Currently leading the overall drivers and co-drivers championships, classes A7, A6, A5, N3 and N2 as well as the prestigious manufacturers' championship, inspired Toyota crews are preparing for the Motorpics Mountain Trial, regarded as one of the fastest and most exacting rallies of the season.

With several national titles already in sight, some interesting battles are forecast, as the Toyota teams will be going all out to consolidate their positions at this crucial stage of the rally season.

Leading the pack in the overall championship and Class A8, are Serge Damseaux and Robert Paisley in their Castrol Toyota RunX RSi. Damseaux/Paisley will be putting in a determined challenge to protect their six point lead over Class A7 leaders Etienne Lourens/Andre Vermeulen (Team Total Corolla RSi).

The Team Total Corolla pairing, have shown plenty of tenacity to move into second place on the current championship points log after scoring their fourth consecutive podium placing out of five rallies this year on the recent VW Rally. A favourite with the crowds, spectacular Lourens/Vermeulen have a 51 point lead over team mates Jean-Pierre Damseaux and Pierre Arries, also in an A7 Team Total Corolla RSi. .

The Class A6 championship is all but settled in favour of class leaders Craig Trott and Gerhard Snyman who have had a good season so far. Their virtually unassailable points lead over Jaco Venter and JB van Niewenhuizen, in another Toyota Corolla, gives them a realistic chance of clinching the title.

The recent VW Rally saw Rodney Visagie and Carolyn Swan in their Team Total Toyota Tazz moving ahead of Coetzee/Malan (Toyota Tazz) to take the lead in Class A5 after a disastrous start to their season. With only three points separating the two crews their battle will be an intriguing one.

In his maiden rally season, ex circuit racing champion Charl Wilken has taken to rallying like a duck to water. In an impressive display of consistent driving Wilken and navigator Robin Houghton have won their class in five out of five events and already have the Class N3 championship wrapped up.

Dean Sanders/Rodney Hering, Team Total Toyota, have had a frustrating season with mechanical gremlins forcing the pair to retire their N2 Team Total Corolla RSi from three of the five events. With a 27-point deficit to De Wit/Labuschange, also in a Toyota Corolla RSi, Sanders/Hering will be fighting every inch of the way in an attempt to improve their position so Sanders can retain his current Class N2 title.

There is a little pressure on the Team Total Sowetan development crew of Vusi Mabanga and Patrick Yende who are lying third in Class N1, trailing Heine/ Heine, VW Citi Golf and Belitzky/Cheyne, Toyota Tazz. The pair has finished three out of five events this season and will be anxious to get more points on the board.

The Mountain Trial starts from Hot Springs in Aliwal North at 06h00 and finishes at 16h00 on Saturday, August 16.

Original article from Car