Competitors entered in this year’s Absa Off Road Championship can expect a number of changes to event formats with the most important ones being Prologue distances and a compulsory 15-minute de-control at the designated service point.

The minimum Prologue distance has been increased to 40km and organisers have been requested to make the routes tougher in an attempt to increase the gaps between competitors.

“We are reluctant to re-introduce the one or two minute starting interval or dust gap as it means spectators, teams and the media never know who is in the lead whereas with the present format, where competitors start according the times set in the Prologue, the crew’s position on the road is its actual race position,” said MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission President, Piet Swanepoel. “Last year the gaps between competitors were too small due to the shorter Prologues so by increasing the distance we hope to remedy the problem.”

The compulsory stop at the designated service points is designed to provide competitors with an opportunity to relax, albeit briefly, replace onboard camera batteries and tapes and allow the media to conduct interviews in a controlled environment.

“The MSA Off Road Car Racing Commission has invested in six of the latest digital clocks to ensure that time keeping is accurate,” added Swanepoel.