Toyota Gazoo Racing set to take on round 1 of the 2022 SA Rally-Raid Championship in Mpumalanga

The TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA squad, fresh from its recent victory at the Dakar Rally, are set to take on the 2022 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC). The series, formerly known as the South African Cross-Country Series (SACCS) has been rebranded in line with the FIA’s global naming strategy, will see no fewer than four factory-entered cars this season, with former rally champions, Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle, joining the squad for the year.

The team will be fielding its Dakar-Winning GR DKR Hilux T1+, and the opening round of the championship, the Mpumalanga 400, will see a mix of old and new cars from the team, though they all share identical specifications.

“We’ve had to scramble a bit to get everything in place for this first race,” says TGRSA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “One of the cars only arrived back from Saudi Arabia last week, and we’re still waiting for several shipping containers to return to South Africa. We also had to build a complete new car, as Nasser’s car from Dakar has gone off to take part in the World Rally-Raid Championship (W2RC). As such, we’ve not been able to prepare in our usual fashion, but we’ve done the best we can, and we’re looking forward to getting the season under way.”

Defending champions Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings will be back in action for the team, alongside Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy. Shameer Variawa will again do duty with Danie Stassen reading the notes; with Botterill/Vacy-Lyle completing the line-up.

With the truncated preparation period, the team has had to shoe-horn a lot of work into a short period of time. Despite this, they have also benefitted from a test conducted by Nasser Al-Attiyah and co-driver Mathieu Baumel during the recent Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge, which focussed on the further development of the Toyota DKR Hilux T1+ suspension system.

“We know how competitive the SARRC can be, so we’re not taking anything for granted,” concludes Hall. “There’s more competition than ever before this year, and even though we are excited for the season to start, we are pushing very hard to ensure that we are well-prepared for the upcoming season-opener.”

The Mpumalanga 400 will again take place in the area around the town of Dullstroom, with a qualifying race of 100km taking place on Friday, March 25th. Two race loops of 125km each will follow on Saturday, March 26th. The Designated Service Park (DSP) will again be based around the Dullstroom Village Green, and fans who are unable to attend the event can follow the action online, using the Rallysafe App, which is available for both iOS and Android devices.