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CHAMPIONSHIP BECKONS AS TOYOTA GAZOO RACING SA TACKLES HOME EVENTSep 12, 2016
Round six of the seven-rounds South African National Rally Championship is the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally, which takes place on 16 and 17 September in the Swartland – and victory for Leeroy Poulter and navigator Elvéne Coetzee on Toyota’s home event, will see them clinch the 2016 championship title. The pair have won each round of this year’s championship, in their Toyota Gazoo Racing SA, in association with Total Quartz, Yaris S2000.
“It’s been an amazing season so far,” says Poulter. “We’ve had a great run, and the Toyota Yaris has been absolutely faultless. We had a tough event in the Cape last year, and we’ll be looking to make good this time.”
Teammates Giniel de Villiers and navigator Carolyn Swan are the only other crew with a mathematical chance of stealing Poulter/Coetzee’s thunder. If De Villiers/Swan win the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally, the title fight continues to round seven.
“Both Leeroy and Giniel have been ultra-consistent this year,” says Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall. “Neither of them made any serious mistakes, and we couldn’t be happier with the results.”
Currently third in the championship standings is Ernie van der Walt in the Vecto Petroleum Toyota Yaris S2000, giving Toyota a clean sweep at the top of the leaderboard.
In Class S1600, for front-wheel-drive rally cars with engines up to 1600cc, defending double-champion Guy Botterill reigns supreme in the Yato Toyota Etios S1600. He has a 39-point buffer over second-placed Richard Leeke (Ford), which means that he, too, can seal the championship with a win in the Swartland.
“It couldn’t be more exciting,” says Toyota SA Motors Vice-President, Marketing, Glenn Crompton. “This is our ‘home’ event, and we have two championships possibly being decided. What’s more, both titles could go to Toyota crews.”
The rally gets under way with scrutineering at 18:00 on Thursday, 15 September, at Imperial Toyota Cape Gate. Friday sees a ceremonial start at McCarthy Toyota Table View, before the crews tackle four stages at the Killarney racetrack. The event concludes on Saturday, with a restart at Malmesbury Toyota, and stages around the Swartland town of Malmesbury.