Toyota crews are leading the way in the South African rally championship as they go into the third round of the eight-event Sasol DualFuel series. -

- Multiple rally champion Serge Damseaux and co-driver Robert Paisley are leading the 2003 rally series points table after winning the Total Rally South Africa and taking second place in the Hitachi Power tools Tour Natal event in their new Castrol Toyota RunX RSi. The pair will be aiming to extend their lead in the Toyota Dealers’ Cape Rally which takes place on May 30-31. -

- Damseaux and current Africa co-driver champion Robert Paisley are leading the SA rally championship at this stage but will face a stiff challenge from champions Jan Habig and Douglas Judd (Sasol DualFuel VW Golf 4) and their team mates, Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson. Habig/Judd were forced to retire on the last stage of the Total SA Rally in April with a broken engine giving Damseaux/Paisley a 21-point lead in the process. -

- Toyota Motorsport Manager, Wammy Haddad, is looking forward to the Cape Rally, “We are ready and well prepared for this event” he said, “The inconsistent weather experienced in the Cape at this time of year may play a role in the final results, but we have done even more development work on both cars and are expecting a positive result, he said. -

- The combined efforts of the Castrol Toyota teams of Serge Damseaux/Robert Paisley (Class A8) and ex circuit champion Charl Wilken and co-driver Robin Houghton (Class N3), together with the Class A7 Team Total Toyota Corolla champions Etienne Lourens/Andre Vermeulen and assisted by a number of privateer class wins have ensured Toyota’s lead in the manufacturers championship after the first two rounds. -

- Class N3 champions Charl Wilken and co-driver Robin Houghton in their factory-entered Castrol Toyota RunX RSi are highly motivated to add to their previous two class wins. “With more fine-tuning having been done to the car we will be going all out to prove we have the beating of the N3 and N2 opposition” said Charl. -

- Etienne Lourens and navigator Andre Vermuelen (Team Total Toyota Corolla RSi) stretched their lead over Class A7 rivals Hergen Fekken and Dave Lewkowicz (Sasol DualFuel Volkswagen Playa) when the pair drove a magnificent rally to win their class in Total Rally SA. Their gutsy performance gave them a significant points lead when most of the top class contenders fell out of contention in the last rally. -

- “We’ve beaten our closest rivals for five rally’s in a row, and our intention is to maintain that superiority” said Etienne. “Our suspension has been improved which will give us better handling and hopefully better stage times. Our intention is to keep as close to the A8’s as possible and finish ahead in class A7” he said. -

- Although Jean-Pierre Damseaux and Cobus Vrey in the second Class A7 Team Total Corolla RSi have had a number of early season hiccups, a gearbox failure and an accident on the first two events gave them two non-finishes, a change in fortune and being familiar with their home-turf will make them serious rivals as they work hard to get to the front. -

- After a class win in the Hitachi Tour Natal rally, the Team Total Toyota Corolla RSi entry of Craig Trott/Gerhard Snyman are strong contenders in Class A6. Privateers Andy Haig Smith/Gerald Brace beat the pair after an unfortunate time barring on the second day of the Total Rally SA, gifted Haig-Smith/Brace a maiden class win. -

- With only five points separating the Class A5 teams of Dolf Coetzee/Willie Malan (Toyota Tazz) and RodneyVisagie/Carolyn Swan (Team Total Toyota Tazz) the pressure is on for the defending champions to claim a victory and remain in contention for the championship title. -

- After an appalling start to their season, the Class N2 and overall Production car champions Dean Sanders/Rodney Hering will be going all out to gather every point they can, in their Team Total Toyota Corolla RSi, having failed to finish either rally this year. They pair will be chasing the CTH Transport Corolla RSi team of Chris deWitt/Janine Labuschagne, who won their class last time out, and Robin Goodman/Irma du Plooy (LUK Africa Corolla RSi). -

- Problems experienced in the last two rallies have seen the Class N1 Team Total Sowetan development team of Vusi Mabanga/Patrick Yende dropping down in the overall pecking order, but with just four points separating them from their nearest rivals Hylton Belitzky/Ryan Cheyne in their Protea Hotels Toyota Tazz they will be putting in a serious challenge to bring them more points. -

- The Toyota Dealers Cape Rally comprises 12 special stages totalling 198km. It starts from Pick n Pay Hypermarket, Brackenfell at 15h00 on Friday May 30th and proceeds to the Paarl Rock mountain stage followed by a stage in the Stellenbosch forest which includes 43 corners in 17 kilometres. The day ends back at the Pick n Pay Hypermarket car park with the first car due to start at 18h15. -

- Day two will start at 06h00 and go along the N2 to Botriver. The popular “watersplash” stage will be run twice. The route continues towards Bredasdorp before heading back to Cape Town where the first car is due to finish at the Brackenfell High School at 17h30 on Saturday.

Original article from Car