This year’s South African Rally Championship has produced some of the closest and most thrilling action in the series’ history. Boasting the world’s largest field of Class S2000 crews and a thriving two-wheel drive category to boot, it comes as no surprise to rally enthusiasts that any one of four drivers are in a position to claim the coveted Drivers’ Championship title in next weekend’s season finale, the Polokwane Rally.
The Polokwane mayor’s office and Limpopo citizens have welcomed the rallying community with open arms for this event, this being province’s first special stage rally in several years. Taking place on Saturday and Sunday, 22 and 23 October, this event takes in 204 high-speed yet demanding competitive kilometers over 16 gravel tests. Bushveld farm roads making up the majority of the route see that all crews will be entering this unfamiliar event on an equal footing. As with the Garden Route Rally in August that also took in new rally roads, the competition in the Polokwane Rally is sure to dramatic and thrilling.
This rally poses the challenges that Team Total’s four-car squad relishes. South Africa’s largest privateer rally team competes in two Classes, the premier Class S2000 with two crews in purpose-built Toyota Auris S2000s and two Toyota RunX S1600s in Class S1600 for the Two Wheel Drive Championship.
Jean-Pierre Damseaux/Carolyn Swan (number #10 Team Total Toyota Auris S2000) finished an impressive fourth overall in last month’s rally in the Western Cape. Damseaux thrilled his home fans with his high-speed sideways driving skills to finish the event as the fastest Toyota driver while beating the factory Toyota crews in the event.
Class S2000 compatriots Mohammed Moosa/Grant Martin (number #9 Team Total Toyota Auris S2000) brought their rally car to the finish in eighth place overall, and like Damseaux they posted impressive stage times throughout the previous event’s stages. For this event, the Tzaneen-based Moosa is sure to upset the establishment as he aims to race up the leader board to score even more valuable Championship points.
Fighting for both the Two Wheel Drive and Class S1600 Championships, reigning Class champions Craig Trott/Robbie Coetzee (number #52 Team Total Toyota RunX S1600) will take to the start of this rally on Saturday 22 October with the aims of returning home with yet more trophies.
Stefanie Botha/Angela Shields (number #60 Team Total Toyota RunX S1600), South Africa’s only all-female rally crew, have displayed impressive potential all season and will look to convert that speed into Championship points at this upcoming rally.
The rally will start and finish on each of the two days of action at the Polokwane Police Club opposite the Peter Mokaba Stadium, which will also serve as event’s headquarters. The rally gets under way on Saturday at 07h00 and finishes at 18h00 after nine stages and 127km of competition. Day Two restarts at 07h00 and takes in 77.30km and seven stages to conclude at 11h30.
Rally organisers have set two Service Parks, with Day One’s service area situated at the Peter Mokaba Stadium. For Day Two, cars will be serviced on Oerlemans Farm.
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