The Team Castrol Toyota crews of Duncan Vos and Rob Howie, and Anthony Taylor and Chris Birking broke a 13 year curse of Toyota not being able to win at its home event – the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race – on the weekend as they cruised to a 1-2 finish and cemented their stranglehold on the championship.
Both Hiluxes started strong and dominated from the first section to take the first two podium positions unchallenged, with only 35 seconds separating the two. “We are over the moon. A one-two on the toughest race on the calendar was a great team effort. This was a typical Desert Race and you had to concentrate every inch of the way,” said Vos.
Taylor and Birkin threatened the lead until a puncture on Saturday’s first 200 km section lost them three minutes. With the only real opposition having to chase hard to win, Vos and Howie took it easy to seal the win.
The final podium position went to the Pretoria duo Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren in the second RFS BMW X3. It was their best result of the season with the pair holding off a determined challenge from the Ford Ranger of Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst over the last 200 kilometres, who no doubt wanted to retain some of their former glory of winning last year’s event when Taylor and Birkin suffered mechanical failure.
The battle ended when the du Plooy/van Vuuren BMW crossed the finish trap just 13 seconds ahead of the Ford of Visser and Badenhorst.
The next event on the Absa Off-Road Championship is the Sun City 400, which starts on 27 July.