Motorsport 3.3.2014 12:00 am

Dream off road season start

OFF TO A FLIER. Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy led the Castrol Toyota Hilux team to a resounding victory in the weekend's RFS 450 cross country race. Picture: Motorpics.

OFF TO A FLIER. Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy led the Castrol Toyota Hilux team to a resounding victory in the weekend's RFS 450 cross country race. Picture: Motorpics.

The Castrol Toyota Hilux squad got their 2014 campaign off to the best possible start with a Production Vehicle one/two triumph on the RFS 450, the opening round of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship, over the weekend.

Reigning South African champions Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy headed the Castrol Toyota challenge, leading hometeam-mates Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie, who started the day in fifth place, with the two crews separated by around 10 minutes.

The final podium place went to veteran Manfred Schroder and Japie Badenhorst in a works Atlas Copco Ford Ranger.

A dream result saw local privateers Kobus van Tonder and son-in-law Freddie Kriel come fourth in their ex-factory Uni Freight Ford Ranger.

The top five were completed by Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson, giving the Atlas Copco Nissan Navara a debut outing.

Youngsters Jason Venter and Vince van Allemann (4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) completed the top six in their Class T debut.

Ruwacon Racing crew Peter Ruthven and Hansie Rheeder, in a Toyota Hilux, were the first of the Class S contingent in seventh place overall.

Second were newcomers Piet Kotze and Salomon Victor in another Toyota Hilux, with Louw de Bruin and Riaan Greyling completing a good day for Ruwacon Racing with third place in an ex factory diesel powered Ford Ranger.

There was also a promising Class T debut for Mpumalanga brothers Johan and Werner Horn in the ex factory Malalane Toyota Hilux who were seventh in class and eighth overall.

It was a more difficult outing for Christiaan du Plooy and Henk Janse van Vuuren who ran into teething problems in the new RFS Ford Ranger, although the race was a useful research and development exercise.

The next event on the Donaldson Cross Country Championship calendar, the Toyota Dealer 450 on April 4 and 5, will see the series move to Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal. – Special correspondent.

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