TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa’s (TGRSA) National Rally Championship (NRC) team showcased their resilience and skill during the Billy te Water Rally in Secunda, covering Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2024 NRC season. Despite facing numerous challenges, the team secured valuable points and demonstrated their unwavering determination.

On the first day, Jono van Wyk and co-driver Nico Swartz experienced a dramatic setback when their Class NRC1 Toyota Starlet rolled over. The team worked tirelessly through the night to ensure the car was ready for the next day’s competition. Meanwhile, Mandla Mdakane and his co-driver Kes Naidoo delivered a commendable performance, finishing fourth in Class NRC1 despite encountering a throttle issue that fortunately did not greatly affect their standing.

Day two brought redemption for the team as their hard work culminated in Jono and Nico’s car being race-ready. They posted competitive times throughout the day, even securing an outright win in Stage 5, a testament to their power and determination despite the previous day’s mishap. However, a damper issue, likely stemming from the earlier roll, affected their performance. Nevertheless, they completed the event. Mandla and Kes also showed exceptional skill, achieving a third-place finish.

Reflecting on the weekend, Guy Botterill, TGRSA’s Rally Manager, expressed his satisfaction, stating, “We are very pleased that we didn’t really have the mechanical issues that we’ve had in the past, so I think we’re making progress with the technical aspects of the rally Starlet. Both cars finished, both cars are in parc ferme at the end of the day, and that’s a good thing for the team.”

The Billy te Water Rally highlighted the improved reliability of the TGRSA vehicles and underscored the team’s progress in overcoming past challenges. The next round of the SANRC is the Algoa Rally, scheduled for 5-6 July 2024 around Gqeberha in the Eastern Cape. TGRSA aims to build on their recent successes and deliver a strong performance in Rounds 5 and 6 of the championship, traditionally one of the toughest events on the calendar.