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Toyota 1-2 in KZN S2000 rally

2014-03-17 10:36

WINNERS IN KZN: Toyota’s Leeroy Poulter (left) and Elvéne Coetzee claim the first round of the 2014 SA National Rally championship. Image: TOYOTA


SCOTTBURGH, KZN - Toyota earned the first two places in the all-wheel drive S2000 class during the opening round of the 2014 South African National Rally championship, the Tour Natal.

Leeroy Poulter/Elvéne Coetzee (Toyota Yaris S2000) led team mates Hergen Fekken/Carolyn Swan on Saturday afternoon (March 15).


Poulter/Coetzee led throughout, winning seven of the 14 special stages and finishing 43.9 seconds ahead of Fekken/Swan. Visiting Dutch/Belgian drivers, Hans Weijs and Bjorn Degandt (VW Polo), finished in third, 1min36 behind the winners and won stage 11.

According to Motorsport SA, results are provisional and subject to appeal. The race saw a number of crashes and technical failures.

Fourth was the third Toyota Yaris of Giniel de Villiers/Greg Godrich (+2min55.2), followed by the VW Polo of Henk Lategan/Pierre Arries (+10min39). Lategan was third, 55sec behind Poulter and only 9.9sec behind Fekken, after winning stages ten and 12, though unfortunately went off road during Stage 13 and was placed fifth under the “half-points” Super Rally rules.

Defending champions Mark Cronje and Robin Houghton (Ford Fiesta) crashed 500m after the start of the first special stage on March 17. Their car was too badly damaged to enter on March 16 under the half-points Super Rally rules.


Wilro Dippenaar/Kes Naidoo (Toyota Auris) were sixth overall and first in the S2000 Challenge for older all-wheel drive cars. They were third overall on March 14 until an overheated engine and alternator failure forced them out after five stages. They continued under Super Rally rules on March 15.

The second S2000 Challenge crew home and seventh overall was Piet Bakkes/Shaun Visser (Toyota RunX), who completed Day 1 in second behind S2000 Challenge debutants Thilo Himmel/Armand du Toit (VW Polo).

Himmel rolled out of contention during the opening stage on March 15 but placed ninth overall and third in S2000 under Super Rally rules.

Japie van Niekerk/Gerhard Snyman rolled their Ford Fiesta S2000  on March 14 but competed on March 15 under Super Rally rules and finished eighth overall and sixth in the S2000 class after winning three of the day’s eight stages.

Former S2000 Challenge winners Gugu Zulu/Carl Peskin, making their debut in the premier class in a third VW Polo, were stranded on Stage 3 (March 15) due to engine problems. The pair competed on March 15 under Super Rally rules but were not classified due to continual engine issues.

Nic van der Westhuizen/Stefan Cilliers (Toyota Auris) were out of contention in the opening stage on March 14 and were unable to enter the Super Rally.

The next round of the 2014 championship will be the Sasol Rally in Mpumalanga from April 11 - 12.

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