Henk Lategan has finally emerged victorious in the South African Rally-Raid Championship’s longest race, the TGRSA Safari 1000, after seven attempts. Driving a Toyota Hilux, Lategan held off a spirited challenge from Lance Woolridge in a Ford Ranger to claim the win by over five and a half minutes.

    The race, which took place on April 28-30, 2023, proved to be an extremely challenging and technical affair, quite different from the usual fast-paced desert rallies. Lategan, who had missed the Dakar Rally in January due to a shoulder injury, has regained his form and now adds this prestigious win to his growing list of achievements.

    “It feels awesome to have this one. It feels like a really, really tough desert race,” Lategan commented. “Usually, they’re quite open and fast and it goes by quite quickly. This one was slow and tight and technical and it took forever to get through.”

    Woolridge, the defending SARRC marathon race winner, had to settle for second place after a flat tire on the first day and being unable to pass Lategan in the dust during the final stage. “We had a clean run on Saturday, and today we pushed hard and caught up to Henk and Brett early on the first loop, but we just couldn’t pass them in the dust, so we ultimately had to settle for second place,” he explained.

    The podium was completed by Brian Baragwanath in his Century CR7, as T1+ cars swept the top five positions. Wors Prinsloo, a privateer racing a Ford Ranger T1+, won the Road to Dakar category and earned himself free registration for the 2025 or 2026 Dakar Rally.

    The TGRSA Safari 1000 is one of two non-World Rally-Raid Championship rounds that are part of the Road to Dakar program. The event served as an audition for SARRC to earn a date on the W2RC calendar in 2025, as it replaced the TGR 1000 Desert Race in Botswana.

    With the grueling nature of the event and a significant number of retirements, the TGRSA Safari 1000 proved to be a true test of man and machine. Lategan’s victory is a testament to his skill and the reliability of the Toyota Hilux, as he continues to cement his place as one of the top rally-raid drivers in South Africa.

    ๐Ÿ”— Source