The 2022 South African National Rally Championship (NRC) drew to a close this weekend, with the TRACN4 National Rally, which constituted Rounds 11 and 12 of the year. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA’s Guy Botterill and co-driver Simon Vacy-Lyle finished in second place during both rounds, moving up to second in the final season standings.
“It has been achallenging year for us, starting with some teething problems that plagued our new Toyota Starlet at the start of the season,” said Botterill after the event finished in the Mpumalanga town of Dullstroom. “We had a few Did Not Finish (DNF) results early in the year, but then fought back to the point where we had an outside chance of winning the championship this weekend.”
A problem with the power steering cooler, as well as a mid-stage puncture, curtailed the TGRSA crew’s progress during Friday’s Round 11 of the championship; while a misfire caused by an inlet manifold problem sapped the car of power on Saturday’s Round 12. Despite these challenges, Botterill and Vacy-Lyle managed to bring their Toyota Starlet home in second place on both days, finishing in second place overall for the season.
“It was a tricky event, with wet weather making things even more challenging at times,” concluded Botterill. “Even so, we are delighted with the result, and we are confident that our car will be a force to be reckoned with next year. We always race to win, but at this point, second in the championship is great, considering that this was our first year out with a car that we built and developed ourselves. I’m proud of our achievement and grateful to the team who has put in countless hours to get us to this point.”
The team’s second car, a Toyota Auris S2000 which is campaigned by Mandla Mdakane and co-driver Kes Naidoo, was side-lined for the weekend when the crew suffered a broken steering rack in Stage 1 of the 14-stage rally weekend.
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