Unlike previous Nissan Sugarbelt 400 routes, where competitors in one of the most popular rounds of the AbsaOff Road Championship, which gets underway on 18 March, were required to cross a river 11 times, this year’s route has been changed quite dramatically and no longer includes the river crossings.

“Snorkels will no longer be required,” joked Clerk of the Course, Rex Boreham. “The route is very different to that of previous years, the river crossings have been excluded and the Natal Off Road Motor Club has placed great emphasis on making the event as spectator friendly as possible.”

“Spectators will be able to enjoy the action and excitement of the start at the Beaumont Eston Farmers Club and then venture out to 18 spectator points along the route before returning to the finish at the Club.”

The Nissan Sugarbelt 400 gets underway at 12h30 on Friday, 18 March with a 33km Prologue to determine the starting order for Saturday’s main event. The Prologue will start 6km from the Club on the R603 and finish at the Club.

The route for the main event, which starts at 08h00 on Saturday, 19 March, will again be a figure of eight with a 91km East and an 119km West loop, which competitors in the Production Vehicle category and Special Vehicle category will be required to complete twice.

The East loop will be fairly fast and comprise varied terrain in the sugarcane fields while the West loop will be tighter and feature an interesting mix of terrain in the sugarcane fields, open grassland and timber plantations.

“With the event being run in March, as opposed to the traditional April date, the prospects of rain are good, which will certainly keep the dust to a minimum and make for better visibility and safer racing,” added Boreham.

Spectator Guides will be available at the Club on Friday and Saturday.

Original article from Car