document : Double for Team Castrol Toyota on Nkomazi, 450 qualifying race

Double for Team Castrol Toyota on Nkomazi, 450 qualifying race
information supplied by: Cross Country Commission (Media) 16 May 2014

358518 Double for Team Castrol Toyota on Nkomazi, 450 qualifying race

Nkomazi 450 – Round three Donaldson Cross Country Championship
Location: Malalane – Mpumalanga
Production Vehicles qualifying race results: Class T – 1 L Poulter/R Howie (Toyota Hilux); 2 A Taylor/D Murphy (Toyota Hilux); 3 J Horn/W Horn (Toyota Hilux). Class S – 1 L de Bruin/R Greyling (Ford Ranger); 2 D Venter/I Palmer (Toyota Hilux); 3 J Visser/J Le Roux (Toyota Hilux)

Malalane, Friday – The Castrol Toyota Hilux factory team got their weekend off to a flying start here today with Leeroy Poulter/Rob Howie and South African champions Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy scoring a one/two triumph in the qualifying race for tomorrow’s Nkomazi 450.

The event is round three of the Donaldson Cross Country championship with the battle lines between the Castrol Toyota squad and the works Atlas Copco Ford Racing teams drawn on the opening two events of the season. For the Ford squad it was not a happy day with championship leaders Manfred Schroder/Japie Badenhorst down in 11th place, with Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau – victims of fuel pressure problems - among those appearing in the did not finish column in the interim results.

“Apart from catching some backmarkers who started in the group ahead of us, which is to be expected, we had a clean run,” said Howie. “The route was tight and technical and that should make for a good race.

“The cane field sections were a little slippery, but we have to be happy with the way it went for us.”
The difference between Poulter/Howie and Taylor/Murphy was a puncture. Taylor and Murphy picked up a flat five kilometres from the finish of the 100 kilometre race, and the final gap between the two cars was four minutes and 30 seconds.

The Toyota cup overflowed via another outstanding performance from local crew Johan and Werner Horn in the Malalane Toyota Hilux. Cheered on by fierce local support, the Horns followed up a podium on the Toyota Dealer 450 with another third place.

In only their third outing in the premier Class T, which caters for cars above four litres with fixed axle or independent rear suspension, the Horn brothers came in ahead of Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren in the RFS Ford Ranger. For the Horns the only problems were a couple of overshoots.

Where du Plooy/Janse van Vuuren were concerned it was a welcome return to form for the Pretoria crew, who went through a bad spell last year and in the early part of this season. Du Plooy/Janse van Vuuren came in ahead of Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson in the Atlas Copco Nissan Navara, with Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger in the Treasury One BMW X3 also continuing recent good form with sixth place.

Regent Racing Navara pair Mike Whitehouse/George Myburgh were a solid seventh, with the top eight completed by Bloemfontein crew Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling in the diesel powered Ruwacon Racing Ford Ranger. De Bruin and Greyling were the first of the Class S contingent for cars up to four litres with solid axle rear suspension, with the pair also currently leading the championship.

In their first outing of the season Thomas Rundle and Brett Cummings (DMACK/Barden Toyota Hilux) were next up, and found themselves sandwiched between de Bruin/Greyling and Deon Venter/Ian Palmer in the 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux. Venter/Palmer won Class S last time out, with third place in the category going to veteran former South African champions Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux in the Ruwacon Toyota Hilux.

In the new Class G or Side by Side category, the Regent Racing Polaris pair of motorcycle ace Brian Capper and Jaco Swart, were well clear of drivers championship leader Leander Pienaar and Stephan Marais in a Can-Am Maverick. There was a gap of five minutes between the two cars, with Capper/Swart having a good day.

Race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point are all located at the Riverview Preparatory School, with public access to these areas and spectator points along the route free of charge. Competitors will complete two laps of the route with a compulsory 15 minute halt after the first loop.

Tomorrow’s race starts at 8:30.
Double for Team Castrol Toyota on Nkomazi, 450 qualifying race.pdf (240kB)

2014 Nkomazi 400 - Qualifying Results.pdf (161kB)

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