The Lesotho Sun 400, round five of the Absa Off Road Championship, will be based out of Maseru and will be jointly organised by the Lesotho Off Road Association and members of the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission Exco with Exco appointee and multiple Roof of Africa Rally winner Ashley Thorn, who is based in Lesotho, involved in the route planning.

The event format will differ from existing events in that there will be a 4km Special Stage at the Maseru Race Course instead of the traditional Round the Houses race through the streets of Maseru, which is now only accessible to motorcycles and quads.

Competitors will come under starters orders at the Maseru Race Course at 12h00 and then proceed to Roma where they will be required to complete a 40km Prologue to determine starting positions for the main event, which starts in Matsieng at 07h00 on Saturday.

The main event will be based out of Matsieng, approximately 40km South East of Maseru, and will comprise two laps of a 170km route that includes four major river crossings, a number of streams, rocky outcrops, Don’t Cough Pass, Spook Pass, Cannibal Pass, Poepanyane Pass, Maama Pass and fast sections on the plateaus and in the Makhaleng River valley.

“The route will certainly not be fast and, in true Roof of Africa Rally tradition, it will be a test of man and machine,” said Ashley Thorn, who was appointed by the MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission to plot the route. “I used my aging Toyota Land Cruiser station wagon to lay out the route and at no stage did I encounter any problems.”