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ELVÉNE COETZEE Navigator
Elvéne Coetzee has rallying in her genes. The Coetzee name is engrained in South African rally history, with Elvéne’s father a driver of note in the 70s and 80s. Elvéne, in fact, lists her most memorable rally as the 2008 Belfast Rally as navigator for her father.
She began her rally career during 2006, as navigator for Johann van der Merwe, who campaigned a Toyota Tazz in regional championship. In just her fifth rally, Elvéne navigated Johann to a win in the PMC Regional Rally.
While still competing in regional events, she moved up to the national championship in 2007 with Tjaart Conradie competing in a Toyota Tazz in Class A5. The pair came second in the Class Championship that year.
The following year, Elvéne teamed up with Etienne Lourens in Class N3. Their best result was an 11th place and first two-wheel drive car home in the Osram Rally.
For 2009, Elvéne joined Evan Hutchinson in the Class A7 Toyota RunX. The pair had a very successful year and won the Class A7 Championship. For 2010, she graduated to the S2000 Class with Hutchinson. As well as the national championship, the pair contested selected regional events as well ending the year on a high with a win in the All-Tar Rally.
In 2011, she joined the Castrol Toyota team as co-driver to Leeroy Poulter in an S2000 Toyota Auris. They won two events and were in contention in each of the other rounds.
Their 2012 season was not a true reflection of their capabilities and the best they could manage was two ninth place finishes, with the low point being the total destruction of their Auris in a grass fire on the opening stage of the opening round in KwaZulu-Natal.
In 2013, she and Poulter campaigned the new Yaris rally car in Castrol colours and although they came close to winning at least two rounds, they had to settle for sixth in the championship and eight special stage wins.
Then came 2014 and the South African National Rally Championship, which the pair won with one round the spare. Coetzee became the first female navigator to win the championship since 1960.
Elvéne has a wide ranging interest in motorsport and started circuit racing in 2009 in Class C of the Goldwagen Challenge. She also competes in the SuperHatch Series and on occasion is entrusted with historic racers from Peter du Toit’s stable at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria. Aside from motorsport, Elvéne enjoys horse riding and has an interest in motorcycles.