Werner Koekemoer and Etienne Lourens kept their pre-Gauteng Rally promise of a Super 2000 Challenge podium and entertaining the fans along the route, achieving both in their Glasurit Toyota RunX S2000 en route to 3rd in class and 22nd overall in what proved to be a demanding two days behind the wheel.
The Glasurit Toyota pair got off to a rocky start – quite literally. Along with over a dozen fellow competitors, Koekemoer suffered two punctures in the opening 28km stage, twice forcing the Toyota to a stop, costing 23 minutes to the Challenge Class leaders and leaving the pair 29th overall.
Somewhat rattled by the start, Koekemoer had an overshoot in the following stage but recovered well to put in two fast times in the final two stages of the day, setting the 11th quickest time in stage 3 and the 10th fastest time in the following stage. “I felt like giving up!” Koekemoer laughed as he recounted his event. “But after a couple of good quick stages, things got better and we ended up 22nd overall for the day which was a good recovery”.
Sunday dawned bright and bitterly cold but the fierce action in the S2000 Challenge continued unabated. “Wilro (Dippenaar) made a mistake in the SuperSpecial because they never got the route changes and they ran in the wrong lane leaving us sitting in their dust”, Koekemoer reflected.
In stages 7, 8 and 9 Koekemoer set class-winning times beating both Gugu Zulu in his factory VW Polo and Dippenaar and then set about entertaining the spectators at the final tarmac stage at Zwartkops Raceway, running the reverse-direction stage mostly sideways with smoke pouring off the tyres. “We couldn’t make up any ground on the other two after losing so much time in stage one, so we decided to play a bit on the last stage. We had nothing to lose and I’m sure we will get some great TV exposure for our sponsors!”
“I’m getting to grips with the car and the settings are more to my liking now so I’m happy we will put on a stronger showing when we get to Cape Town in September”.
The Glasurit Toyota Rally Team will next be in action on the Toyota Dealer Cape Rally on 7th and 8th September.