Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton prevailed in their S2000 Sasol Ford Fiesta to take top honours in the Toyota Dealer Gauteng Rally, the fourth round of the South African Rally Championship, at the weekend. The event ended in tragedy for the Castrol Toyota Team, though, which suffered numerous penalites that saw both Toyota team entries bumped down the final results’ list.
Johnny Gemmell and Peter Marsh powered their Castrol Toyota Auris S2000 to stunning last stage win on the Sasol Rally which ended in Nelspruit on Saturday afternoon, heading a Castrol 1-3 and a Toyota whitewash of class wins on the third round of the Sasol SA Rally Championship.
The Damseaux and Toyota partnership, synonymous for winning 74 national rallies and ten championships with Serge behind the wheel, took a new turn this weekend when Jean-Pierre Damseaux and co-driver Cobus Vrey extended the winning partnership with an aggressive, well controlled career first win.
The Castrol Toyota Auris made its rally debut in class S2000 on the Osram Rally and stunned onlookers with its immediate rally-leading pace. The Castrol Toyota team dominated the 6th round of the Sasol SA Rally Championship until the final stage, when lady luck stepped in to thwart the Castrol squad.
The factory Castrol Toyota team will debut their long awaited class S2000 Castrol Toyota Auris on the Osram Rally, round 6 of the Sasol SA Rally Championship, heralding the start of a new era for the most successful marque in SA rally history.
Toyota Motorsport emerged from a bruising Sasol Rally, round three of the Sasol SA Rally Championship, with a raft of class wins and a fighting podium to keep Toyota ahead on the Manufacturer’s Championship leaderboard.
Team TOTAL came away from round two of the Sasol Rally Championship with a satisfying three class wins in the two-day Toyota Dealer Rally, which took place in the Caledon area of the Western Cape at the weekend. Chris de Witt and Dean Redelinghuys (Team TOTAL Toyota RunX) won class A7, defending champion Craig Trott and Tony Ball (Team TOTAL Toyota Corolla) won class A6 and former champions Rodney Visagie and Carolyn Swan won class N3.
Castrol Toyota RunX debutant Japie van Niekerk and Robin Houghton claimed a hard earned podium finish on the Hitachi Tour Natal Rally, the opening round of the 2008 Sasol SA Rally Championship this past weekend, while Toyota also claimed victory in classes A6 and N3.
Toyota, the defending SA Rally Manufacturer’s Champions, will again be well represented in all classes in SA rallying, none more so than the premier S2000 class, where no less than five Toyota RunXs will take on four Volkswagens for overall rally wins and title honours.
The climax of one of the best and closest contested Sasol SA Rally Championships takes place in Gauteng this weekend with the season-ending Toyota Dealer Rally organised by the Pretoria Motor Club.