Remember the old Toyota marketing slogan ‘Everything keeps going right. Toyota” – well it’s happening that way for Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s defending South African National Rally (NRC) champions, Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle, who continued their unbeaten run in the 2020 season, by winning both rounds of the double-header in Parys at the weekend.
The pair powered their Class R4 Toyota Etios to victory on both days of the NTT Toyota Delmas Rally, effectively claiming maximum points in Rounds 3 and 4 of the season.
This result gave the crew four wins from four starts, in their four-wheel-drive Etios, all but sealing the 2020 title in the process.
“To make the victories even sweeter, we won every stage over the two events,” said an elated Botterill after completing the event. “The only slight moment we had was early on day one, when a short circuit in one of the onboard camera’s wires caused some smoke in the cabin. But the car never missed a beat, and we managed to control our pace throughout the two-day double-header.”
One of the challenges in Delmas over the rally weekend was dealing with the extreme heat that engulfed Gauteng and Mpumalanga over that period. With temperatures soaring to 35 degrees centigrade, managing the cooling systems in the highly advanced Class R4 rally car was no small feat, but in line with Toyota’s vision of building ever better cars, the technical crew working on the Etios continually found ways to optimise the cooling, and kept the car running faultlessly despite the heat.
In the Friday round Chris Coertse and Greg Godrich in a Hyundai I20 and Johan Strauss and Elzaan Venter’s Subaru Impreza STi were next home. JJ Potgieter and Tommy du Toit took NRC 2 in their Fiesta.
Teenage former world karting champion Jayden Els and Armand du Toit took NRC 3 and regional honours.
On the Saturday event it was Theuns Joubert and Carl Peskin’s Toyota Yaris that powered into second place ahead of Coertse and Godrich. NRC2 leaders AC Potgieter and Rikus Fourie’s VW Polo and Potgieter and du Toit’s Ford Fiesta followed. Els and du Toit’s VW Polo did the NRC3 double in their VW Polo Cup as they also won the regional class.
Next up will be a final double-header, wrapping up the season at the end of November. Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2020 SA NRC will take place in the area around the Mpumalanga town of Dullstroom, and will be known as the TracN4 Rally.