Saturday, March 2, 2024

After shoulder injury, Henk Lategan focused on recovering for Dakar

Henk Lategan dislocated his shoulder after rolling his Toyota Hilux during Saturday’s Renergen 400. With the 2024 Dakar Rally three months away, he will turn his focus towards recovering for the event.

Lategan was the top driver to begin the Renergen 400 when he set the fastest overall time on Friday, beating Gareth Woolridge by thirteen seconds. The next day, however, his Hilux hit a ditch while approaching a closed gate and rolled. His co-driver Brett Cummings was not injured.

With Lategan out, Woolridge went on to win the event.

“Unfortunate end to the weekend for us, we hit a ditch at the wrong angle, which ended in a crash and my shoulder getting dislocated again,” said Lategan. “Sorry to the team who worked hard to give us a good car all weekend. Thanks to my trusted co-driver for doing such a good job opening the road and sorry for the mishap.

“The race now is on to recover in time for Dakar 2024. We will do everything we can to be fit and ready.”

He had suffered another shoulder dislocation at the 2021 Dakar Rally when he rolled on Stage #5. The injury forced him to miss that year’s South African Rally-Raid Championship season opener.

The next and final race of the 2023 SARRC, the Waterberg 400, is on 10/11 November. While the race is a month away, recovery from a dislocated shoulder typically takes longer for athletes. On the other hand, the 2024 Dakar Rally will begin on 5 January.

If he heals up in time, Lategan will run his fourth career Dakar Rally. He finished fifth overall in the 2023 edition with a best stage performance of second in Stage #3. While not racing for the World Rally-Raid Championship, he won the final leg of the Abu Dhabi Desert Challenge.