TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA) is excited to announce its participation in the 2023 Sugarbelt 400, taking place in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. The event marks the second round of the South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC), following the successful Nkomazi 400 where TGRSA showcased outstanding performance.
The Sugarbelt 400, set in the challenging terrain around the town of Eston, offers a unique race course that winds through sugarcane fields and plantations. Last year’s race was cancelled due to devastating floods in the province, but it is back this year, promising to be more challenging and exciting than ever.
“We are looking forward to the weekend and excited to be back in KwaZulu-Natal, after last year’s race was cancelled,” says Glyn Hall, TGRSA Team Principal. “Our crews have been working tirelessly on their cars, and we are eager to put our new tweaks and components to the test.”
All three of TGRSA’s crews, namely Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings; Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy; and Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle, will be in action. They will be driving the same robust Toyota Hilux race cars as before, but with some innovative enhancements. The cars have been carefully tweaked in terms of engine mapping, and the team will also be testing some new components in their ongoing quest for supremacy in the Dakar Rally.
The Sugarbelt 400 begins with a 52km Qualifying Race at 12:30 on Friday, 12 May, which will determine the starting positions for the main event. The main race follows on Saturday, 13 May, kicking off at 8am with two distinct race loops, interspersed by a compulsory 30-minute service stop at the Beaumont Eston Farmer’s Club, the Designated Service Park (DSP) for the event.
Currently leading the Production Championship are TGRSA’s own Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, with teammates Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Dennis Murphy in third place. This round provides another opportunity for the team to consolidate their standings and push the boundaries of performance.
Fans are encouraged to follow the race live via the RallySafe app, available for free download, if they are unable to attend the race. The app provides real-time updates, ensuring fans don’t miss out on any thrilling moments of the race.
“We are driven by the spirit of competition and the love of the sport,” adds Hall. “The Sugarbelt 400 is another exciting chapter in our journey, and we’re committed to giving it our all.”
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