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Results

Atlas Copco Gold 450

Atlas Copco Gold 450 2 November 2015

  • 1st overall for Leeroy Poulter/Rob Howie
  • 3rd overall for Anthony Taylor/Dennis Murphy
  • Manufacturer’s Championship for Toyota

Press Releases

CASTROL TEAM TOYOTA WRAPS UP CROSS-COUNTRY  SEASON IN STYLE CASTROL TEAM TOYOTA WRAPS UP CROSS-COUNTRY  SEASON IN STYLE

CASTROL TEAM TOYOTA WRAPS UP CROSS-COUNTRY SEASON IN STYLE 2 November 2015

Having already wrapped up the title for the 2015 Donaldson Cross-Country Championship on the previous round, Castrol Team Toyota’s Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie (Toyota Hilux) put the cherry on top this weekend, by winning the Atlas Copco 450, final round of the 2015 season. The newly crowned champions qualified in second place, less than two minutes behind former champions and team mates Anthony Taylor and navigator Dennis Murphy, but went on to take the win by six minutes during the main race. This result gives Castrol Team Toyota a clean sweep for the year, having won every qualifying race as well as every round of the year.

 

“We can’t be anything but overjoyed,” said an ecstatic Glyn Hall, Team Principal of Castrol Team Toyota, after the race ended in Glenharvie, Gauteng, on Saturday October 31st. “The race Toyota Hilux has proven itself yet again this year, and our crews did exactly what was required of them.”

 

Both Castrol Team Toyota crews campaigned the latest version of the race Toyota Hilux, which will be taking part in the Dakar Rally early in January 2016. Taylor/Murphy won the qualifying event on Friday October 30th, while Poulter/Howie had to settle for second place after suffering a puncture on the qualifying loop.

 

During the main race, the two Toyota crews quickly built a comfortable buffer over the chasing pack, but Taylor/Murphy lost time after making contact with a concrete bollard at a road crossing.

 

“The road crossing was quite steep, up and over the tarmac road,” explained former champion Taylor after the race. “As we crossed the road, the race route veered sharply, and we hit a chunk of concrete on the other side.”

 

This damaged the steering rack of the Toyota Hilux resulting in a loss of power steering mid-way through the first loop of the day. But the technical crew repaired the Hilux during the mandatory mid-way stop at the Designated Service Park (DSP), and Taylor/Murphy was back on attack.

 

Poulter/Howie, in the mean time, had a clean run save for a puncture, and managed to capitalise on Taylor’s misfortune. They went on to power their race Toyota Hilux to an impressive fifth victory for the season.

 

Taylor/Murphy were back on the road in third place, having been overtaken by former champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst (Ford) as a result of their steering problems. The Toyota crew chased hard, but had to settle for the final podium slot, holding off an impressive assault by Ford driver Gareth Woolridge behind them.

 

For Castrol Team Toyota, the 2015 season featured a win on every round, as well as winning every qualifying race of the season. Poulter/Howie won five of the six rounds, narrowly losing out on an outright win on the Toyota 1,000 Desert Race, after having won the first heat of the grueling race. Taylor/Murphy took the honours in Botswana, ensuring a whitewash for Castrol Team Toyota.

 

In Class S, for vehicles with engines up to 4,000 cc and solid rear axles, the battle for the championship raged until the final moments of the last round of the season. After five rounds, it was the Toyota crew of Heini Strumpher and Henri Hugo who lead the championship. With a buffer of only 6 points over their rivals, Romulo Branco and João Serôdio (Nissan), it was always going to be a tight race.

 

Things got off to a poor start for the Toyota crew, who suffered technical problems during the qualifying loop, and were forced to start the race from the back of the grid. Branco and Serôdio, in the mean time, powered to a class win, while Strumpher/Hugo managed to finish in fourth place. This handed the class championship to Branco/Serôdio by the narrowest of margins, relegating the Toyota crew to second overall despite their valiant charge on the Atlas Copco 450.

 

With the South African Cross-Country season now behind them, the members of Castrol Team Toyota will be putting all their effort behind the annual Dakar Rally, where Poulter/Howie will again be partnering with Giniel de Villiers and his long-standing navigator, Dirk von Zitzewitz. That race gets under way on January 2nd, in the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

 

 

 

Toyota Motorsport South Africa Acknowledges Its Sponsors and Specialist Official Supplier and Technical Partners

Toyota enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with Castrol, Toyota Financial Services, Innovation Group, Imperial Toyota Group, Bosch, Donaldson, Edgecam, Ferodo, Smith Manufacturing, NGK, SKF, Reiger and Spanjaard.

 

Follow the fortunes of Castrol Team Toyota on www.toyota.co.za

Twitter: www.twitter.com/toyotasa

Facebook: www.facebook.com/toyotasouthafrica.

ENDS      

 

       

 

CASTROL TEAM TOYOTA ALL SET FOR ATLAS COPCO 450 CASTROL TEAM TOYOTA ALL SET FOR ATLAS COPCO 450

CASTROL TEAM TOYOTA ALL SET FOR ATLAS COPCO 450 26 October 2015

The 2015 Donaldson Cross-Country Championship will reach its conclusion with the Atlas Copco 450, which takes place in the area around Westonaria, Gauteng, on October 30 and 31. For Castrol Team Toyota this will be an opportunity to underline their dominance in the 2015 season, having won every round so far in this year’s championship.

 

“It has been a great year for us,” said Castrol Team Toyota Team Principal, Glyn Hall, before the final race of the season. “We’ve managed to win every round so far, sealing the championship with a round to spare. Winning the final round too will be the cherry on top.”

 

This year has seen the coming of age of Leeroy Poulter, competing in only his second full year of cross-country racing, as part of Castrol Team Toyota. In 2014 Poulter was still coming to grips with the Dakar Spec Toyota Hilux, but in 2015 he clearly enjoyed racing the locally built and developed machine.

 

“Racing the Hilux is very different to driving the rally car,” explained Poulter, who won the South African National Rally Championship for Castrol Team Toyota in 2014, and finished runner-up in the 2015 championship. “Obviously the vehicle is heavier and much taller, but it can also withstand much tougher conditions, and it took me a while to get fully into it.”

 

This year saw Poulter and navigator Rob Howie power to wins on four rounds of the six-round championship, with former champions and Castrol Team Toyota Teammates, Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy, winning the prestigious Toyota 1,000 Desert Race. Between the two crews, Castrol Team Toyota also won every qualifying race of the season so far.

 

With the championship already wrapped up, the team will be concentrating on their preparation for the 2016 Dakar Rally, during the Atlas Copco race.

 

“We will be running the two Hilux race vehicles that are going to the Dakar, as the team has to prepare them for local regulations in addition to prepping for South America,” explained Hall. “Anthony’s feedback will also be extremely valuable, and we hope to sign off on some changes we implemented after taking part in the Rally of Morocco earlier this month.”

 

The team will be hoping for dry weather, so as to make the most of the race from a testing perspective. Taylor/Murphy will be driving the car with which Giniel de Villiers and navigator Dirk von Zitzewitz competed in Morocco, while Poulter/Howie will be fielding a brand new machine.

 

In Class S, for race vehicles with solid rear axles, and engines up to four litres in capacity, the battle for the title is alive and well. The 4x4 Megaworld Toyota Hilux crew of Heinie Strumpher and Henri Hugo are at the top of the standings going into the final round, but they have a buffer of only six points over the Nissan crew of Rómulo Branco and João  Serôdio. To make things even more interesting, defending champions Jannie Visser and navigator Joks le Roux (Toyota Hilux) will be competing in the Atlas Copco 450, and could certainly have an influence on the outcome of the race, and possibly even the championship itself.

 

The 2015 Atlas Copco 450 will be based around the Kloof Country Club in Glenharvie, and the qualifying event gets under way at 11:30 on Friday, October 30. The main race is set to start at 07:00 on Saturday, and will finish well in time for the Rugby World Cup Final, which takes place on the same day.

 

 

 

Toyota Motorsport South Africa Acknowledges Its Sponsors and Specialist Official Supplier and Technical Partners

Toyota enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with Castrol, Toyota Financial Services, Innovation Group, Imperial Toyota Group, Bosch, Donaldson, Edgecam, Ferodo, Smith Manufacturing, NGK, SKF, Reiger and Spanjaard.

 

Follow the fortunes of Castrol Team Toyota on www.toyota.co.za

Twitter: www.twitter.com/toyotasa

Facebook: www.facebook.com/toyotasouthafrica.

ENDS