MAXIMUM POINTS FOR TGRSA’S BOTTERILL / VACY-LYLE AS TGRSA STARLET SHINES IN SECUNDA
- Victory on Round 3 and 4 of 2022 SA National Rally Championship
- Maiden win for SA-built Toyota Starlet rally car
- Maximum points for Botterill / Vacy-Lyle
Former multiple South African National Rally Champions (SANRC), Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle, brought their proudly South African built and developed Toyota Starlet rally car home in first place during both rounds of the 2022 championship, which was contested in the area surrounding the Mpumalanga town of Secunda on 10 and 11 June.
“We are overjoyed to secure the Starlet’s first win,” said a jubilant Botterill after reaching the final parc ferme on Saturday afternoon. “The car is extremely fast, and now that we’re sorting out the teething problems that held us back on the opening event, we clearly have a car that is capable of winning the championship. In a way, it is a relief for the team to get a first win under the belt. We’ve spent so many long days and nights in the workshop, and this is a just reward for all that effort.”
Round 3 of the rally took place on the Friday, and featured six competitive stages. Botterill opened his account as the first car on the road, and recorded fastest time on the stage, opening a gap of 14.1sec to the crew behind him. Stage 2 saw the TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA crew comfortably maintain their lead, before a broken turbo in Stage 3 caused some headaches for the team.
“We didn’t lose much time in the stage itself,” explained Botterill, “but it took some time to swop out the turbo unit during service. As such, we were just a bit late leaving the service park and incurred a penalty of 1min 20sec as a result. That was just the incentive we needed, and I decided to unleash the full potential of the car for the final three stages.”
The crew fought back with vigour, going fastest in all three closing stages. After Stage 4 their deficit was down to 41.6sec; and after Stage 5 they were in third, 13.2sec behind the lead. They had to dig deep in the final stage, but leapfrogged into first position, winning the rally by 2.8sec.
Round 4 of the rally followed on the Saturday, and brought a much calmer event for the TGRSA crew. With no technical problems, they managed to open an early lead during Stage 1, and maintained this throughout the day to take a second consecutive victory.