There are four rounds left in the 2014 South African National Rally Championship, and with Castrol Team Toyota’s Leeroy Poulter just 16 points clear at the top of the table, the pressure will be on during Round 5, the Imperial Toyota Cullinan Rally. Teammates Hergen Fekken and Carolyn Swan are currently in third place in the championship, just 5.5 points behind the Volkswagen pairing of Hans Weijs and Bjorn Degandt.
“It has been a season of mixed results so far,” says Team Principal Glyn Hall. “Leeroy Poulter leads the championship, and Hergen is in third. But a DNF for Hergen on the last round certainly didn’t help our cause.”
Giniel de Villiers, with navigator Greg Godrich beside him, has also had his fair share of difficulties, though the pair has shown remarkable pace on each event so far this year. Their Toyota Yaris S2000 race car is supported by Imperial Toyota, so effectively the round in Cullinan is their home event.
“Of course we are hoping for a good result in Cullinan,” says Dakar veteran Giniel. “But so far our season has been an up and down affair. Hopefully it goes our way this time!”
De Villiers has reason to be positive about the next event: The team has made some improvements to the Toyota Yaris S2000 machines, both in terms of engine and suspension. The suspension developments were initially put in place for last month’s Volkswagen Rally in Port Elizabeth, but have now seen further development that should offer better traction on the slippery dirt around Cullinan.
In Class S1600, for front-wheel drive rally cars with engines up to 1600 cc, Durbanite Guy Botterill, in the Yato Toyota Etios R2 has had the perfect season: Four wins from four starts. He is currently well in control at the top of the standings, and will be aiming for the top step of the podium yet again.
The Imperial Toyota Cullinan Rally gets under way on Friday, August 15th, with six stages run on Day 1. Day 2 features an exact re-run of Day 1, with all six stages in action again. This year the event features three all-new stages, which will certainly test the teams to the limit.
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, Imperial Toyota Group, Innovation Group, Bosch, DeWalt, Donaldson, Edgecam, Ferodo, 4×4 Mega World, FreeM, NGK, Robor, SKF and Spanjaard.