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Toyota Racing Team Triumphs At Safari 1000

TOYOTA 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.

The event, which replaced the TGRSA 1000 Desert Race, provided a true test of endurance with its extreme distance and three-day race format.

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 exceptional skill and resilience. By the end of the race, they had built a significant time gap over their nearest competitor.

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.

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.”

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.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa remains committed to excellence and looks forward to continuing their success in the upcoming rounds of the championship. 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.

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