Toyota Gazoo Racing SA’s Leeroy Poulter and navigator Rob Howie continued their unbeaten run for 2016, when they recorded their fifth consecutive victory in the Donaldson Cross-Country Championship, at Malelane.
Brian Joss – “Leeroy and Rob had a clean run the first day, and they managed to continue their unbeaten run for the season,” said Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Team Principal, Glyn Hall, after the event concluded at the Riverview Preparatory School in Malelane. “They’ve really proven themselves on this event, despite finishing the qualifying race in second place.”
Poulter/Howie trailed teammates and former champions Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy after Friday’s qualifying race. The eventual winners suffered a puncture during qualifying, which saw them drop behind their teammates.
“Anthony and Dennis had a great run in their own right,” said Hall. “They were keeping Leeroy and Rob honest on the main race, when a problem with the cooling of their power steering forced them to retire from the event.”
With Taylor/Murphy removed from the race, it was down to Poulter/Howie to reap the rewards. The pair didn’t hold back, and won the Nkomazi 450 in emphatic style. This was their fifth victory on the trot, and Poulter remains unbeaten in all competitions for 2016, including the South African National Rally Championship, where he campaigns a Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Yaris S2000 with navigator Elvéne Coetzee.
Toyota also celebrated a win in Class T, with Johan and Werner Horn bringing the Malelane Toyota Hilux home in first place, after a tight battle throughout the weekend. The pair, who have won races in the past, had to fend off an attack from both Johan van Staden (Nissan) and Jason Venter (Toyota), but won through in the end.
Behind them, Otto Graven and navigator Bobby Brewis recorded their maiden victory on the Donaldson Championship, when they brought their Class S Toyota Hilux home in first place.
“Overall it was a stunning weekend for Toyota,” concluded Hall. “With victories in all three production classes, there can be no doubt about Toyota’s dominance in cross-country racing, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the season.”
Next up in the 2016 Donaldson Championship is the Sun City 450, which takes place at the end of September in the Northwest Province .This will be the penultimate event of the season, with the curtain dropping after the Atlas Copco Gold 450, which takes place in Glenharvie on October 28 and 29..