With Round 3 of the South African National Rally Championship around the corner, one can’t help but wonder about Castrol Team Toyota’s chances of achieving a hat-trick of wins. The PMC Gauteng Rally, which takes place in the Babsfontein area on 23 and 24 May, 2014, may just be the setting for such a triumph, especially considering the way the team kicked off the season.
“The season couldn’t have started better for us,” says Team Principal Glyn Hall. “With two wins out of two rallies, we have shown that the Toyota Yaris S2000 is capable of not only winning rallies, but possibly even the championship.”
Leeroy Poulter/Elvene Coetzee drew first blood on the opening round of the South African National Rally Championship, which took place in Kwazulu Natal earlier this year; and followed up with another victory on Round 2, the SASOL Rally of Mpumalanga.
At the same time, multiple champion Hergen Fekken and navigator Carolyn Swan chalked up a second place finish on Round 1, and a third place on Round 2. The result is that Poulter/Coetzee lead the championship, with a full marks score of 50 points, with Fekken/Swan ten points behind them in second place. To make Toyota’s start to the season even sweeter, Imperial Toyota driver Giniel de Villiers and navigator Greg Godrich are in third place in the championship, after a solid start to their own campaign.
In Class S1600, for front-wheel drive cars with engines no larger than 1600 cc, Guy Botterill and navigator Simon Vacy-Lyle are firmly in command, after back-to-back victories on the first two rounds of the championship. The pair drove their locally built Toyota Etios R2 to consecutive emphatic victories, and are clearly the team to beat this year. The top three positions in the S1600 championship are all occupied by Toyotas, with Willie van Straaten/Scott Howden in second, and Matthew Vacy-Lyle/Schalk van Heerden in third.
The PMC Gauteng Rally gets underway at 10am on Friday, 23 May, with four stages on Day 1. The rally restarts at 9am on Saturday, and there are six special stages bringing the total race distance to 190 km. The rally takes place in the area around Babsfontein, to the East of Pretoria and Johannesburg, and includes the spectacular Super Special at Rallystar, which sees two competitors take to a specially designed track at the same time. The final stage kicks off at 2pm on Saturday at Rallystar.