Botterill and Vacy-Lyle ready for season’s toughest rally

Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle are fully prepared to take on the rigorous Volkswagen Rally in Port Elizabeth this weekend. The pair had a tough outing on the previous round, when they finished in third place on the Secunda Motor Rally, but are looking forward to a strong performance on arguably the toughest rally of the season.

Brian Joss – “The Volkswagen Rally is never easy, and the weather often makes things even worse,” explained Botterill before the event. “But we are confident that our Toyota Etios is race ready, and we’re looking for a good result here.”

Botterill/Vacy-Lyle comfortably top the overall standings, thanks to two overall wins on the opening rounds of the 2017 National Rally Championship.

Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle: third place at Secunda. Picture: Quickpic

They made it look easy in front of their home crowd on the Tour Natal Rally, and repeated the performance on the York Rally, previously known as the Sasol Rally.

But then came a number of high speed water crossings on the Secunda Motor Rally, which cost the crew dearly. Their normally reliable vehicle completed the stage with the water, but wouldn’t start at the beginning of the following stage. What was a healthy lead just moments before, turned into a massive deficit, as they lost a mass of time. In the end, they got going again, and fought back to third place by the time the event finished.

“We’ve made the most of the break in the season, however,” continued Botterill. “We’ve completely rebuilt the race car, added some new parts to the gearbox and fitted a new suspension. Our aim was to ensure that the Toyota Etios remains reliable through the second half of the season, which starts with the Volkswagen Rally.”

As has become customary, the Volkswagen Rally kicks off at the VW Pavilion in the Eastern Cape town of Uitenhage, with four stages taking place on Friday, 21 July, in the area around Port Elizabeth. The action moves to the Longmore Forest on Saturday, 22 July, with the end concluding back in Port Elizabeth later that afternoon.

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