Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle seemed to have the 2019 South African National Rally Season neatly tied up after Round 6 of the seven-round championship, but this may no longer be the case, forcing the pair back into battle at the final round, which takes place on 9 and 10 November, on the East Rand of Johannesburg.
“One of the competitors were excluded from the results at the penultimate rally, which gave us the points for third place – enough for Simon to add the navigator’s championship to the driver’s title I had already secured,” explains Botterill. “But an appeal may have gone the way of the excluded crew, which means we need to score two more points to secure the navigator’s title for Simon.”
The Wildcat Energy National Rally will take place on the Saturday and Sunday, rather than the traditional Friday and Saturday, giving rally fans the opportunity to enjoy both days of rallying.
“This is a novel approach, as it allows people who need to work on Friday the chance to still spectate two days of the rally,” continues Botterill. “For us, however, we’ll be going out with a single purpose – to score the points Simon needs in order to win the championship.”
As such, the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA crew will be carrying additional spares in their Class R2N Toyota Etios, and are not planning on taking any risks.
“With that said, it is sometimes more difficult to drive conservatively, and with wet weather forecast for Gauteng this weekend, we’d rather take some extra spares than get caught out by the conditions,” concludes Botterill.
The event is scheduled to start at 10:20 in Klipriver on Saturday morning, before shifting to the Rooikraal Shooting Range near Heidelberg. The day will conclude at the new Formula K Business Park Karting Track late in the afternoon. Sunday will see the rally restart at the same venue, before heading out to Heidelberg, and ending back in Klipriver.
Entrance to all areas is free of charge, and there are many spectator points along the various stages.