Unusually tall grass could make navigation something of a challenge.

The first round of the SA Cross Country championship, the RFS 400 on 1 and 2 March, will give competitors a daunting start to what promises to be a highly competitive season.

The race will again be based at the Tarlton International Raceway near Krugersdorp with the route taking competitors through the Magaliesburg area.

South African National Off-Road Racing Association route director Adri Roets said: "It hasn't been easy finding new territory to make the route more interesting, but we approached a number of new landowners for permission to use their properties, and they were more than helpful.

"Thanks to their help about 60 percent of the route runs through new sections and there is a good spread of varying terrain."


Roets added that good rains in the area in recent months had led to unusually tall grass, which would make it difficult for competitors to follow the route, and navigators would have their work cut out.

The route will be made up of two loops of 160km with a compulsory 15-minute stop in the designated service area at Tarlton International Raceway at the end of the first lap.

The prologue to determine grid positions will start at 12.30pm on Friday 1 March and will be run over a 55km route that takes in sections of the race course. The race proper will start at 8.30am on March 2.

Race headquarters and the designated service area will be at Tarlton International Raceway with public entry to these areas free of charge. There will also be free public entry to a number of spectator points along the route, all within easy reach of the Tarlton complex.