Toyota teams Limpopo 400 Prologue summary

BOOST FOR CASTROL TOYOTA AT FORD MOTORITE LIMPOPO 400 PROLOGUE The Castrol Toyota team was given a boost today when Bevan Bertholdt and Robin Houghton won the prologue for the Ford Motorite Limpopo 400 tomorrow. The prologue, to determine...

BOOST FOR CASTROL TOYOTA AT FORD MOTORITE LIMPOPO 400 PROLOGUE

The Castrol Toyota team was given a boost today when Bevan Bertholdt and Robin Houghton won the prologue for the Ford Motorite Limpopo 400 tomorrow.

The prologue, to determine start positions for the Ford Motorite 400, saw only three Production Vehicles in the top 10 with two of them Castrol Toyota Hilux entries. Mark Cronje and Chris Birkin, who are also competing in the African Heritage Cross Country, a round of the FIA Cross Country World Cup, set the eighth fastest time.

"It was our first clear run of the season," said Houghton. "It gives us a bit of a boost, but it is going to be a long and hard race.

"The prologue route was very tight, and if the rest of the course is like that it is going to be an even tougher day."

Cronje and Birkin are unofficially leading the African Heritage Cross Country after two days. The Castrol Toyota crew, however, cannot score points towards the World Cup, and Hungarian crew Sandor Kis and Peter Czegledi, in a Nissan Hardbody, are the official leaders.

"The African Heritage Cross Country has been hard work, but it has given us valuable seat time," said Cronje. "Hopefully we can come up with a good result tomorrow."

The Castrol Toyota Hilux crew of Jaap and Hugo de Bruyn also gave Toyota first place in Class D. The de Bruyns came in a head of Cliff and Louis Weichelt, in the Bosal Toyota Hilux, with Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst (Tyco Trucks Toyota Hilux) in fifth place.

"We made a slow start to the season but things are looking up," said Jaap. "We had a good run on the Toyota 1000 Desert Race and that has been good for our confidence levels."

Visser's brother, Jannie, and Joks le Roux, in a Toyota Hilux, had a good run to come in second in Class E with George and Sharon Barkhuizen third in the Ruwacon Toyota Hilux. Brothers Mark and Stuart Moffatt were fourth in the Bosal Toyota Hilux, with Fabio Tafani and Mike Baron fifth in another Toyota Hilux.

Factory crew Brian Martin and Ockie Fourie, in the Castrol Toyota Hilux, and Jaco Swanepoel/Grayham Bishop (IDM Cement Toyota Hilux) were sixth and seventh. Martin and Fourie, after rolling on the Desert Race, were not about to take any chances.

"Today was safety first," said Martin. "The Toyota 1000 Desert Race wasn't a very good outing for us and we wanted to use the prologue to ease our way back into racing mode.

"A good result tomorrow will be just what the doctor ordered."

-TOYOTA SOUTH AFRICA.

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Series Other rally
Drivers Japie Badenhorst