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KZN rally: Toyota dominates S1600 class

2014-03-17 10:37

RUNNERS UP: Lourens van Rensburg and Pierre Jordaan in the Fiesta R2 was fourth during the first round of the SA National rally in Kwa-Zulu Natal. Erm, we couldn't find any pics of the winners. Erm... Thanks, Toyota. Image: Quickpic

CHARMAINE FORTUNE

SCOTTBURGH, KZN - Guy Botterill and Simon Vacy-Lyle (Toyota Etios R2) won the first round of the SA National Rally championship for S1600 two-wheel drive cars, the Tour Natal Rally in the Scottburgh area of KwaZulu-Natal.

They dominated a strong entry of 16, winning the lion’s share of the stages and finishing 12min34 ahead of second-placed Willie van Straaten/Scott Howden (Toyota RunX) and 14min07 in front of Andrew Heine/Robbie Coetzee (Toyota Auris).

Botterill/Vacy-Lyle had led after Friday’s (March 14) six special stages by 49.4sec from defending champions Clint Weston/Christoff Snyders (Citroen C2 R2), who were plagued by electrical problems and a misfire, and Ashley Haigh-Smith/Damian van Ass (Ford Fiesta R2), who were a further 22.1 sec in arrears after being slowed by rear suspension problems.

While their closest rivals fell by the wayside on Saturday, Botterill/Vacy-Lyle went on to score maximum points.

FUEL PROBLEMS

Weston and Snyders were forced out on Saturday with loss of fuel pressure on Stage 12 but were classified as finishing seventh under Super Rally rules. Haigh-Smith/Van Ass were also plagued by fuel pressure problems and eventually finished ninth.

Lourens van Rensburg and Pierre Jordaan (Fiesta R2) were fourth, ahead of Matthew Vacy-Lyle/Schalk van Heerden (Etios R2), who were slowed by a variety of ills that included a damaged lower control arm and gearbox problems.

AC Potgieter and Tommy du Toit (VW Polo) were sixth. Nico Nienaber and Gert Janse van Rensburg (Toyota RunX) were eighth and Donovan Meyer and Tommy Coetzee (Fiesta) were 10th.

The Tour Natal is traditionally rough-'n'tough season-opener with fast gravel roads through the South Coast sugar fields. Casualties included Chris Coertse and his 16-year-old co-driver Mari van der Walt (Etios R2), who rolled on Friday’s Stage 3 and were then eliminated on Stage 9 on Saturday with a broken driveshaft.

A promising run by Chad van Beurden and Nico Swartz, fourth overnight, ended on Stage 11 on Saturday when they rolled their Polo R2 out of the rally while ahead of Vacy-Lyle/Van Heerden (Etios R2) and Ernie van der Walt/James Aldridge (Fiesta R2).

Marko Himmel/Francois Schoonbee (Polo R2), who broke a sideshaft on Stage 4 on Friday, re-started on Saturday under Super Rally rules only to be sidelined again on the opening stage with a broken steering arm. Paulus Franken/Henry Kohne (Polo R2), broke a driveshaft on Stage 1.

The next round of the championship will be the Sasol Rally in Mpumalanga over April 11/12 2014.
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Read more on:    toyota  |  kwa-zulu natal  |  rally  |  motorsport

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