document : Team Castrol Toyota Dominate Toyota 1000 Desert Race Prologue

Team Castrol Toyota Dominate Toyota 1000 Desert Race Prologue
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 24 June 2011

Team Castrol Toyota Dominate Toyota 1000 Desert Race Prologue

Gaborone, Friday – The Team Castrol Toyota team got their challenge for the Toyota Desert Race, round four of the Absa Off Road Championship, off to the perfect start here today.

Team-mate Anthony Taylor and Chris Birkin and Duncan Vos and Rob Howie completely dominated the Donaldson Prologue to determine start positions for the race with a one/two finish. Taylor/Birkin led home Vos, a three time winner of the race, and Howie by just 15 seconds.

Third were reigning South African champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst, in the Team Ford Ranger TDCi, with the three cars separated by exactly 60 seconds. That sets up an interesting early confrontation when the race gets underway early tomorrow at Kumakwane.

“It was a dream start for the team, but there is still a long way to go,” said Taylor. “This race isn’t won on the first two days and the crunch will come on Sunday.

“Coming off a good one/two on the Atlas Copco 400 has also been a boost for the team and hopefully we can come up with a repeat result.”

There was a slight surprise when Malcolm Kock and Johan Burger (Kock and Sons Toyota Hilux) came home in fourth place.

Kock’s father Andre is a former winner of the race and being brought up in North-West Province is familiar with the sort of conditions found in Botswana.

Fifth were current championship leaders Thomas Rundle and former South African champion Juan Mohr, in the Barden Tyre Services Nissan Navara, who were just four seconds behind Kock and Burger. A further 18 seconds in arrears in sixth place were last year’s winners, Hannes Grobler and Hennie ter Stege in the diesel powered RFS BMW X3.

The veteran Grobler is a hero in Botswana and is looking for his seventh Toyota Desert Race win. The ebullient Grobler first won this event in 1986.

Gary Bertholdt and Andre Vermeulen (Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux) and young Pretoria crew Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren, in the petrol version of the RFS BMW X3, completed the top eight. Less than two minutes separated the lead car and the du Plooy/van Vuuren combination.

Reigning champions Deon Venter and Ian Palmer set the pace in Class D in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux, and are a little under pressure to come up with a good result. Two non finishes in a row have dropped them behind brothers Jack and Sarel Oosthuizen (Land Rover) in this year’s championship.

Second were Louis Weichelt and Francis Boersma (N1 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser) who are coming off a win on the Atlas Copco 400. Weichelt’s father Cliff, on a visit from Australia, and Johann Smalberger, in a second N1 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser, were a single second further back in third place with the Oosthuizen’s a disappointing sixth.

Free State crew Gerald le Roux and Riaan Greyling, in the Ruwacon Racing Ford Ranger were quickest of the Class E brigade. They were around 90 seconds ahead of championship leaders Dirk Putter and Koos Claasens in a Toyota

Hilux with Atlas Copco 400 winners Diederik Hattingh and Kristo Bosman (Transcor Toyota Hilux) another 30 odd seconds adrift.
The second day of the race starts tomorrow at Kumakwane at 08:00. The start/finish and the designated service point are all situated at Kumakwane.
Team Castrol Toyota Dominate Toyota 1000 Desert Race Prologue.pdf (249kB)

2011 Toyota 1000 Desert Race - Donaldson Prologue Results & RS 2 Start Order.pdf (62kB)

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