Defending champions Poulter-Howie ready for 200km Vredefort “sprint”

Round two of the 2016 Donaldson South African Cross-Country Championship is due to take place on May 7, in the Freestate town of Vredefort. Once the scene of the greatest meteorite impact on the planet, the town will now host the shortest event on the 2016 calendar.

001-off-my-wheelsBrian Joss – Known as the Vredefort Super Sprint, the round is designed to create maximum impact for spectators, much like T20 does in cricket.

“It is an interesting innovation,” is Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall’s take on the event. “At just 200km, it is less than half the race distance we are used to. But we’re confident going into the race, after winning the opening round in Vryburg earlier this month.”

Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy: ready for the sprint after taking second place at Vryburg. Picture: Waldo van der Waal
Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy: ready for the sprint after taking second place at Vryburg. Picture: Waldo van der Waal

Defending champions Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie comfortably won the RFS Vryburg Endurance, round one of the championship, with teammates Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy finishing in second place, driving an identical Toyota Hilux. Poulter also went on to win the first two rounds of the 2016 South African National Rally Championship together with navigator Elvéne Coetzee (Toyota Yaris S2000).

The Vredefort Super Sprint will feature a new one-day format, where competitors will start the race based on their position on the national seeding list. This means that the two Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hiluxes will go off first and second in the production category.

The race will consist of two loops, each with a total of 100 km. Competitors will start the first loop at 9.30am, going off at two minute intervals, after which there will be a compulsory stop for servicing. However, where the usual service stop is only 20 minutes, the Vredefort Super Sprint will be divided into two separate races, with the second loop starting at 1.30pm. The start order for the second loop will be determined by the times set on the opening loop, with the fastest crews going off first.

“To make it even more interesting, the cars will be going off at one minute intervals for the second loop,” explains Hall. “This means that dust could become a critical factor, so it is imperative to do well on the first loop.”

In addition to the two factory Toyota Hilux race vehicles of Poulter and Taylor, a number of privateers will also compete in similar vehicles. Jason Venter and Vince van Alleman, winner of Class T on the opening round, will again be campaigning their 4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux. Brothers Johan and Werner Horn, in the Malalane Toyota Hilux, will also be in action again.

The HQ and Designated Service Park (DSP) for the race will be situated at the farm Witwal, on the outskirts of Vredefort. The opening loop starts at 9.30am on Saturday, May 7, and the second loop starts at 1.30pm. There will be refreshments for sale at the DSP, with plenty of entertainment, as well as the chance to get close to the race cars and their crews. Entry for spectators is free.

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