“Going into the unknown...”
At age 15 he competed in his first regional rally as a codriver for his father Hein. Less than ten years later he became the youngest driver to win the South African cross-country championship. Driving a racing car runs in his veins. Raised in a family of rallying, his future seemed rather bright. Henk Lategan will be one to watch on the 2021 Dakar. And during the upcoming rally he’ll have the possibly to chat and even battle it out with his childhood hero, Sebastien Loeb. Both men actually crossed paths back in 2015 when Henk took part in the Monte-Carlo rally, driving a Skoda. That was during the South-African’s regular rally years. Since then he slowly switched to cross-country, joining the Toyota Gazoo team in 2018 and claiming the last two domestic championships, beating the likes of 2009 Dakar whinner Giniel De Villiers, a man who is also his team-mate. The 26-year-old who enjoys riding his enduro bike naturally turned to a biker to become his navigator during the next rally. Indeed, Lategan will have at his side Brett Cummings who competed and finished the Dakar back in 2013 and again in 2014 in the malle-moto class for riders with no assistance. Despite insisting he’s on the Dakar just to learn and gain experience for the future, he could well worry some of the big boys out in the desert.
HL: “Racing in the Dakar has been a dream for me. Even after winning two championships in South Africa, taking on the world’s toughest race is a daunting prospect. I don’t know what to expect. I’ve been there once but just as a spectator. I know there’s a lot of dunes and sand and that’s the biggest question mark for me. I’ll be there for the first year just to learn and take in as much as we can, and come back with some information hopefully to work with for the following years. There are a lot of new things to get used to. That’s the exciting thing about it : going into the unknown. I think that’s the whole spirit of Dakar. Going there on an adventure and exploring whatever there is to explore. I’m just glad I have Brett with me, who has competed twice at the Dakar already. Having competed in local cross-country rallies in South Africa, I’m very familiar with the Hilux, which helps a lot, too.”
BC: “He called me and said : would you be willing to come and navigate? Compared to when I was riding bikes, it’s the same but it’s different. You’ve got to understand navigation. A lot of times at Dakar, the bikers are open to navigation but the difference is having to relay that message which you normally just process and put into your mind and you can execute what you need to with it. Now you’ve got to explain that word for word to the driver so that he understands that picture that’s in the road book.”
TOYOTA GAZOO RACING
- Mark : TOYOTA
- Model : HILUX
- Performance tuner : Toyota Gazoo Racing
- Assistance : Toyota Gazoo Racing
- Class : T1.1 petrol modified A-T 4x4
All news of H. Lategan
Collar bone fracture for Lategan
After two exceptional stages, rookie Henk Lategan suffered an accident at the start of the special and has fractured his collar bone. The South African has been airlifted to Riyadh whilst his co-pilot Brett Cummings was unharmed.
Henk Lategan: "We got a little bit lost in one of the canyons"
The South African rookie who turned heads with his second place in yesterday's stage kept it up in the stage to Riyadh, finishing third on the day.
"We were actually going really well in the beginning until a tyre delaminated. I don't know exactly what happened, but we had to stop and change it. Then we got a little bit lost in one of the canyons, but I think the...
Lategan stays the course
Henk Lategan ended stage 4 of the rally with his second podium finish. The rookie even led the race at some point before being overtaken by Nasser Al-Attiyah, eventually finishing exactly a minute and a half behind the Qatari.
Al-Attiyah and Lategan go head to head
Nasser Al-Attiyah is again facing stiff resistance from Henk Lategan in his quest to win today's special. 125 km into the special, the Qatari is just one second ahead of the rookie. Overall leader Stéphane Peterhansel remains within striking distance at 52".
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