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TGRSA Safari 1000: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing Take The Win

Photo credit: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA) has delivered an outstanding performance at the TGRSA Safari 1000, the third round of the 2024 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC), held from 21-23 June in the Thabazimbi area of the Limpopo Province.

Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings dominated the race from start to finish, securing victory with a final time of 12hr 17min 39sec. They posted the fastest time in the 14-kilometre Castrol Qualifying Race and maintained their lead throughout the stages, showcasing skill and resilience. By the end of the race, they had built a significant time gap over their nearest competitor.

Photo credit: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa

Saood Variawa and Francois Cazalet displayed good pace while running, but their race was cut short on Saturday when they broke the suspension of their car after hitting a ditch in a fast section of the route. The thick dust made visibility difficult, leading to the incident. Unfortunately, they were unable to re-start the race on Sunday.

Guy Botterill and Dennis Murphy initially performed extremely well, but a technical problem with the throttle body on their car forced them to stop. They struggled to get going again but eventually completed Saturday’s stages, finishing in 20th position. On Sunday, they restarted and drove a solid race, providing assistance to their teammates Giniel de Villiers and Elvéne Vonk when needed.

Photo credit: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa

Giniel de Villiers and Elvéne Vonk were in a solid position starting the final day, running in third place for most of Sunday. However, a broken bolt on the lower control arm of their car caused technical challenges. With the assistance of Guy and Dennis, they managed to complete the race, finishing in 14th place overall.

TGRSA Team Principal Shameer Variawa commented, “We are thrilled with the victory achieved by Henk and Brett. Despite the challenges faced by our other crews, the team’s determination and teamwork shone through. We’re proud of the effort put in by everyone.”

Photo credit: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa

Toyota was also awarded the Manufacturer Award thanks to strong performances by some of the privateers who campaign Toyotas in the SARRC, further solidifying the brand’s reputation for reliability and performance.

The next event on the SARRC calendar is a double-header, taking place in Parys from 16-17 August 2024. This event promises challenging terrain and greater complexity, thanks to the double-header structure of the weekend, adding excitement and unpredictability to the championship.

Photo credit: TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa
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....