Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy Lyle Credit: BMT

South Africa’s Guy Botteril and Simon Vacy-Lyle launched their bid for the 2020 Africa rally championship title at the Rallye Bandama in Yamoussoukro, Ivory Coast last weekend but had to hang on for maximum points.

The South African champions suffered a setback when their Toyota Etios was unable to cross to Abidjan on time for the rally, leaving them with no car. The crew was later rescued by the 2014 Africa Rally Champion Gary Chaynes who lent them a Mitsubishi Evo IX just hours to the start of the event. 

Credit: Photo Credit: BMT

Botteril would have a good start to the event posting the third-fastest time in the qualifying stage, six seconds behind Gary Chaynes. 

While everything seemed fine, Botteril however suffered mechanical problems that forced his retirement on day one.  

Credit: Courtesy Photo

But, it was not over yet as the crew would re-enter the event in the final day on the rally two rule. 

Although a time penalty was imposed, Botteril managed to finish the event settling for 14th position overall.

“What an exhilarating and exhausting rally this has been. 

“We are all proud of what we have achieved and giving up was never an option nor a thought on any of the teams mind, it’s not the result we wanted but we gained huge respect. That’s a win in our eyes,” read a statement on the official team’s page. 

With only two crews registered for ARC, Botterill placed himself well for maximum points after his only rival Farid Daniel Assaf equally suffered misfortunes to finish in 15th overall. 

Botteril collected 30 points while Assaf would walk away with 24 points. 

Meanwhile, Gary Chaynes won the event followed by Sylvain Mathonnet and Marc Moline in second and third respectively. 

Credit: Photo Credit: BMT

Rwanda Mountain Gorilla Rally due 15-17 May will be their next challenge. 

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