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28 Sep’ 2021

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA is primed for action at this weekend’s 4x4 Mega World 400 in Bothaville, which constitutes rounds 4 and 5 of the 2021 championship. The double-header will see crews complete a qualifying session and full race on Friday; with a new route, qualifying session and race following on Saturday.

“This is a big race for us,” says TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “We have many interesting factors that will play a role this weekend, but we still have our eyes firmly on the championship, despite also using the opportunity to further prepare for January’s Dakar Rally.”

The team narrowly lost out on victory at the Toyota 1,000 Desert Race, which took place near Upington in June this year. However, Giniel de Villiers still tops the standings in the Production Vehicle category, while navigator Dennis Murphy finds himself in second place in the standings.

“Despite leading the title chase, Giniel has decided to focus on the development of our new GR DKR Hilux T1+, which we’ll be running at Dakar,” continues Hall. “This means that he won’t be able to score points with the new car, as it will be racing under special permission from the organisers, rather than a regular entry.”

As such, the focus for the title chase shifts to Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, who will again be fielding a turbo-charged V6-powered version of the team’s Class FIA Toyota Hilux, as he did at the Desert Race. The team has built a new car for the 4x4 Mega World 400, and though it is capable of running the new T1+ specifications, it will be set up to conform to the SACCS’ Class FIA regulations in order to allow Lategan/Cummings to score championship points.

“Henk is only four points behind Giniel in the overall standings, and a single point behind Ford’s Lance Woolridge, so he is very much in touch with the title chase,” says Hall.

The team’s third Toyota Hilux, running the tried and tested V8 engine, will be in the hands of Shameer Variawa and navigator Danie Stassen, who will also be competing together at Dakar 2022. The pair showed good pace at the Desert Race, and will be aiming to cement their relationship in the car, and build experience together in preparation for the Dakar Rally.

Class T will see brothers Johan and Werner Horn attempt to close the gap to class leader Malcolm Kock (Ford), after the Malalane Toyota crew failed to score meaningful points in Upington. The brothers started the season with two victories on the trot, and even though they now find themselves in third place in the standings, more than half of the season remains, with four scoring opportunities in hand.

“This weekend is a big, tough race for all the crews,” concludes Hall. “We are recently back from a very tough Dakar test session in Namibia, but despite the hectic schedule, the lads are ready for the weekend, and we are hoping to not only make progress with our Dakar preparations, but also score maximum points in the championship fight.”


TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa Acknowledges Its Sponsors and Specialist Official Suppliers and Technical Partners

Toyota enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with Toyota Financial Services and the Innovation Group. Also Hallspeed, Motus Toyota, SKF, Spanjaard, OMP, Donaldson, Mastercraft, Edgecam, 3M, Shatterprufe, Supreme Springs, Smith’s Manufacturing, TRD, First National Battery, STR8-LIGN, Duxbury Netgear, Lumotech and Plan-C Productions.

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