The Team Castrol pairing of Leeroy Poulter and Elvene Coetzee have won the Polokwane Rally in Polokwane this afternoon. They have also provisionally been declared the 2014 SA National Rally Champions. The last time that Toyota won the championship was ten years ago with Serge Damseaux.
Poulter was never under any real pressure after stage two of the event with the demise of Mark Cronje, in the Ford Racing Ford Fiesta. Henk Lategan in the Sasolracing Volkswagen Polo followed Cronje soon afterwards, while Japie van Niekerk in the NAD Ford Fiesta also withdrew early in the rally.
This morning Hergen Fekken lost 10 minutes on the opening stage and later withdrew from the rally. Giniel de Villiers in the Imperial Toyota Yaris was also a victim yesterday and all Poulter had to do today was cruise to his maiden South African Rally Driver’s Championship.
Behind him things were somewhat different where Hans Weijs in the Sasolracing Polo, Gugu Zulu in a similar car and Wilro Dippenaar in a S2000 Challenge Toyota Auris were involved in a battle for the rest of the podium places.
In the end Weijs finished second, followed by Dippenaar and Zulu.Giniel de Villiers entered the event this morning under Rally2 rules and finished fourth. After his bad luck yesterday he made his ppesence felt today.
Fifth overall and first in Class S1600 was the leader in the S1600 championship, Guy Botterill in a Toyota Etios R2.
Top five at end of the rally:
Dippenaar + 2:20.5
De Villiers +10:08.5
As can be seen from the results the event was basically a four horse event. The Polokwane Rally was the seventh and penultimate round of the SA Nattional Rally Championship. The final event will be held in November somewhere.