(zaf) 1.82m


fishing, outdoors


Toyota Gazoo, Toyota SA, Jonsson Work wear, USN

2024: first appearance

2023: South African cross-country series (2nd)
eWRC and WRC driver


“Important to build for the future”

It’s all about motorsports. Guy Botterill is never far from a driving seat and even his wife comes from a famous South African racing family. For Guy, it all started at the age of eight when the South African started with karting. From the World Championship ranks of that discipline we remained on circuits in production cars before the move to rallying. That’s actually when his long term relationship started with Toyota. Very successful on the local and continental scene, the next step was off-road rallies and what better team than Toyota Gazoo to be in for such a switch. After competing and learning in the South-African cross-country series, the 37-year-old will finally take on the Dakar. Botterill who has very little experience in the dunes, spent days and hours in Namibia alongside one of the most experienced and consistent drivers in Dakar history, Giniel De Villiers. Learning from the best will come in handy once in Saudi Arabia although he knows that for year 1, only the finish will be the objective. In his Hilux, the fast rookie who enjoys fishing and the outdoors when he’s not racing, will be counting on the help of Brett Cummings who started his Dakar career on a bike back in South America before pairing up with Henk Lategan who sadly injured his shoulder before this Dakar to come.

G.B.: “I’ve been racing my whole life. I started when I was 8 years old. I did karting first and competed at the World Championships. I then moved to production car racing in South Africa on track and from there I moved to rallying. Glynn Hall helped me and that’s where my relationship started with Toyota. We had a very successful career in rallying, winning seven South African championships in a row and competing in the African championship. Three years ago I got the call to do my first rally-raid event in the Hilux in the South-African championship. I’m now actually one of the oldest Toyota Gazoo sponsored drivers. The Dakar has been a lifelong dream. I used to stay awake at night time, past my bed time to watch and follow it. It’s partly because we’ve had legends in South-Africa like Giniel (De Villiers). I’m 100% sure that Giniel has played a massive role in the success of Toyota. It’s a privilege to work with Giniel. I had to pinch myself a few times when testing in Namibia just to be able to work with these guys and sitting around the table listening to what they have to say when it comes to building a Dakar winning vehicle. That’s priceless. I am a rookie at the Dakar and my expectation is just to finish and get the mileage. I need the experience in the dunes. I only had my first taste of dunes in Namibia. I’ll probably back it off in the dunes and on the hard ground, I’ll go as fast as I feel comfortable without taking any risks. I think we’re ready. I’m looking forward to getting some proper Dakar stages under our belt. It’s important to build for the future and Toyota have put in some young guns. I’m sure their investment in us will not be a disappointment in the years to come. It’s a great investment for the future and it shows Toyota’s commitment to the sport.”

B.C.: “The 2013 Dakar was the experience of a lifetime. I was amazed by the hype, the support and the excitement around the event. Obviously being the winner of the Dakar Challenge helped a lot for publicity. If I had advice to give to Dakar newcomers, I would tell them: prepare yourself and if you think that you’ve prepared enough then prepare some more… In terms of racing it was different to what I was expecting. I thought that it would be harder physically. The hardest part came from the strain on the backside and the lack of sleep. Dakar 2023 was filled with a lot of lessons, some hard ones too. We went from breaking the windscreen 700 meters into the 1st stage to getting more punctures than we had spare tyres for on day 2 and receiving a 20 min penalty. After that shaky start we had a few good clean stages. We didn’t push too hard and we just tried to be consistent. It was one of the toughest races I have ever done and we managed to climb up to 2nd overall! After the rest day it went a bit downhill. We broke a damper and I hurt my back in the process. Two days later we rolled the car 6km into the stage, on both occasions we fixed everything we broke and carried on. We have learned a lot about ourselves.”




  • Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • Toyota Gazoo Racing
  • T1+: Prototype Cross-Country Cars 4x4

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