The highly competitive and thrilling South African Cross Country Series (SACCS) came to an action-packed conclusion with the seventh and final race of the 2021 series rounding off this November. The TGRSA Parys 400 took place on November 20th, 2021, in the small but vibrant city of Parys along the banks of the Vaal River in the Free State.

The SACCS is a national championship considered the most professional and competitive cross country motor racing events of its kind in the world. It includes seven racing events each year and caters for Production and Special Vehicles. SACS is run in accordance with FIA and MSA (Motorsport South Africa) guidelines.

Series Highlights

The highly anticipated Parys 400 was a one-day event that put drivers under pressure right from the start. Boela Botes and Jay Pretorius (King Price Xtreme Porter) made a riveting finish despite colliding with a fence during the first two loops when their brakes failed. Luckily they managed to get the brakes fixed and won the Special Vehicles category, after a clean second loop in a time of 04:44:25.

The SACCS 2021 series began with the Mpumalanga 400 in Dullstroom on 26 and 27 March and was a tough start with rocky, treacherous and muddy conditions. Audiences were supportive of young debut racers Kent Rutherford and Kabelo Mokanyane. However, the Ford Castrol Cross Country Team Ranger led by Lance Woolridge and Elvéne Vonk made history by winning the event overall. They also scored full marks in the FIA Class of the Production Vehicle Championship.

Round 2 of the SACCS national championship series was the Sugarbelt 400 in Eston, KwaZulu Natal, and Round 3 was the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa 1000 in Upington Northern Cape. Unfortunately in this one, the desert took its toll on the Can-Am Maverick SxS vehicles and many were disappointed.

After the Road to Dakar event in June, it was back to rounds 4 and 5 of the series, which took the form of the 4×4 Mega World 400 and Nampo 400 in the scenic Free State in the first week of October. Lance Trethewey and Adriaan Roets (King Price Xtreme BAT) scored their 5th consecutive victory at this point, opening up the gap to secure them the national championship title.

The penultimate round 6, the Vryburg 400, took place in North West Province from 29 to 30 October. Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings (Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux) were victorious in the Production Vehicle and FIA Class Championship titles with a time of 04:53:07.

The Road Ahead

Now that the final chequered flag was waved, teams can relax and recoup from the drama and excitement of high-speed performance, tough terrains, punctures, brake failures, tears and thrills. Many drivers use the South African Cross Country Series as preparation for the exhilarating Dakar Rally, so look out for the next big race!