Poulter, Howie win in style
THE dominance Castrol Team Toyota pair Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie have exercised over the Production Vehicle category in the Donaldson Cross Country Championship was richly rewarded when the pair won the recent Vryburg Endurance, the penultimate round of the series, to wrap up the overall and premier Class T titles.
The Vryburg result gave Poulter and Howie their fourth victory of the season, with the pair also sharing heat wins on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race with team-mates and outgoing champions Anthony Taylor and Dennis Murphy.
Behind the two Castrol Toyota Hilux crews the Vryburg event provided a bit of a shake-up in the overall and Class T championships. Mpumalanga brothers Johan and Werner Horn (Malalane Toyota Hilux) moved into third place in the two title chases ahead of 4x4 Mega World Toyota crew Jason Venter and Vince van Allemann. The Horn brothers, Venter/Van Allemann and Van Staden/Lawrenson will go into the final event of the season fighting for third place in the overall championship, and in Class T for cars above four litres with independent rear suspension. Also at stake will be bragging rights as leading privateers.
Youngsters Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer (Neil Woolridge Motorsport Ford Ranger) have excelled in their first season of national racing. They did enough at the Vryburg event to give them a mathematical chance of moving ahead of the Horns, but would also need an unlikely overall win at the final race.
A close race for honours in Class S — for cars up to four litres with solid axle rear suspension — will also be settled at the final event. Here only six points separate North West crew Heine Strumpher and Henri Hugo (4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux), and Portuguese pair Rómulo Branco and João Serôdio in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara. • The final Donaldson series race is the Atlas Copco Gold 450 on the West Rand on October 30 and 31.
North West crew Heine Strumpher and Henri Hugo in their 4x4 Mega World Toyota Hilux.