The Castrol Team Toyota Hilux has won the round five of the Production Vehicle Championship category of the Donaldson Cross Country Championship last weekend at the Vryburg Endurance.
The duo, Leeroy Poulter and Rob Howie, added to victories on the RFS Endurance, the Sugarbelt 450 and the Nkomazi 450 to mention a few.
The pair went into the weekend needing only a third place to clinch the title.
“We lost time on the second loop with two punctures, but otherwise it was a clean run,” said Poulter. “This was a fast and tough event but it has been a good season for us.”
There was late drama when the two factory Ford Performance Ranger entries dropped out of contention while running second and third.
Former South African champions Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst, who won this race last year, suffered drive train failure while Lance Woolridge and Ward Huxtable retired with a broken suspension arm.
It was a bitter pill for the Ford Performance squad who looked to be en route to salvaging some pride after a disappointing season.
The retirement of the two Ford Rangers opened the door for Mpumalanga brothers Johan and Werner Horn (Malalane Toyota Hilux) and North West crew Jason Venter and Vincent van Allemann (4×4 Mega World Toyota Hilux) to finish on the podium.
The Horns were delayed by a couple of punctures, but Venter and van Allemann reported a clean run and never had to get out of the car.
Fourth placed Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson, in the Regent Racing Nissan Navara, also never had to get out of the car and were well clear of fifth placed Taylor and Murphy who did well to snatch a top five finish after starting from the back of the field.
A steady run took Terence Marsh and television’s Cave Man presenter Janez Vermeiren into sixth place in a second Regent Racing Nissan Navara.
They came in ahead of former South African champions Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux (Toyota Hilux), who were first in Class S for cars up to four litres with solid axle rear suspension.
The final event of the season will see the Donaldson series head for the West Rand on October 30 and 31 for the Atlas Copco Gold 450.