• Dullstroom event doubles as final round in African Rally
  • Championship (ARC) and South African National Rally Championship (NRC)
  • R4 Toyota Etios back in action on local soil
  • Zambian Kelvin Mhlanga to drive the ex-Botterill Toyota Auris
Cold, wet and misty conditions greeted competitors who arrived in Dullstroom this week for the 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa.

This is the third year that TRAC is sponsoring a round of the South African NRC, with the final two rounds of 2021 serving as the grand finale of both the national championship and the 2021 African Rally Championship.

Taking place in the popular tourist town of Dullstroom on Friday and Saturday 26 and 27 November, the route will take competitors to the Emakhazeni (Belfast) region to the south.

“As usual, this will be an interesting and challenging rally on tight roads in the forests and on clay in cold and misty conditions,” says defending NRC champion Guy Botterill, who will be back in the all-wheel drive Class R4 Toyota Etios with navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle, after campaigning the car in the ARC.

“This event will be the final round in both championships. Although we are not in the running for the 2021 National Rally Championship due to campaigning our older Class S2000 Toyota Auris for the bulk of the season, we are hoping to improve on our performance for this last event of the 2021 championship back in the R4 and have only one target – to end our season on a high and on the top step of the NRC and ARC podium.”

Over the last two years, Botteril and Vacy-Lyle travelled all over the continent to drive the R4 in the ARC. “It’s been an incredibly long African Rally Championship and we managed to compete in every single round, so we are really looking forward to this last event.”

The team took the R4 out testing over the last weekend. “The car is great; everything went well. We are really looking forward to the cold and misty conditions and we are not expecting overheating challenges, such as on the last event in a dry and extremely hot Rwanda,” says Botteril.

“The number one prize is to keep the car out of the trees. I am feeling good and confident; everyone is quite relaxed.”

The 2021 TRACN4 Rally of South Africa will be held over two days – November 26 and 27 – with action-packed stages in and around Dullstroom, including the Safcol-owned forest area around the picteresque Mpumalanga tourist destination.