The extremely competitive 2023 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC) is balanced on a knife edge following the penultimate round of the series where the Neil Wooridge Motorsport (NWM) pairing of Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer gained the upper hand with a maximum points haul.

The NWM Ford Castrol crew raced to victory after two hot and dusty of action, with round six of the championship – the Renergen 400 – based at the Phakisa Freeway race circuit in Welkom

 “It’s been a brilliant weekend, and all the cards fell into place for us,” Gareth said. “We had a faultless race today, our car didn’t skip a beat and it is nice to bring home our second win of the season. This is great for our championship hopes, but we will still need to be on our toes at the final race and I have no doubt that the Toyota guys will push us right to the end.”

Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa still managed a double-podium finish as Guy Botterill and co-driver, Simon Vacy-Lyle, finished in second place overall. At the same time, Saood Variawa and Danie Stassen brought their Toyota Hilux T1+ home in third place overall.


In the short 15 km prologue and the opening 58 km race loop on the Friday Lance Woolridge and Kenny Gilbert ended the day second overall, just 36 seconds behind overnight leaders and championship contenders Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings (Toyota). Gareth and Boyd were a mere 42 seconds further back, giving them a perfect starting position for Saturday – and positioning them ahead of a trio of other factory Toyota entries.

With the pressure on all of the top teams for the two arduous 164 km race loops, Lance and Kenny started chasing down the leading Toyota from the start. Unfortunately, their superb run ended abruptly 106 km into the loop when they hit a deep ditch on the race route while following in the dust of the leading Toyota. The resulting suspension damage forced them to retire on the spot.