The last round of the South African rally championship the Hencon auto body rally was held near Witbank on the 13 /14th May, Guy Botterill and navigator Schalk van Heerded finished 4th in the super 1600 class. The rally was challenging for the Yato Tools/ Liqui-moly team as our motor was down on power and the standard of equipment in this class has improved hugely from last season. Most of the rally cars are now equipped with sequential gear boxes and the top of the range Reiger suspension hence the level of competition is high so if you don’t bring you’re A game to every rally you will get smoked. Having a motor down on power is like taking a tooth pick to a stick fight (said Botterill) We are preparing the car ourselves and although we spent many nights burning the midnight oil we concentrated on the suspension only but we are proud that the team prepared a car that completed the rally as many cars don’t finish these gruelling two day rallies over rough roads at mind blowing speeds. This month we will sort out the engine and will be expecting a stronger performance from the car at the Toyota dealer rally next month in Gauteng.
From the first stage of the rally after checking out the stage times we knew that we were in trouble we had pushed as hard as possible but were unable to compete with the front runners, at the end of day 1 we were in 6th position. We then decided go into a damage limitation mode by driving smoothly and ensuring that we made no mistakes by mid afternoon on day two we were in fifth position with only three special stages remaining of the rally and sitting only 10 seconds behind Craig Trott of team Total who was in third position. We then decided that with our car in good condition and noticing that other cars were starting to show signs of fatigue we bolted on a fresh set of tyres and made a charge for the finish. Our tactic almost worked by the end of the penultimate stage we were up to third place with 1 sec advantage over Trott . The last stage was a short 4.5km windy section on deep soft sand that our motor didn’t enjoy and Craigh Trott took 10 seconds out of us forcing Guy and Schalk back to 4th position.It was an interesting rally that we enjoyed and the team is looking forward to the next round. Thanks go out to our sponsors Yato tools and Liqui Moly there is a group of small companies that operate from 90 Old Main road Pinetown that assists our team with their technical and, mechanical ability. We would like to thank A1 mag. repairs, Auto Buff, Mc Dougals tyres, the Sign Guys, Trailer Specialists, Electronic Welding Solutions and Just Tools for their valued support.
Botterill Motorsport Team
photos: Sue Vacy-Lyleback