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Safari 1000 2024: TGRSA fully prepared for this weekend's Safari 1000
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Safari 1000 2024: TGRSA fully prepared for this weekend's Safari 1000

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TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa (TGRSA) is set to compete in the third round of the 2024 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC), the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa Safari 1000, taking place from 21-23 June in the Thabazimbi area of the Limpopo Province.

This event replaces the TGRSA 1000 Desert Race, which has previously taken place in Botswana and Upington, and is the only marathon event on the 2024 calendar due to its extreme distance and three-day race format. The TGRSA Safari 1000 will also be a World Rally-Raid Championship candidate event for 2025.

Following two successful rounds this season, TGRSA has claimed the top spot on the podium twice, with three of their teams occupying the leading positions in the overall and FIA Ultimate T1+ standings. Current leaders Giniel de Villiers and co-driver Elvéne Vonk (Toyota Hilux IMT EVO) will be looking to maintain their lead, closely followed by Guy Botterill and Dennis Murphy, and Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings, who are fresh off their recent victory.

The young crew of Saood Variawa and his French navigator, Francois Cazalet, will be aiming to turn their luck around after a challenging start to the season. The three crews entered by TGRSA remain the same as in the past two races, showcasing consistency in their line-up.

The TGRSA Safari 1000 will commence with the 14-kilometre Castrol Qualifying Race on Friday, 21 June, at 9:30 AM, setting the starting order for Stage One, a 100-kilometre section starting at 12:45 PM. The results of the first day will determine the order for Stage Two on Saturday, 22 June, a 189-kilometre route that will be repeated as Stage Three. The final day, Sunday, 23 June, will see competitors tackle Stage Four, a 187-kilometre section, starting at 7:30 AM, which will be repeated as Stage Five to conclude the event.

TGRSA Team Principal Shameer Variawa commented, “We are excited about the Safari 1000, especially as it is an event we are sponsoring. This adds extra pressure, but also a great opportunity for our teams to showcase their capabilities. Our crews have been preparing diligently, and we are confident in their abilities to deliver strong performances.”

The event, taking place from the Koedoeskop Primary School, will also feature the Road to Dakar Challenge. Motorcycle competitors will earn points towards an entry into the 2025 Dakar Rally, while rookie Ultimate competitors will have the chance to win an outright entry to the Dakar Rally. Spectators can expect intense battles as teams vie for crucial championship points in the Bushveld.

The Desert Race, and by extension the new Safari 1000, has often been pivotal in the championship. According to the regulations, the winner of the Safari 1000 will bag 45 points, rather than the 30 points awarded at regular events. Positions down the order are also awarded additional points, making this event even more critical for championship hopefuls.

Weather conditions for the weekend in the Thabazimbi area are expected to be mild, with daytime temperatures ranging between 18°C and 25°C, and mostly clear skies. These conditions should provide a comfortable environment for both competitors and spectators.

Fans are reminded that they can use the RallySafe app to follow the action live on their mobile devices, ensuring they don’t miss any of the excitement if they are unable to attend the event in person. additionally, race goers can visit the TGRSA pop up merchandise store In the DSP at this race - a great opportunity to stock up on some TGRSA merch.

Race Headquarters will be at the Koedoeskop Primary School, serving as the venue for the Designated Service Point and Start/Finish of the event, as well as the podium ceremonies.

TOYOTA GAZOO Racing South Africa looks forward to continuing their success and demonstrating their prowess in this challenging new event on the SARRC calendar.

Schedule for the TGRSA Safari 1000:
Friday, 21 June
9:30 AM: Castrol Qualifying Race (14 km)
12:45 PM: Stage One (100 km)
Saturday, 22 June
8:00 AM: Stage Two (189 km)
Repeat of Stage Two as Stage Three
Sunday, 23 June
7:30 AM: Stage Four (187 km)
Repeat of Stage Four as Stage Five
For more information and route maps, visit:

SA Rally-Raid Championship on Facebook: www.facebook.com/sarallyraidchampionship

SA Cross Country Racing: www.sacrosscountryracing.co.za

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