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Vos, Howie dominate Dealer 400

2013-10-14 11:45

GOING FOR GOLD: Duncan Vos and Rob Howie in the Toyota Hilux took the win on the Ford Dealer 400, the penultimate round of the Donaldson Cross Country championship. Image: Quickpic

Thaba 'Nchu - Duncan Vos and Rob Howie (Toyota Hilux) have won the Ford Dealer 400, penultimate round of the SA National Cross-Country Car Racing championship, at Thaba 'Nchu in the Free State on Saturday. (Oct 12)

Team mates Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy finished fourth and scored enough points to clinch the 2013 championship for production vehicles with one round remaining.

Vos and Howie’s victory, their first during the 2013 season, extended a winning Toyota streak to five, with Taylor and Murphy having won the other four on their way to their first and Toyota’s 16th championship.


Taylor, who finished second in 2012’s championship, and Murphy, who only joined the team in 2013 for his first season as a National championship co-driver, headed for their fifth successive win after taking the honours in Friday’s qualifying race. They lost their lead towards the end of the first of the two 170km loops that made up Saturday’s race after they thought they’d strayed from the route and doubled back, only to find they had been correct in the first place.

They then picked up a puncture in the dust of the vehicles that passed them, dropping them back to sixth place at the halfway compulsory service stop at Thaba Nchu.

They put in an impressive charge in the second loop, recording the fastest time and closing to within two seconds of third-placed Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable.

Taylor said: “Dennis and I knew we had a good chance of wrapping up the championship today and we’re ecstatic about pulling it off with a race still to go. We had to push really hard after our problems in the first half of the race and it’s a big relief to have done enough to win our first title. Dennis and I have worked well together, the Hilux has been awesome all season and the back-up from the technical crew has been the best.”

Team principal Glyn Hall was full of praise for both of his crews: This is a brilliant result for the entire team. Everyone did a great job and we again proved that the Hilux is the vehicle to beat. Congratulations to Anthony and Dennis on their championship and well done to Duncan and Rob, who fully deserved their win today.”


Outgoing champions Vos and Howie were delighted with their win after a trouble-free race. Vos said: “We had a perfect run today. No problems with the Hilux and Rob was faultless with finding the correct route. Cross country racing is so competitive that if you want to win you can’t afford to make any mistakes or even have a puncture. Today we did what we had to do.”

In addition to Vos and Howie winning the premier class SP, Toyota privateers finished first and second in both classes D and E. Brothers Johan and Werner Horn (Land Cruiser) won class D ahead of Jason Venter and Vincent van Alleman (Hilux) while Douglas Fear and Kurt de Villiers (Hilux) won class E ahead of Johan Pretorius and Gesina Dauth (Hilux).

Toyota also won the manufacturers’ team award for the event and scored enough points in the overall manufacturers’ championship to ensure its sixth successive title and seventh in the 12 years of the championship.

The final round of the championship will be the Atlas Copco 400 in Westonaria over November 22/23.

Read more on:    toyota  |  free state  |  motorsport

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