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HomeZA LifestyleLifestyle NewsToyota Gazoo Racing Stamps Its Authority On the Vryheid 400

Toyota Gazoo Racing Stamps Its Authority On the Vryheid 400

Photo credit: TGRSA

If ever there was a demonstration of superior preparation and performance, then it was courtesy of the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa (TGRSA) team during the Vryheid 400 round of the South African Rally-Raid Championship, held in northern KwaZulu Natal.

Not content with the overall victory, TGRSA also took second and third places, to make it a clean podium sweep. Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings took top honours in their Toyota Hilux IMT EVO in a time of 6hr 43min 01sec, closely followed by Guy Botterill/Dennis Murphy and Giniel de Villiers/Elvéne Vonk and only twelve minutes separated the podium finishers.

Photo credit: TGRSA

The Vryheid route features wildly varying terrain, including farmland, rocky sections and vast open landscapes which, combined, prove a severe test of endurance for all competitors. In that light, simply completing the course is cause for celebration, let alone heading the leaderboard.

TGRSA team principal Shameer Variawa was naturally very happy with his team’s performance; “We are thrilled with the results…Our crews showed remarkable skill and determination, precisely navigating the challenging terrain. The one-two-three finish is a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire team.”

Photo credit: TGRSA

The event started with a 14km Castrol Qualifying Race on Friday 24th May, followed by the main race stages on Friday afternoon and Saturday, 25th May. The competitors tackled a 40km stage on Friday afternoon, which was followed by a 175km route, starting with one stage on Saturday morning, a 30-minute service break, and then tackling the same stage again in the afternoon.

Henk Lategan; “It was a challenging race, but we pushed hard and managed to secure the win. The team did an incredible job preparing the car, and we are thrilled with the result.”

Photo credit: TGRSA

The next event on the calendar is the Toyota Gazoo Racing Safari 1000, on the 21-23 June, in the bush veld area around Thabazimbi in Limpopo province.

Harry Fisher
Harry Fisher
From an early age, Harry was obsessed with anything that moved under its own steam, particularly cars and motorcycles. For reasons of a financial nature, his stable of fine automobiles failed to materialise, at which point he realised that motorcycles were far more affordable and so he started his two wheel career, owning, riding, building and fixing many classic bikes. Then came the day when he converted his love of bikes into a living, writing, filming and talking about them endlessly. The passion for four wheels never left him, however, and he has now converted his writing skills into singing the praises of cars in all their infinite variety. Bikes are still his favourite means of getting around but the car in its modern form is reaching a level of perfection that is hard to resist. And they're warmer in winter....