SA Cross Coun­try Cham­pi­onship

Giniel does it again

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - CONTENTS -

Reign­ing rally and of­froad cham­pion Leeroy Poul­ter and co-driver Rob Howie were in prime form on the qual­i­fy­ing race of the Har­ri­smith 400 event.

The pair, in the works Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA Toy­ota Hilux V8, set a blis­ter­ing pace, start­ing the race proper ahead of team­mates Giniel de Vil­liers and Den­nis Mur­phy.

Come race day and on the first of two rac­ing loops, Poul­ter and Howie kept the ham­mer down, stay­ing com­fort­ably ahead of De Vil­liers and Mur­phy in the sec­ond FIAspec­i­fi­ca­tion Toy­ota Hilux V8. But then a gear­box prob­lem side­lined the lead­ing Hilux, forc­ing Poul­ter to park the Toy­ota. De Vil­liers took over the reins at the front of the field, with only a punc­ture and a stop to re­place a wheel caus­ing a slight sweat in their cabin. For the rest, it was plain sail­ing for the 2009 Dakar Rally cham­pion.

Class T com­peti­tors Gareth Wool­ridge and Boyd Dreyer (Puma Lu­bri­cants Ford Ranger V8) fin­ished 11 min­utes be­hind the lead­ing FIA spec­i­fi­ca­tion Toy­ota, but the team man­aged to stay just over two min­utes ahead of their team­mates, Lance Wool­ridge and Ward Huxtable.

Former cham­pion Chris Visser and Philip Hersel­man (Class T At­las Copco Toy­ota Hilux V8) fin­ished in fourth po­si­tion over­all. Evan Hutchin­son and Danie Stassen (King Price BAT) com­pleted the top five in their Class A spe­cial ve­hi­cle.

In sum­mary: 33 teams lined up for the start of the

Har­ri­smith 400, of which 22 man­aged to com­plete the race. Among the ca­su­al­ties were reign­ing champ Poul­ter, both Class T 4×4 Mega World Toy­ota Hilux bakkies, Hen­nie de Klerk (Trea­sury One VW Amarok), Richard Leeke (ATS Mo­tor­sport Ford Ranger) and former rally com­peti­tor Visser du Plessis, who was a guest driver in a King Price Porter.

The next round of the 2017 SA Cross Coun­try Se­ries takes place at Sun City in the North West Prov­ince, on 15 and 16 Septem­ber. More in­for­ma­tion: sacross­coun­tryrac­

Main: Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA’s Hilux V8 at speed.

Above: Giniel de Vil­liers and Den­nis Mur­phy (cen­tre) made it two wins in a row in their Toy­ota Ga­zoo Rac­ing SA Hilux V8. Be­low: Gareth Wool­ridge and Boyd Dreyer in the Puma Lu­bri­cants Ford Ranger V8 won Class T.

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