The first round of the Cooper Tyres Dust Series Gauteng kicked off this weekend with a full field of competitors from all over Gauteng. This would be the first event held at the brand-new Sun Park venue at Carnival City on the East Rand. Excited competitors arrived as early as 06:30 on Saturday morning, getting in line for registration and getting ready for the day. The event kicked off with a 5,6 km timed section within the Carnival City premises.
The track, that was laid out by Willie Prinsloo, would test the contestant’s ability to navigate a trial with route notes, concentrating on maintaining a safe average speed during the route and finishing in a specific time. Next, they were challenged to negotiate a polygon shape, firstly by doing it in reverse and then by doing it while blindfolded and with only the instructions of their co-driver. The main cross country navigation section followed with competitors having to find their way from Carnival City to Heidelberg. On their way, they had to stop at 14 checkpoints of which they had GPS coordinates only. The only way they could get the next coordinate was by way of a QR code which they had to scan at each checkpoint. With that information and a couple of route notes at hand they could then set off.
The last section was a 10,5 km mountain trail which proved quite challenging for all vehicles. It was a full day of adventure, with competitors arriving back at Carnival City Sun Park at 17:00. The beautiful beach bar and the burning bonfire was the perfect setting for the prize giving. The laurels went to the father and son team of Charles and Justin Pearce in a Land Rover Discovery II. In second place was husband and wife team Johan and Charné Havenga in their ever-popular Suzuki Jimny, followed by another husband and wife team, Godfred and Doret Nepgen in a Mitsubishi Pajero.
Cooper Dust Series: Gauteng organisers, Willie Prinsloo and Thinus Rautenbach were absolutely delighted with the number of entries and the extremely positive feedback from the competitors who are already calling to enter the next event. Now that the ice have been broken, the next event will hopefully see many more guys getting of their couches and getting their dust on.