Nissan Motorsport manager Glyn Hall makes his off road racing debut in the Toyota 1 000 km Desert Race on June 11, 12 and 13 when he stands in for the injured Giniel de Villiers in the Proudly South African Nissan Hardbody.
Hall, the 1990 national rally champion, gets his unexpected chance to return to active competition for the first time in 12 years in round three of the ABSA Off Road Championship at the expense of the multiple national touring car champion and 2001 off road champion, who broke his elbow in a fall while training on a mountain bike.
“I’m sorry for Giniel, who was looking for a win in the Desert Race to go with his win in the opening round of this year’s championship in the Nissan Dealer 400, but I’m really looking forward to my first off road race,” says Hall. “The adrenaline is still there!
“This is a one-off drive and at short notice it suited us to put me in the racing Hardbody with (co-driver) Francois (Jordaan). I’ve driven the pickup before during testing and I wasn’t that much slower than our regular drivers,” he says with a twinkle in his eye.
“Of course, working hard behind the wheel of such a powerful vehicle, for 500 km a day two days in a row, in the Botswana desert and bush is a different matter. I’m quite fit and have been training hard to prepare myself for what is the longest race on the calendar.
“Francois and I will be taking things as they come and our objective will be first to finish and, if it all comes together, maybe even finish first. We’re part of a team and our job is to help the team achieve the best results possible.”
De Villiers is expected to be fit for the next round of the ABSA Off Road Championship, the Sun City 400, on July 23 and 24.
Hall and navigator Martin Botha caused something of a shock in the 1990 national rally championship when they won overall in a class B semi-privateer VW Golf GTi against the might of the works four wheel drive class A cars. The final result went down to the very last event, when Hall and Botha pipped works driver Hannes Grobler and Piet Swanepoel in a four wheel drive Nissan Sentra. Grobler, who had won the 1986 championship in a Nissan Skyline, went on to win the 1991 championship in the Sentra.
Hall retired from rallying at the end of the 1992 season and was appointed manager of Nissan Motorsport in 1993. An internationally renowned race engineer and car builder, he led the team during its four-year domination of the national touring car championship, when De Villiers won the drivers’ championship in a Primera in 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2000 and Nissan won the manufacturers’ award in each of the four years. Under his direction, Nissan has won the last three national off-road championships, with De Villiers (2001), Duncan Vos (2002) and Grobler (2003), all driving Nissan Hardbody pickups developed and prepared in Nissan’s motor sport workshop.
He earned his Springbok colours for motor sport in 1990 and last year was the recipient of the Sports Car Club of South Africa’s prestigious Ken Lee Memorial Trophy for outstanding contribution to South African motor sport.
Original article from Car