On 15 & 16 March 2019 the tranquility that usually surrounds the town of Dullstroom was interrupted by the sounds of purpose-built off-road racing vehicles starting their 2019 SACCS campaign for the first race of the season-the Mpumalanga 400, which won the award for “Event of the Year” last year.

The MP400, an event initiated and proudly sponsored by Malalane Toyota & the first event on the South African Cross Country Series Calendar kicked off the 2019 racing season for the series spectacularly.

An official opening highlighting Malalane Toyota’s #ThumaMina initative whereby 200 pairs of school shoes were donated to the local Dullstroom Primary School started the event off in good spirits where the Mayoral Representative- Seun Mthiyane waved the flag on the first team to set off on the qualifying race.

The 45km qualifying race got proceedings on the way followed by the main race that took place on T 16th March which took competitors on a 180km racing loop which needed to be completed twice.

For Team Malalane Toyota & the Horn Brothers, the MP400 was bittersweet. After a qualifying race win Team #MalalaneToyota held an overnight lead and started the main race on Saturday 1st in class T and 3rd out the blocks. It was however soon clear that the #MP400 was not a race to under estimate. With narrow sections, hidden water crossings, lurking rocks and little margin for error the #HornBrothers had a tough race ahead of them.

All was going according to plan when the team lost navigation due to GPS signal problems affecting the trip meters in the car, unfortunately this lead to the team getting lost in the plantations by overshooting turns, this wasted valuable time. “We wrong slotted a few times, overshot turnoffs and lost a lot of time because of this” said Werner Horn”. In the end team Malalane Toyota finished in 4th place, narrowly missing a spot on the podium, yet still walking away with various awards for the team.

Although the MP400 was not an ideal start to the season for the Horn Brothers, they still put points on the board regardless and #Gifpyl, the trusty Malalane Toyota Racing Hilux continues to look good and has gone into round 2 at the Berg 400 in Winterton, a new event on the #SACCS calendar looking for redemption. More on that story soon.

The Mpumalanga 400, hosted by Malalane Toyota, was a roaring success, with spectators showing up in large numbers. The large boost to tourism and the economy already has the #Dullstroom community looking forward to hosting the event again next season.

#MalalaneToyota would like to thank all involved that helped make this event such a great success, with a special thanks to #SACCS, Total Quarts and the local Mpumalanga dealers who all came together to make the #MP400 dream come alive.