Multiple South African champion Serge Damseaux and co-driver Robert Paisley piloting the new Castrol Toyota RSi in Class A8, took top honours in the Total Rally South Africa winning with a 39 second lead over the Sasol DuelFuel factory team of Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson. In his quest for his ninth drivers championship Serge Damseaux now leads the 2003 championship chase. -

- Damseaux’s pride was restored after the bad luck he experienced in the same event last year when he broke a driveshaft in the final meters of the last stage. “The performance of the Castrol Toyota RunX on only it’s second rally was incredible,” said a delighted Serge Damseaux. “A lot of development was done on the car and the results showed” he said. -

- Damseaux and Paisley took the lead on the first stage of the second day after a turbo problem experienced on the way to the first stage put paid to Johnny Gemmel and Greg Goodrich’s hopes of winning the event in their L&J Plant Hire Subaru. -

- In an drama filled finale, Etienne Lourens and Andre Vermeulen in their Team Total Corolla took third place overall and finished first in Class A7, after Jan Habig and Douglas Judd retired just 500m from the end of the event with a broken camshaft pulley. -

- Fernando Rueda and Martin Botha finished in fourth place after a puncture in the penultimate second stage cost them three minutes The event ended on a high note for the pair however, as they won the first round of the FIA African Rally Championship. -

- It looked like luck deserted former circuit racing champion Charl Wilken and co-driver Robin Houghton in their Castrol Toyota RunX RSi when three punctures cost them a total of 28 minutes but they went on to record their second class N3 win after a hard fought battle to the end. “We very pleased with the continuing development of the new RunX and will be more competitive at the next event” said co-driver Robin Houghton. -

- “The new RunX has had four starts in the South African rally championship and four finishes with three class wins, a first overall in the Total Rally SA and second overall in the Hitachi Power Tools Tour Natal. The RunX has certainly taken off on a winning note following the proud history of Conquests and Corolla’s in South African rallying” he said. -

- The Total Rally SA was highly profitable for the Toyota camp. Apart from Damseaux/Paisley winning overall and taking Class A8, six out of eight Class A category wins and a win in Class N2 and N3 resulted in the prestigious manufacturers award. Toyota also won the manufacturers award in the Tour Natal rally. -

- Rodney Visagie and Carolyn Swan in the Team Total Toyota Tazz came from behind to win Class A5 by seven seconds. A surprise turn of events saw privateer Andy Haig Smith and Gerald Brace in a Toyota Corolla RSi take the Class A6 laurels and Chris de Wit and Janine Labuschagne in their Toyota Corolla gave an impressive performance to win Class N2 ahead of Zimbabweans Jess Watson and Dave Milner-

- With a very successful end to the event, “Happiness” was motosport manager, Wammy Haddad’s quote for the weekend. “On Monday the work starts again!” -

- The third round of the championship takes place in the Cape on 30 and 31 May.

Original article from Car