Henk Lategan finally managed to snag a win in the marathon showcase of the South African Rally-Raid Championship by winning the Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa (TGRSA) Safari 1000, the third round of the 2024 South African Rally-Raid Championship (SARRC), held in the Thabazimbi area of Limpopo Province.

This event, which replaced the TGRSA 1000 Desert Race, was led from start to finish by Lategan with Brett Cummings in the hot seat and they recorded the fastest time in the 14-kilometre Castrol Qualifying Race and maintained their lead throughout.

Podium at the TGRSA 1000 rally-raid

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Lance Woolridge and Kenny Gilbert from the Neil Woolridge Motorsport (NWM) Ford team secured their first podium of the season, claiming the runner-up position after a lengthy battle with the Toyota crew of eventual winners Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings.

Third place overall went to Brian Baragwanath and Leonard Cremer in the Century Racing CR7 while NWM Ford teammates and reigning champions Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer impressively powered their way to fourth overall, despite a driveshaft failure and electronic sensor issues on Saturday.

Toyota’s Saood Variawa and Francois Cazalet showed good pace but were forced to retire on Saturday after damaging their car’s suspension by hitting a ditch in a fast section. Poor visibility due to thick dust contributed to the incident, preventing them from restarting on Sunday.

Guy Botterill and Dennis Murphy initially performed well, but a technical issue with the throttle body hindered their progress. Despite their efforts to continue, they completed Saturday’s stages in 20th position. On Sunday, they restarted and provided assistance to teammates Giniel de Villiers and Elvéne Vonk when needed, eventually finishing the race.

Action in the dust at TGRSA 1000

Giniel de Villiers and Elvéne Vonk started the final day in a strong position, running third for most of Sunday. However, a broken bolt on the lower control arm caused technical issues. With help from Guy and Dennis, they managed to complete the race, finishing 14th overall.

TGRSA Team Principal Shameer Variawa remarked, "We are thrilled with the victory achieved by Henk and Brett. Despite the challenges faced by our other crews, the team’s determination and teamwork shone through. We’re proud of everyone’s effort."

The challenging route around Koedoeskop near Thabazimbi in Limpopo Province included fast farmlands, tight game farm sections, and rough mountain roads, pushing crews and cars to their limits.

Ford racing at TGRSA 1000

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“Scoring second and fourth is a good result, although we were hoping for the win after our one-two finishes at the Desert Race and last year’s Waterberg 400,” said Neil Woolridge, NWM Ford team principal. “We had a couple of issues with Gareth’s car on Saturday which the team sorted out overnight, and he and Boyd showed their exceptional pace on Sunday."

The NWM-supported privateer team of Wors Prinsloo and Andre Vermeulen (#241) had a fantastic outing in their newly upgraded NWM Ranger Ultimate, finishing seventh in the Ultimate class and eighth overall. They also won a guaranteed and free entry to the Dakar Rally as the top-placed team in the Road to Dakar Challenge.

The next event takes place in Parys in the Free State on 16 and 17 August 2024, featuring two separate back-to-back races over two days.

Final Standings for the TGRSA Safari 1000:





Final Time / Gap


Henk Lategan

Brett Cummings

Toyota Hilux IMT EVO



Lance Woolridge

Kenneth Gilbert

Ford NWM Ranger T1+



Brian Baragwanath

Leonard Cremer

Century Racing CR7



Gareth Woolridge

Boyd Dreyer

Ford NWM Ranger T1+



Fouché Blignaut

Bertus Blignaut

Toyota DKR Hilux T1+



Eben Basson

Leander Pienaar

Toyota Hilux



Johan Horn

Werner Horn

Toyota DKR Hilux T1+



Wors Prinsloo

Andre Vermeulen

Ford NWM Ranger T1+



Rudi Heinlein

Gerhard Heinlein

Red-Lined VK56 Evo 2



Johan van Staden

Sean van Staden

Renault Duster



Giniel de Villiers

Elvéne Vonk

Toyota Hilux IMT EVO



Guy Botterill

Dennis Murphy

Toyota Hilux IMT EVO


Colin Windell