The 2021 TGRSA 1,000 Desert Race saw the iconic marathon event move to the Northern Cape town of Upington, but the race retained its reputation as the longest and toughest race not only on the South African Rally-Raid Championship calendar but the entire African continent.

As such, the race has offered Dakar hopefuls the opportunity to win free entry to the Dakar Rally, which is arguably the most demanding motorsport event on the planet, for a number of years – and this opportunity will again be offered when the next edition of the race takes place at the end of June, 2022.

As before, the Road to Dakar, as this initiative is known, is open to all privateers who haven’t previously taken part in the Dakar Rally. The winning competitor can choose to enter the next Dakar or the following one, effectively giving the team a maximum of 18 months to prepare for the race. This means that crews who have previously won the Dakar Challenge or Road to Dakar, but haven’t been able to take up their prize, are eligible to win again in 2022.

In order to further level the playing field for competitors, the organisers of the Dakar Rally have set a rule that both the driver and navigator must be Dakar rookies, neither having taken part in the Dakar Rally before.

The 2022 Road to Dakar will include not only free entry to the Dakar Rally, but also a cash prize of 8,000 euros, which will assist the winning team in their preparations for the mammoth race. The total value of the prize is near R700,000, essentially paving the way for rookie privateers to realise their Dakar dreams. Crews hoping to follow in the footsteps of previous Road to Dakar winners need to specifically register for the challenge before the start of the TGRSA 1,000 Desert Race.

“Toyota South Africa has a long and proud history in the world of cross-country racing, both locally and on the International stage,” says Toyota SA Motors Vice-President for Marketing, Glenn Crompton. “Our Dakar-winning Hilux is proof of our commitment, and we are excited to be able to support the Road to Dakar again this year, opening the door for rookie privateers to compete in the Dakar Rally, through the flagship event on the SARRC calendar, the TGRSA 1,000 Desert Race.”

This year’s TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA 1,000 Desert Race will take place on 24-26 June, again in the area around the town Upington. The 2021 edition of the race proved that the area is more than capable of hosting the only marathon event on the SARRC calendar, and as before the race distance remains set at 1,000 km, with the event spanning over three days.

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