The Algoa Rally, which took place in the area near the Eastern Cape town of Jeffrey’s Bay, brought frustration for Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle, who campaigned their new TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA Starlet Rally car in the event. The pair were classified in 3rd place on the Friday, which served as Round 5 of the 2022 South African National Rally Championship. They failed to score points on the Saturday, due to continued teething problems with their new car.
“Overall, the weekend was tough for us,” said Botterill after the event. “We faced a variety of issues throughout the weekend, but still managed to secure a podium position on Friday. Unfortunately, things didn’t get better on Saturday, but we’re positive that we’ve learned a lot, and will be ready for action at the upcoming rounds.”
The team elected to utilise a locally built power steering pump for the event, and while the part functioned as expected during testing, it acted up from the start of the rally. This meant that Botterill had to man-handle the Starlet around the tough Algoa Rally stages with varying levels of assistance from the power steering pump, making it difficult to drive consistently.
“To add to our power steering woes, we also experienced a problem with one of our processing units, which had a specific parameter set to low. In essence, the system turned the car off mid-stage, and we lost time while we tried to get going again,” explained Botterill.
The team was happy to bag the points for third place, especially given the challenges they faced. After making repairs over night, they were back in action on the Saturday morning, comfortably winning the opening stage.
“But then we broke a prop shaft in the next stage, and things literally fell apart from there,” continued Botterill. “The spinning prop shaft caused significant damage to various parts of the car, forcing us to stop to remove it. We finished the stage in two-wheel-drive, but the damage was done.”
Botterill had elected to use the full boost potential of the Starlet for the Algoa Rally – to date, this was the first full-power run for the car. “This resulted in some new issues coming to light, but the car is extremely fast. Now, we just have to nail down these last niggles, and we’ll be ready to challenge for victories again.”
The National Rally Championship will travel to the Limpopo town of Tzaneen for the next event, which will constitute Round 7 and 8 of the 2022 calendar. This event is scheduled for mid-August, and TGRSA will be aiming for maximum points.