• 2nd place on Round 5 for Jono van Wyk / Ingrid Jeacocks
  • 2nd place on Round 6 for Mandla Mdakane / Kes Naidoo

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa’s (TGRSA) National Rally Championship (NRC) team demonstrated characteristic tenacity during the Algoa Rally, which took place on 5-6 July 2024 in the Eastern Cape. The event, representing Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2024 NRC season, was marked by both successes and a few glitches for the team.

Day one of the rally saw Jono van Wyk and stand-in co-driver Ingrid Jeacocks finish in a solid second place, while Mandla Mdakane and co-driver Kes Naidoo secured fourth place. Ingrid stepped in for Jono’s regular co-driver, Nico Swartz, who is currently abroad. The day was not without its difficulties, however. At the start of one of the stages, Mandla’s drive shaft broke, forcing him to drive two stages with front-wheel drive only, significantly slowing him down. Despite this setback, the team managed to fix the issue during service, and Mandla continued to put in a commendable performance.

Guy Botterill, TGRSA’s Rally Manager, commented, “Day one, we had a fairly good run. Jono was second, Mandla was fourth. Mandla had to drive two stages with front-wheel drive only after his drive shaft broke, which lost him an epic amount of time. These cars are very difficult to drive when they’re only front-wheel drive. But he got back to service, we fixed it, and he carried on.”

On day two, Jono won the opening stage, showcasing his competitive edge. Unfortunately, his boost controller malfunctioned, causing the car to boost erratically and ultimately forcing him to retire from the rally. Meanwhile, Mandla had an excellent race, finishing in second place despite struggling with brake issues. Both cars came back unscathed, highlighting the team’s technical prowess and can-do attitude.

Reflecting on the team’s performance, Guy Botterill said, “Jono won the opening stage on day two, but then his boost controller got stuck, and he wasn’t able to finish. Mandla came through to second place, so we’re very chuffed with him. The cars are getting much better, and we’re starting to see some results now. Despite the bitterly cold and rainy conditions on Friday, the team did a great job, and the drivers did a really good job.”

The Algoa Rally saw TGRSA secure a second-place finish on both days, underscoring the team’s determination and skill. The drivers’ performances and the improved reliability of the cars signal a positive direction for the rest of the season. The next round of the SANRC is the Tzaneen Rally, which will take place on 30-31 August 2024 in the Limpopo province. This event will represent Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2024 championship. TGRSA will be aiming for another strong performance as they continue their pursuit of championship success.


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