Toyota’s cup overflowed at the weekend when eight times South African champion Serge Damseaux and navigator Robert Paisley put up a storming performance to claim victory on the VW Rally that ended in Port Elizabeth on Saturday July 18. Driving the new Castrol Toyota RunX RSi, the current championship points log leaders Damseaux and Paisley took the lead after Stage 4 and never looked back. -

- Their closest rivals, Enzo Kuun/Guy Hodgson were forced to retire their Sasol VW Golf 4 just 2km from the end of the penultimate stage at the Aldo Scribante Race Circuit. -

- “The VW Rally has been good to me for many years and this was my eighth win in this Port Elizabeth-based event” an elated Damseaux said “ On Thursday we broke a piston while testing. The team worked through the night to rebuild the engine. They did a fantastic job so we could win our third rally of the season,” he said. -

- With Kuun and Hodgson out of the running Damseaux and Paisley’s only competition came from the Sasol DualFuel Mitsubishi Lancer of Rueda and Arries who finished 1 min and 39 sec behind them. Etienne Lourens and Andre Vermuelen (Team Total Corolla RSi) gave another blistering performance and once again proved that they are capable of mixing it with the front runners to score their fourth podium placing out of five rallies this year. The pair finished first in Class A7 and third overall placing them a strong second to Damseaux and Paisley in the 2003 Sasol DualFuel rally championship. -

- It wasn’t plain sailing for the pair who had the Sasol DualFuel Polo Playa of Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz hot on their heels throughout the two days. Lourens and Vermeulen had their fair share of problems when they lost time on day one with a broken brake pipe and power steering belt but the pair still managed a second overall at the end of the day, even though they had no brakes for nine kilometres. They slipped to sixth place on the first stage of day two after overshooting a corner and losing 20 seconds. By the end of stage 10 Fekken and Lourens were dead-heated with the Toyota crew on an overall elapsed time. Lourens took 13 seconds off Fekken in Stage 11 and went on convincingly win the Class. -

- For the first time this year all six Team Total cars finished, winning three classes in the process. Day one started off badly for the Team Total Corolla driver Jean-Pierre Damseaux and Cobus Vrey when they lost two minutes with two broken drive shafts. However a huge effort throughout day two saw the pair finishing third in Class A7 and seventh overall. -

- Team Total driver Craig Trott and Gerhard Snyman displayed their usual consistency and won Class A6 with no major problems, increasing their lead over Andy Haig Smith and Gerald Brace (Team React Corolla RSi) and pushing them even further up the points table. -

- Class A5 victory finally went to Rodney Visagie and Carolyn Swan (Team Total Toyota Tazz) after a fine performance put them back on track to clinch their first win of the season ahead of Gugu Zulu and Dave McGregor in their Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Chico. “The elusive win was a long time coming” said Rodney “We are delighted and look forward to further successes from here on.” he said. -

- Charl Wilken and Robin Houghton were once again victorious after a steady drive gave them their fifth Class N3 win in a row in the Castrol Toyota RunX RSi. The pair were virtually cruising to victory when two punctures in the last two gravel stages slowed their progress but their fifth class win assured them of the N3 championship for the year. -

- Dean Sanders/Rod Hering (Team Total Corolla RSi) finished second in Class N2 after a raging battle with Chris de Witt and Janine Labschagne (CTH Transport Toyota Corolla RSi). Team Total Sowetan contenders, Vusi Mabanga and Patrick Yende came second in Class N1 in a Tazz 130 despite rolling on stage 11. This is their third finish out of five this year and they are improving as the season continues. -

- Of the 56 cars that entered the event only 37 made it to the end in windy cold and overcast conditions. -

- The next round of the championship, the Motorpics Rally, takes place in the vicinity of Aliwal North on August 15/16. -


Original article from Car