The South African National Rally Championship (NRC) season is heading to the penultimate event of the year, and the excitement is building as TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA) prepares to tackle the Bronx Rally. Scheduled for October 13 and 14 in the area surrounding the Gauteng town of Bronkhorstspruit, the Bronx Rally marks Rounds 7 and 8 of the thrilling, 10-round 2023 NRC season.
In-House Engines: A Drive for Reliability
As the TGRSA NRC team embarks on this important event in the championship, they do so with a significant development. Both of their Toyota Starlet rally cars will now feature engines built in-house, a strategic move aimed at enhancing reliability after grappling with mechanical challenges earlier in the season.
Team Manager Guy Botterill explained: “We’ve made the decision to build our engines in-house to address the reliability issues we faced earlier in the season. This move reflects our commitment to delivering top-notch performance while ensuring the utmost dependability of our vehicles.”
The Battle in the Championship
In the overall championship standings, Jono van Wyk, affectionately known as the “Swazi Cowboy,” currently occupies the fourth position. His consistent performances and unwavering determination have solidified his presence among the championship’s top contenders, though a troublesome start to the season sees him out of contention for the overall honours.
Mandla Mdakane, a rising star in the NRC, finds himself in sixth place overall. Despite encountering mechanical setbacks earlier in the season, Mdakane’s resilience and rapid adaptation to the rally scene have been impressive.
Weather Forecast: A Key Player
The Bronx Rally’s outcome could be influenced by the weather conditions in Bronkhorstspruit this weekend. The cooling on turbo-charged, high-performance rally engines can be tricky, and warmer ambient temperatures are a concern for the team, especially given the new engines installed in the two Toyota Starlet rally cars.
According to the forecast, the weekend in Bronkhorstspruit promises to be ideal for rallying. Partly cloudy skies are expected, with daytime temperatures reaching a comfortable 22-26°C (72-79°F). A slight breeze may aid in clearing the dust for the competitors, while also helping to cool the engines.
Looking Ahead: Championship Aspirations
With Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2023 NRC season on the horizon, the TGRSA NRC team is eager to continue their quest to build ever-better cars, which speaks to Toyota’s core values reliability and durability. The Bronx Rally offers a crucial opportunity for the team to test and further develop their new in-house engines.