TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA’s Henk Lategan has been declared fit to race in Round 2 of the 2021 South African Cross-Country Series (SACCS), the Sugarbelt 400. The Toyota Hilux driver had to undergo surgery after suffering a crash during Stage 5 of this year’s Dakar Rally in Saudi Arabia, but has now fully recovered from the injury.

“Henk tested the Hilux recently, and proved to be fit and fast – exactly what we need for this weekend’s return to the Sugarbelt,” said TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, after Lategan drove the Hilux for the first time since his crash. “Henk certainly seemed right at home, and we are looking forward to an action-packed weekend in KwaZulu-Natal.”

The full team will consist of defending champions Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings; and former champions Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy. Former champion Shameer Variawa will be sitting out the Sugarbelt 400 due to business commitments.

“We’ve made some small tweaks to our Hilux for this race, in preparation for the new rules that will be coming into play shortly,” continued Hall. “We are confident that our cars are fully prepared for the weekend, where we’ll be racing over terrain that hasn’t been part of the SACCS since 2015.”

At the same time, brothers Johan and Werner Horn will be looking to build on their momentum, after drawing first blood in the Class T title fight during the opening round of the season. The pair piloted their Malalane Toyota Hilux to victory in Dullstroom earlier this year, and are no strangers to sugarcane fields.

The Sugarbelt 400 is set to start with a qualifying race on Friday, 21 May, over a distance of 50 km. This will be followed by two race loops of 160 km each, on Saturday, 22 May. The race will be run under COVID-19 protocols, and as such will be closed to spectators. Fans can, however, follow the action live on the RallySafe app, which is available free of charge on both Android and Apple systems.