FIRST GAUTENG APPEARANCE FOR NEW TOYOTA YARIS S2000 RALLY CAR
Toyota Motorsport South Africa’s new-for-2013 Yaris S2000 rally car will face its sternest test yet when the team’s three examples line up for the national championship Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally on Friday and Saturday (May 31 and June 1).
After finishing fourth on debut in the season-opening Total Rally, third in the Sasol Rally and first in a regional rally in the Eastern Cape, the scene is set for a potential maiden national championship victory in the first of two Toyota-sponsored rounds.
“We’re happy with the progress we’ve made with the Yaris in just three events,” said team principal Glyn Hall. “We entered the Ocean Basket Rally in Port Elizabeth as part of our preparations for the Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally and to accelerate our development and testing of the new car. The results were very encouraging, but now we have the considerably more serious challenge of going up against our established national championship rivals.
“With the latest changes and improvements we’ve made, we’re a lot closer to achieving optimum performance from the Yaris. We’re feeling good about the new car and our confidence is up. A win would be nice in our own event, but our aim is to keep moving forward and see where it takes us.”
Leeroy Poulter and Elvéne Coetzee, who won the regional event, and Johnny Gemmell and Carolyn Swan, who were second, will crew the two Castrol Team Toyota examples of the four-wheel drive, two-door Yaris, while Giniel de Villiers and Greg Godrich will be in the Imperial Toyota car.
Poulter and Coetzee are currently second in the championship behind defending champions Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton (Ford Fiesta) after finishing fourth and second in the two rounds held so far. Gemmell and Swan are sixth in the standings, while De Villiers and Godrich, who will be making only their second appearance in their new Yaris, are ninth.
The Toyota Gauteng Dealer Rally will take place in the Bapsfontein area and will cover a total distance of some 300 kilometres, of which around 180 will consist of 10 timed special stages including two gravel Super Special stages at the RallyStar Motorsport Academy.
The event will start from the Toyota Parts Distribution Warehouse near Boksburg at 10.30 on Friday (May 31) with the last of the day’s five gravel stages being a Super Special.
The action resumes on Saturday from the Toyota Parts Distribution Warehouse at 07.00 and will finish after another four gravel special stages and a repeat of the RallyStar Super Special from around 15.00.
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, NGK, SKF and Spanjaard.