TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa’s (TGRSA) Guy Botterill will be fighting for the overall 2023 South African Rally-Raid title at this weekend’s Waterberg 400, which takes place in the bushveld near Koedoeskop. Botterill, who joined the TGRSA rally-raid squad on a full-time basis this year, has recorded one win earlier at the season, but added consistent Top 5 results to propel him to a position where he can challenge for overall victory.
At the same time, Brett Cummings, who usually co-drives for Henk Lategan, has become available to race with Botterill, as Lategan is recuperating from shoulder surgery following his crash at the penultimate round of the season in Welkom last month. The Botterill/Cummings pairing will be aiming for a fast but clean run over the Waterberg 400 route, as they hope to steer their Toyota Hilux T1+ to victory.
As it stands, Botterill trails Ford’s Gareth Woolridge by 17 points in the overall standings. With 30 points for a win, and 23 available for second place, Botterill will have to finish in the Top 5 if Woolridge finishes behind him. However, the permutations become more intricate if both Botterill and Woolridge finish further down the order.
Further back, TGRSA’s Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy are out of the overall title fight, but could overtake Botterill for second place if they win in the Waterberg. To add to the mix, TGRSA’s young gun, Saood Variawa may also be vying for a top spot this weekend, despite driving with new co-driver, Francois Cazalet, who hails from France.
“This is certainly an interesting weekend,” says TGRSA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, of SVR/Hallspeed. “We’ve given the lads the best possible cars we can for the race, and we wish Guy the best of luck for the championship. As for our Hilux T1+, we will be running a comprehensive test session later in the year, and as such we won’t be testing any significant parts or changes this weekend. The Waterberg 400 is all about the title fight, and we’re excited to take on a completely fresh route.”
This is the first time that the SARRC will be racing in the Waterberg area, part of the Limpopo province. The weekend will follow a traditional structure, with a short qualifying race of 59 km starting at 12:30 on Friday, 10 November. This will be followed by two full race loops of 178 km each on Saturday 11 November.
Fans can follow the action as it unfolds via the RallySafe app, which is available for both iOS and Android systems.