be used to determine the ultimate winner. No points scored in qualifying events will count towards this scoring so all teams at the final will start on even footing.
- At the final which will be known as the Tankwa Dust Rally, there will also be two other supplementary events which will run alongside the Tankwa Dust Challenge. They will be the Tankwa Dust Extreme and the Tankwa Dust Classic.
- The Tankwa Dust Extreme is a specialised off-road event that will run over multiple days culminating with a final regularity raid stage coinciding with the Tankwa Dust Challenge regularity raid stage. The other stages leading up to this final will be determined and published at the event.
- The Tankwa Dust Classic is a fun-event with the aim of giving owners of classic vehicles (older than 1980) another chance to use them for a weekend-away. This event is specifically aimed at Bull Run competitors and people that took part in similar events. These vehicles will also take part in the regularity raid stage on the final day of the Tankwa Dust Rally.
- The main purpose of the event and series is to create a different type of challenge for competitors. Vehicles will not drive through gates where the size of the vehicle will count against it. If and when gates are used, it will only be to guide competitors. If, however, a competitor misses a gate or drives over it, he will lose half (50%) the points possible for the obstacle.
- The obstacles scoring will be done on an all or nothing basis. If a competitor completes the obstacle, he/she will get full points. If the competitor does not complete the obstacle on their first try, they will not be awarded any points.
- Almost all events will be run on a regularity raid model. Distances and maximum legal speed (depending on the terrain) will be given and a target time for each stage between two checkpoints. If a competitor reaches the following checkpoint faster than the target time, he/she will lose points on a sliding scale. If he/she arrives slower than the target time, he/she will also lose points on a sliding scale, but at a less severe rate. The aim is to penalise fast/reckless driving more than slow/careful driving. However, the target times will be reachable at a safe constant speed, and tardiness will thus be penalised.
- Where the checkpoints are not used in a specific sequence, i.e, they can be attended in any order, distance will be used to replace time and the person with the shortest distance overall will receive top honours.
- If at any point during the event a recovery is required by any competitor, if a marshall is at hand to assist, other competitors are required to continue with their trail to prevent a bottleneck and losing their own time. If a marshall is not at hand, a fellow competitor may assist in the recovery. Where applicable, time for that stage for competitors involved will not be penalised as good sportsmanship is encouraged.
- Scoring will be done and completed on the day of the event and no correspondence will be entered into. All scores will be audited to ensure a free and fair competition. If a competitor would like to lodge a complaint, it can be done in writing within 48 hours of the completion of the event along with a R1000 refundable deposit. Only in extreme circumstances where wrongdoing can be proven beyond a doubt will scores be altered and the deposit returned. However, if wrongdoing can’t be proven, the deposit will be forfeited.
- Scoring of events is designed to take the human element and chances for mistakes out of it. All scoring will be quantifiable and will not be open to interpretation of marshalls or crew.
- As with any event that involves vehicles and people, there is an element of danger. It is at all times the responsibility of the competitor to keep him/herself safe and to ensure the safety of those in and around the vehicle.
- Medical staff will be at all events and will be available for all competitors and spectators. The cost of treatment is however for the patient, and not the organiser.
- Indemnities and disclaimers for each trail used, as well as for the organisers of the event will be provided and must be signed by all participants and spectators. Without a signed indemnity no driver or co-driver will be allowed on any trail or any part of the event.
- It is the aim of the organisers to create and host an event that will not damage or break vehicles. With reasonable and safe driving techniques all vehicles which are deemed fit to enter should complete all challenges and obstacles without damage. However, reckless driving and unsafe behaviour from drivers and co-drivers that do result in damage or injury, will not be the responsibility of the organisers, but that of the party which caused it.
Dust Challenge Series and Tankwa Dust Challenge
- All vehicles wishing to take part in the Dust Challenge Series and the subsequent final will at least need to be:
- 4×4 with low range
- Sufficient ground clearance to take on and conquer anything up to a grade 4 4×4-trail without damage to the vehicle.
- Diff-locks are not required, but strongly recommended
- Equipped with a working GPS – preferably off-road capable as the navigation that will be done will require it
- Proper recovery points at the front and rear
- A spare wheel and necessary equipment to change it must also be in place
- Must have a fuel capacity/fuel range of at least 500 km.
- All vehicles that take part should have a recovery kit that contains the following:
- Rated recovery strap
- Four (4) rated bow shackles
- Gloves and high-vis vest for the driver and co-driver
- Fire extinguisher safely mounted in vehicle
- Basic first aid kit
- At least two (2) litres of drinking water per participant
- If a winch is fitted – recovery blanket and tree-trunk protector
- The name of the driver and co-driver should be applied with stickers or sign writing on the side of the vehicle where the person will be sitting. This should also include blood type.
- For a participant to take part in an event, the organisers require their medical aid details to be provided in case of emergency. A next of kin contact should also be provided.