Category Archives: Team and Event News

Fekken aims for win in Ermelo

Hergen Fekken/Pierre Arries - Picture by Motorpics

The current South African Rally Champions, Hergen Fekken/Pierre Arries will be aiming at winning the Rally of South Africa for the third consecutive year. Fekken/Arries won the event in 2008 and 2009, the same years that they won the National Rally Championship. The event is due to be held on 28/29 May in the Ermelo district. It is the 4th round of the SA Sasol National Rally Championship.

Speaking from Pretoria, Fekken, who competes in a works BP VW Polo, said that the Rally of South Africa has always been a good event for him. “In enjoy the event and the roads”, he said. “It would be good to be able to win it for a third time”. Continue reading Fekken aims for win in Ermelo

Recces a must on South African rallies

Conrad Rautenbach/Peter Marsh - Picture by Motorpics

South African national rallies compare well with those held in the United Kingdom, but if they want to get on equal footing with other European rallies, the controlling body of rallies would have to introduce recce’s for the competitors. This is the opinion of internationally rated rally competitor, Conrad Rautenbach, who is competing in the SA Sasol National Rally Championship this year.

Rautenbach has been a regular competitor in the Junior World Rally Championship and the World Rally Championship in the past few years. He will be in action a Class S2000 Ford Fiesta on the Rally of South Africa on 28/29 May in the Ermelo District. Continue reading Recces a must on South African rallies

All change for asphalt for Jim Clark Int’l Rally

Gwyndaf Evans/Chris Patterson - Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X.

As the 2010 Dulux Trade MSA British Rally Championship reaches its first asphalt event in the guise of the Jim Clark International Rally next weekend, it is a somewhat surprised Jonny Greer and Dai Roberts who lead the series.

The Northern Irish driver and Welsh co-driver scored their best ever result on last month’s Pirelli Rally after a gearbox scare on Friday night. As an added family bonus, his co-driver Dai was joined by brother Gareth on the podium, as far as anyone can remember the first co-driving brothers to share the champagne on a BRC event. Continue reading All change for asphalt for Jim Clark Int’l Rally

Proton starts IRC campaign at Gecko Ypres Rally next month

The Proton R3 Rally Team will start its Intercontinental Rally Challenge campaign on next month’s Geko Ypres Rally. 

The British-based MEM team which prepares and runs the official Satria Neo S2000s will send two cars to the classic two-day Belgian event which is rated as one of the best asphalt rallies in the world. The Proton R3 Rally Team line-up for its first IRC appearance of the year will remain the same as for this year’s FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship: Scotsman Alister McRae and Australian Chris Atkinson. Continue reading Proton starts IRC campaign at Gecko Ypres Rally next month

Gravel stages to feature on WRC Rally de Espana

The organisers of Rally de España have revealed that in a break from its traditional all-asphalt format, this year’s event will feature a mixture of road surfaces with more than 70 per cent of Friday’s mileage run on gravel, reported

The RACC Automóvil Club has confirmed a series of changes for this year’s event, the penultimate round of the World Rally Championship, which will be held from 22 to 24 October.

The rally’s opening day features two mixed asphalt-gravel stages and one all-gravel stage. Of Friday’s 136 timed kilometres, 73 per cent will be driven on gravel with the remaining 27 per cent on asphalt. The mixed surface challenge will force teams to start with gravel settings on their cars and change suspension, brakes and wheels at the end of the day ready for the sealed surface roads of days two and three. Continue reading Gravel stages to feature on WRC Rally de Espana

Aussie Atkinson keen to make amends in Rally Hokkaido

Austrailian rally-driving star Chris Atkinson is aiming to get his FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship campaign firmly on track in Japan’s Hokkaido Rally that started last night.

Lining up for round two of the competition with the factory-backed Proton R3 Malaysia Rally Team, Atkinson is fourth in the drivers’ standings after a troubled start in Malaysia last month. Continue reading Aussie Atkinson keen to make amends in Rally Hokkaido

Castrol Team Toyota on “home” turf for Sugarbelt 400

Duncan Vos in the Castrol Toyota Team Hilux.

Advertorial by Toyota of South Africa
Pictures: Motorpics
The Castrol Team Toyota Off Road team will be looking to succeed on ‘home’ turf in the Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400 that takes place on the 21st and 22nd of May.

The event, considered one of the tougher and more popular events in the eight event ABSA Off Road Championship, takes place in the Eston area of KwaZulu-Natal, an area used extensively by Toyota engineers during the development of the Hilux prior to its introduction in South Africa. KwaZulu-Natal is of course Toyota’s home province as well with the company’s manufacturing facility less than an hour’s drive away from Eston.

“It was on this event last year that Anthony Taylor gave notice of the real potential of the Hilux in off-road racing when he held a reasonably comfortable lead through the event until just 40 kilometres from the end,” says Castrol Team Toyota team principal, Glyn Hall. “The Sugarbelt 400 combines a unique mix of terrain with the route traversing tracks through cane fields, open grassland and a forest section, with a fair bit of variation in elevation in this hilly area of KwaZulu-Natal thrown in for good measure.

The factory Toyota is aiming for a home turf win this weekend.

“This is the kind of terrain that the Hilux has shown itself to be well suited for. Both Duncan Vos and Anthony Taylor are enthusiastic about their chances of success on this event given the performance of the Hilux in the Toyota Dealer 400 some weeks back and its performance in this event last year.

“As ever the team has applied itself to the process of constant improvement of the Hilux to optimise its potential. We are really competitive in terms of speed – we saw that in Lydenburg – and our aim for the Sugarbelt 400 is to use that to our advantage in a good clean run and hopefully a visit to the top step of the podium for Toyota and our partners Castrol, Imperial, and the Innovation Group.”

The Sugarbelt 400 is based at the Beaumont Eston Farmers Club, just off the R603, and this area will also serve as the designated service point. This is a spectator friendly event with a number of spectator points accessible without the need to venture off main tar roads.

The mighty Castrol Toyota Hilux in action.