Category Archives: Team and Event News

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.

Special Vehicle Category wide open at Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400 this weekend

After having their collective nose bloodied last time around the Class A brigade will be looking to reassert their authority on the Special Vehicle category at the Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400, round three of the Absa Off Road Championship, in KwaZulu-Natal on May 21 and 22.

Pretoria pair Johan van Staden and James Rossouw, in the KEC BAT, made history on the Toyota Dealer 400 when they became the first Class P crew to win a race overall in the Absa series. The right set of circumstances will always provide the possibility for similar upsets, but the Class A brigade will be a bit miffed if they allow a Class P crew to hog the limelight for the second race in a row. Continue reading Special Vehicle Category wide open at Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400 this weekend

BMW enters ABSA Off Road Championship fray

BMW enter the fray at the Atlas Copco Sugarbelt 400 to add an extra dimension to the Production Vehicle category at the third round of the Absa Off Road Championship in KwaZulu-Natal on May 21 and 22.

The RFS BMW X3 will make its debut in the hands of Chris du Plooy and Thinus Janse van Rensburg with BMW joining Ford, Toyota and Nissan in a record field of 18 cars in the premier SP Class. The BMW is, along with the factory Ford Racing Ranger, the second vehicle in the SP Class to make use of diesel power. Continue reading BMW enters ABSA Off Road Championship fray