document : So Near for Galvadip Toyota Team

So Near for Galvadip Toyota Team
information supplied by: MSA Rally Commission 05 November 2012


Chasing the Super 1600 and Two-Wheel Drive Co-Driver’s SA Rally Championships, Tjaart Conradie and Kesevan Naidoo had high hopes from the Garden Route Rally, the 8th and final round of the series that completed a year where the 1600cc class grew into a highly competitive environment.

With the sole objective of helping Naidoo achieve the highest place on the co-driver’s log, the Galvadip/PACS Toyota Auris headed out of the city for two loops of two long stages where Conradie took a cautious approach to the first group of stages in the forests above Wilderness in the Western Cape. The roads were littered with rocks and sharp stones that claimed many scalps early on in the event.

Setting the third fastest time in the opening stage, Conradie had difficulties judging how fast to push in the second stage that saw conditions deteriorate markedly, especially with additional hazards pulled into the road by the faster Super 2000 machines running at the front of the field.

“I was a bit too cautious in the first forest stage and lost a lot of time, thinking more about getting through unscathed rather than what the ideal pace should be. In stage three we got stuck in dust behind Giniel” {de Villiers – who stopped to change punctured tyres}. This cost the Galvadip pair around ½ a minute to their main title rival but nevertheless climbed up to third place overall, just 0.3 second from their goal.

After a service break in town, the teams headed back to the forests to re-run the forest stages, which had not held up well following rains in the area in the weeks leading up to the rally.

“Stage 4 was quite rough but I had to speed up. The car bounced around quite a bit. Over one piece of road the car snapped sideways and glanced a bank. A few metres later, the suspension collapsed and we were out”, Conradie reported.

Naidoo’s dream of winning the co-driver’s title was shattered along with the Auris’ suspension, but he was content with the runner-up spot.

“We had a difficult start to the year and got quicker as the year progressed. You’ve got to drive smart in this class. Tjaart controlled a hairy moment very well and recovered but the suspension was terminally damaged”, said Naidoo.

“We recovered well from our early season set-backs to be on the podium which is a good effort for our team. We have demonstrated that we can run with the younger drivers in more exotic imported cars” Naidoo added.

Title sponsor Galvadip, part of the Silverton Engineering Group, is in an exciting growth phase, having just commissioned their state-of-the art facility in Silverton, Pretoria, to meet customer demand. Hot Dip Galvanizing is a coating of choice in the mining, construction and infrastructure fields.

With over 30 years experience, the new plant allows Galvadip to increase tonnage and improve customer service levels with shorter turnaround times.

Additional support for the team comes from Pan African Commuter Solutions (PACS), Hencom Autobody, Toyota SA, Silverton Engineering, NGK Spark Plugs and LUK.

Tags | Motorsport | MSA Rally Commission | 2012 Garden Route Rally |