Round 3 of the 2020 South African Cross-Country Series (SACCS) is scheduled for this weekend, and will see three TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA crews take on the Total Agri 400, in the area around the Free State town of Bothaville. Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings are the defending champions, and also winners of the first two rounds of the 2020 season. The pair will be aiming to continue their good form, despite the challenge of an entirely new route.
“Henk and Brett have shown great pace this year, and they certainly deserve their spot at the top of the championship standings,” says TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “As ever we’ve been working on refining our race-proved Class FIA Toyota Hilux for the upcoming event, and we’re hoping that all three crews will benefit from the slight changes we are implementing.”
While fans are still not permitted in the Designated Service Park (DSP), which will be set at the NAMPO showgrounds for the race, Hall has promised that the Hilux’s naturally aspirated V8 engines will sound better than ever in Bothaville, thanks to some under-hood tweaks.
TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA’s Giniel de Villiers will again partner with stand-in navigator Juan Möhr, who is doing duty with the Dakar legend while Spanish co-driver, Alex Haro, remains unable to travel to South Africa due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. De Villiers currently finds himself 19 points adrift in the championship, and in desperate need of a win if he wants to catch up to teammates Lategan/Cummings.
The third #TeamHilux crew will again consist of Shameer Variawa and Dennis Murphy, who have yet to find the form shown towards the end of the 2019 season. The pair will be hoping for a good result in Bothaville, as they currently have both Chris Visser (Toyota Hilux) and Brian Baragwanath (Century Buggy) ahead of them on the standings.
According to the organisers, the route for the inaugural Total Agri 400 promises a mix of terrain types; and despite the fact that the race will be run in one of South Africa’s biggest maize-producing areas, the route will feature sand, rocks and plenty of tricky tracks.
While fans are not allowed to attend the event, due to COVID-19 restrictions, they can follow the action via the Rallysafe app, which is available free of charge for both Android and iOS. The race gets under way with a qualifying loop on Friday, which will be used to determine the starting order for Saturday’s main event.