The South African Cross Country racing community will head for the eastern Free State and a dirty weekend on Friday.
The Harrismith 400, the penultimate round of this year’s national title chase, could play a pivotal role in deciding the various championships.
Topping the Production Vehicle category entry list will be the Toyota Gazoo Hilux crews of Giniel de Villiers/Dennis Murphy and Henk Lategan/Barry White.
Chasing them in the FIA class will be Chris Visser/Philip Herselman (Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux), Thomas Bell/Patrick McMurren (N1 Nissan Navara), Johan van Staden/Mike Lawrenson (Elf Renault Duster), Jason Venter/ Jaco van Aardt (4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) and Terence Marsh/ Lyndon Poskitt (Red-Lined Nissan Navara).
Rounding out the class will be Century Racing CR6 entries of Brian Baragwanath/Joey Evans and Mark Corbett/Juan Möhr.
Fireworks can be expected in Class T, where the battle at the front will continue between Lance Woolridge/Ward Huxtable (NWM Ford Ranger) and the Horn brothers, Johan and Werner (Malalane Toyota Hilux).
Challenging them should be teams like Gareth Woolridge/Boyd Dreyer (NWR Ford Ranger), Gary Bertholdt/Geoff Minnitt (Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux), Richard Leeke/ Danie Stassen and Dylan Venter/ Donavan Lubbe (4×4 Mega World ARB Toyota Hilux) Top-class contenders should include Jannie/Chris Visser (Toyota Hilux), David Huddy/Gerhard Schutte (Nissan Navara) and Heinie Strumpher/Henri Hugo (Toyota Hilux).
The Special Vehicle category should see a Class A fight between Stefan van Pletzen/Jaco Pieterse (Live Lesotho Chenowth), Coetzee Labuscagne/Sandra Labuschagne-Jonck (4×4 Mega World ARB Porter), John Telford/Victor Ntsekhe (Calcamite BAT Warbird), Werner Kennedy/CJ van Pletzen (Live Lesotho Porter), Andre/Ralph Voigts (Voigts Group BAT Venom), Lance Trethewey/ Adriaan Roets (LT Earthmovers BAT Venom) and Talha/ Taahir Moosajee (Dunlop Stryker).
In class P, Keith Makenete/ Ntaote Bereng (BAT Spec 2) will lock horns with Nic Goslar/Joe Lima (SA Clinics Zarco Magnum).
In the Interprovincial Side-bySide Challenge, Nico du Rand/ Henry Köhne (CanAm Maverick) will face off against Werner Mostert/Rob Green (Can-Am Maverick X3 XRS) and Ernest Roberts/Stuart Creevy (Can-Am Maverick).
On Friday competitors will take on a 40-kilometre qualifying race at 1pm to determine the starting grid for Saturday, when the action will start at 8am.
The route will consist of a 170km loop, to be repeated twice.
Race headquarters, plus the start/finish and service park will be at the Eeram Farmers Complex. Access to spectator points and the Eeram Farmers Complex will be free of charge.
Cross country enthusiasts can follow the Harrismith 400 action by downloading the RallySafe App free of charge.