Toyota SA Puts the Pedal to the Metal with a Rallying Comeback!

Finally a Brand is taking the events by the notes!

In a twist that's got more chicanes than a triple-caution-do-not-miss-hairpin turn, Toyota SA is barreling back into the South African National Rally Championship (NRC) scene with the kind of flair only a seasoned rally enthusiast could muster. After a seven-year pit stop away from the championship's stages, Toyota's roaring return isn't just news, it's a full-blown rally revival!

Image by iShootStories

"We're not just talking about a comeback, we're talking about a homecoming parade with horsepower," enthuses Chris Coertse, the man at the NRC steering wheel. Yes, the NRC, a venerable institution celebrating its 62nd year of dusty tracks and triumphs, is now turbocharged with Toyota's partnership for a thrilling three-year ride starting 2024.

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And what's a rally without the rally cars themselves, right? Enter stage left: the Toyota Gazoo Starlet AR1, a vehicle that sounds as much a star of the show as its drivers, Mandla Mdakane and Jono Van Wyk. These guys don't just drive, they put on a spectacle, tearing through stages with the kind of gusto that has spectators leaning in so far, they're practically co-pilots.

Under the watchful eye of Guy Botterill, a name that resonates with rally royalty as much as it does with Dakar dreams, the team's gearing up to welcome a new member. "A rookie," they say, but if Toyota's track record is anything to go by, this newbie's more likely to blaze trails than follow tracks.

Image by iShootStories

Kicking off this adrenaline-pumped escapade is the season opener on April 12th and 13th, set against the picturesque backdrop of the Western Cape's Swartland Region. Malmesbury's quiet charm is about to be rudely interrupted by the sweet symphony of high-revving engines and screaming tires, with a night-time tarmac spectacle at Killarney Racetrack adding a dash of nocturnal thrill to the mix.

So, as Toyota SA shifts gears back into the NRC, the message is clear: strap in, South Africa, because rally's got a new old player, and they're not here to play it safe. They're here to win hearts, rallies, and maybe kick up a little dust (or a lot) along the way. Let the games begin!

 The rest of the 2024 Rally Calendar are as follows:






1 & 2
Double Pointer

12 - 13 April

Swartland Rally


Western Cape

3 & 4
Regional 1 & 2

31 May - 1 June

Secunda Rally



5 & 6

5 - 6 July

Algoa Rally


Eastern Cape

7 & 8
Regional 3 & 4

30 - 31 August

Tzaneen Rally



9 & 10
Regional 5 & 6

15 - 16 November

TRAC Rally



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