Home / Social media / News / Toyota Gazoo Racing SA heads to Northern KZN to tackle the Vryheid 400.


Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa is gearing up for the second round of the 2024 South African Rally-Raid Championship, or the SARRC if you prefer. This second round is the PS Laser ProMac Vryheid 400 and it's set to take place on the weekend of the 24 and 25 May in the Vryheid area of Northern KwaZulu-Natal. This inaugural event will provide competitors with another chance to score valuable points towards the championship and make history as the first victors of this brand-new event. Following a spectacular performance at the Nkomazi 400 in Malalane last month, which saw TGRSA secure a one-two finish, the team is eager to continue their strong start to the season. Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Elvéne Vonk clinched the victory in Round 1, with teammates Guy Botterill and Dennis Murphy finishing in second place. This time, TGRSA will once again field their established crews: Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, Giniel de Villiers and Elvéne Vonk, Guy Botterill and Dennis Murphy, and Saood Variawa and Francois Cazalet, all driving the latest version of the GR Hilux EVO. This is a beast of a machine, it’s the same thing that was campaigned at this year’s world-famous Dakar race through Saudi Arabia. The GR Hilux EVO is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre V6 originally sourced from a Land Cruiser 300. It’s tweaked as much as the series rules allow, and the fine-tuning from the Motec Engine Management sees power come in at a healthy 264 kW of power with torque up at 620 Nm. To use that power to go forward fast, the setup is coupled to a 6-speed transmission from French pros SADEV Racing Transmissions. The Vryheid 400 promises to be an exhilarating challenge with its varied and demanding terrain, which includes farmlands, rocky sections, and picturesque landscapes. This race marks the first time the Vryheid area will host a round of the SARRC, offering new and tough terrain for the competitors.

The event will kick off with a 14km Castrol Qualifying Race on Friday, 24 May, at 09:30 AM, followed by Stage One, a 38km loop starting at 1 PM. On Saturday, 25 May, the competitors will tackle Stage Two, a 175km route, starting at 8 AM. After completing the stage once, there will be a compulsory 30-minute service break at the Designated Service Point (DSP) at the airfield before tackling the stage again. The race will finish at the Vryheid Airfield, where the podium ceremonies will also take place. Reflecting on the upcoming race, TGRSA Team Principal Shameer Variawa commented, "We are looking forward to the Vryheid 400 and are excited to tackle the new terrain. Our crews have been preparing diligently, and we are confident in their abilities to deliver strong performances. The opening round was a great success, and we aim to build on that momentum this weekend." Giniel de Villiers currently leads the Overall Championship standings, followed by Guy Botterill. Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings are determined to secure a healthy haul of points to kickstart their title chase after a challenging first round. Fans can follow the race live via the RallySafe app, available for free download from the iStore and Google PlayStore. The app provides real-time updates, ensuring fans don’t miss out on any thrilling moments of the race. Updates will also be available on social media platforms under TGRSouthAfrica.

Overall Championship Standings after Round 1:

Position Driver Points

1 Giniel de Villiers 30

2 Guy Botterill 23

3 Jayden Els 18

4 Johan Horn 15

5 Fouché Blignaut 12

6 Chris Visser 10

7 Saood Variawa 9

8 Daniel Schröder 8

9 Johan de Bruyn 7

10 Gerhard Heinlein 6

Take a look at the YouTube video that shows just how exciting and action-packed the South African Rally-Raid Championship is with a recap of the Nkomazi 400 from the other day, a brilliant precursor to the upcoming Vryheid 400: Full highlights from Round 1 of the #Team-HiluxRallyRaid Nkomazi 400! | South African Rally Raid Championship

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