TOYOTA GAZOO Racing SA is set to start its assault on the 2022 motorsport season this weekend, when the opening round of the Global Touring Car (GTC) championship takes place at the Killarney International Raceway in Cape Town. The 2021 season saw Toyota Corolla driver, Michael van Rooyen, slug it out at the head of the field, and the Rustenburg businessman will be aiming to grab as many points as possible early in the new year.
“Last year was tough, but we clearly had the pace to fight for the title,” says Van Rooyen. “This year, we’re taking a slightly different approach, and I’ll have two wingmen to assist in my quest to secure the GTC title.”
During 2021, Van Rooyen had teammate Mandla Mdakane for company. The Johannesburger struggled with reliability and setup issues throughout the season, however, and found it hard to offer support to Van Rooyen at critical moments.
For 2022, the team is adding a third Toyota Corolla, which will be in the hands of Saood Variawa. The sixteen-year-old racer has moved into the top class of South African track racing as part of the TGRSA squad, and will be sure to have an impact on the team’s results right from the start.
“We are excited to welcome Saood to the team,” continued Van Rooyen. “He is young, dynamic and very fast; and despite his age, he has already amassed a wealth of track experience. It is going to be exciting to have him as a member of the squad.”The 2022 GTC season consists of seven rounds, with the opening event taking place at Cape Town’s tricky Killarney circuit. Next up are rounds at Zwartkops in Centurion; Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth; Red Star Raceway in Delmas; and the East London Grand Prix Circuit, before returning to Killarney for the penultimate round. The season will come to an end on October 15th, with the final round taking place at Zwartkops.