After a successful start to the 2016 season, Toyota Gazoo Racing SA is all set to tackle the tricky stages of the Sasol Rally, Round 2 of the South African National Rally Championship. Leeroy Poulter and navigator Elvéne Coetzee powered their Toyota Yaris S2000 to victory in the opening round in the Free State, with teammates Giniel De Villiers and navigator Carolyn Swan finishing in second place. Team principal Glyn Hall says: ‘It was a great start to our 2016 campaign. Now we need to build on that going forward.’
The Sasol Rally is a true driver’s event, with long and tricky stages, set in the Lowveld of Mpumalanga. This year, the bulk of the event takes place in the area around the town of Sabie, while the traditional tarmac stages in Nelspruit are also retained. Hall says: ‘We’ve been working on the Toyota Yaris as part of our ongoing development programme. As such we’ve made the car a bit more driver-friendly for the long Sasol Rally.’
Former champions Poulter/Coetzee will be leading the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA charge, though De Villiers/Swan have shown that they have the pace to keep the flying Poulter honest. Poulter also won the opening round of the Donaldson Cross-Country Championship in Vryburg recently. Partnered with navigator Rob Howie, the pair romped home for a resounding victory, with teammates Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy finishing in second place, driving an identical Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux.
The Sasol Rally starts on Friday, April 22nd. The event takes place over two days, with the traditional Sabie Town Hall stage taking place on Friday evening. Saturday starts with the very popular stage nicknamed “Spaghetti Junction” in Nelspruit, before returning to gravel for the remainder of the rally.