Motorsport 15.9.2016 02:24 pm

Gazoo gunning for South African title

TITLE SHOT. Leeroy Poulter and Elvene Coetzee (Gazoo Toyota
Yaris S2000) will hope to clinch this year’s national rally title on
the weekend’s Cape Toyota Dealer Rally. Picture: Dave Ledbitter

TITLE SHOT. Leeroy Poulter and Elvene Coetzee (Gazoo Toyota Yaris S2000) will hope to clinch this year’s national rally title on the weekend’s Cape Toyota Dealer Rally. Picture: Dave Ledbitter

But their Rally Championship bid’s under threat from their stablemates.

The penultimate round of the 2016 South African Rally Championship will be held through the Western Cape this weekend, with the Toyota Cape Dealer Rally event expected to be won by a Toyota.

Leeroy Poulter and Elvéne Coetzee (Gazoo Toyota Yaris S2000) have won all five of this year’s national rallies thus far, and will hope to carry on winning this weekend.

If they do, they will clinch this year’s South African title overall. Their only real opposition should come from the identical Yaris of their Gazoo Toyota teammates Giniel de Villiers and Carolyn Swan.

De Villiers won the Cape Rally two years ago, and he will wish to do so again, if only to see the title chase extended to the final rally of the season.

Chasing the final podium place will be Wilro Dippenaar/ Kesevan Naidoo (PZN Panelbeaters Ford Fiesta S2000), Theuns Joubert/ Mari van der Walt (Salom Group Toyota Auris S2000) and Japie van Niekerk/Robin Houghton (NAD Ford Fiesta S2000).

In the Super 1600 class for 1600cc front-wheel drive cars, Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy Lyle (Yato Tools Toyota Etios R2) should clinch the season’s title with another victory.

Chasing them will be crews like Richard Leeke/ Henry Kohne (P1 Nutrition Ford Fiesta R2), AC Potgieter/ Tommy Du Toit (Lake Umuzi Volkswagen Polo R2), Paulus Franken/ Pierre Arries (Manitou Volkswagen Polo R2), Chris Coertse/ Greg Godrich (Electrothread Toyota Etios R2) and Andre Heine/Lloyd Brady (VW Polo R2).

Rounding out the national entries will be Ashley Haigh Smith/ Niall Burns (Ford Fiesta R2) and George Smalberger/ Chris Brand (Shield Car Care Volkswagen Polo R2).

A healthy entry from the Western Cape regional rally championship is expected to come out and play, adding more spectacle and value for fans taking to the road.

Imperial Toyota Brackenfell will host the rally formalities with documentation and scrutineering tomorrow evening.

The Toyota Cape Dealer Rally will get underway on Friday at 4pm from McCarthy Toyota Killarney, and head across the road to the Killarney circuit, which will host four stages.

Malmesbury Toyota will host a 7am start on Saturday, with crews heading toward Cape Town, for the first gravel stages at Bottelnek.

Thereafter, three gravel stages will run, all in close proximity to Malmesbury. The podium will take place at around 5pm at the Malmesbury Showgrounds.

A copy of the spectator guide will be published on sarallying.co.za.

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