The traditional season-opener is known for its unpredictable weather, and the 2020 edition was no exception. The qualifying race was run in dry conditions for the front-runners, while the competitors lower down the order had to fight their way through a thunderstorm. This didn’t hold back Lategan/Cummings, however, as the pair set the fastest time over the 63 km-long qualifying race. Their time of 53min 11sec was 29sec faster than that posted by Giniel de Villiers and navigator Alex Haro, in an identical Class FIA Toyota Hilux.
The Qualifying podium was rounded out by Chris Visser and Danie Stassen, in the Total Excellium-sponsored Toyota Hilux. TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s Shameer Variawa brought his brand-new mid-engined Toyota Hilux home in 5th place, despite this being his first outing in the car, with a new navigator in the form of Dennis Murphy reading the notes.
Saturday’s main race saw Lategan/Cummings complete a near-perfect run, leading from start to finish. The pair were in control of the pace throughout the 337 km race distance, despite a scare near the end of the closing loop.