Six times Toyota 1000 Desert Race winner Apie Reyneke will make a one-off appearance in this year’s event, which is the third round of the Absa Off Road Championship that takes place in Botswana from June 11-13.
The 47-year old Tosca farmer will share driving duties with Botswana resident Shumie van Vuuren in the Class D Toyota Land Cruiser in which van Vuuren won the Class D drivers championship in 2001 and in which he and Carlos de Abreu won Class D on last year’s Toyota 1000 Desert Race.
“Shumie has been nagging me for some time to share the drive with him, which I was not too keen to do initially, but his power of persuasion got the better of me and I finally agreed to come out of retirement for a race I have won on six occasions,” said Reyneke. “I’m hard at work preparing the Land Cruiser and am now actually looking forward to the race, which has always been one of my favourite off road events.”
“Shumie and I will be sharing driving duties so navigating is going to be a totally new experience for me and I just hope that I will be up to the job,” added Reyneke. “I know we will be strong contenders in Class D but the odds of an overall victory are rather slim against the more powerful and sophisticated Class T entries.”
Reyneke and van Vuuren are a formidable combination and will pose a threat to the rest of the Class D crews on an event in which they have both excelled over the years and are capable of pulling off a surprise overall win if the more fancied Class T crews pick up problems.