Penultimate round pre-event news

FAMILY FLAVOUR AT TOYOTA DEALER 400 The family influence that is part and parcel of the Absa Off Road Championship will be very much in evidence at the Toyota Dealer 400, the penultimate event of the year, on November 2 and 3. The entry list...

FAMILY FLAVOUR AT TOYOTA DEALER 400

The family influence that is part and parcel of the Absa Off Road Championship will be very much in evidence at the Toyota Dealer 400, the penultimate event of the year, on November 2 and 3.

The entry list for the event, which uses Lydenburg Toyota and the Lydenburg Rugby Club as its focal point, will again reflect the large number of family teams that compete in both the Production Vehicle and Special Vehicle categories. This family orientation will be further highlighted in that Lydenburg Toyota is a family business run by Fanie Erasmus senior and junior.

Lydenburg Toyota is one of Toyota South Africa's star dealerships and has three times won the Toyota Dealer of the Year award, along with many other accolades. The Toyota Dealer 400, organised by the South African Motorsport Club (SAM), was also voted the event of the year in 2004 and in 2005 was the candidate event for South Africa's subsequent successful entry onto the FIA Cross Country World Cup calendar.

The event, run through the fertile valley between the Steenkampsberg Mountains and the Mauchsberg on the Mpumalanga escarpment, will play a major role in this year's championship. Some tight battles have developed in both the Special and Production Vehicle championships, and the Mpumalanga event could make or break championship challenges.

"The Toyota Dealer 400 has emerged as one of the premier events on the off road calendar," said Motorsport South Africa Off Road Car Racing Commission president Piet Swanepoel. "SAM brings a great deal of rally experience to the event, and the route is always challenging and interesting.

"Because of the tight championship battles that have emerged, this year's event will be even more interesting. We are again looking forward to an event that will be run to a high standard, and a race that will be highly competitive."

Only one championship, in Class B in the Special Vehicle category, has so far been settled with Hendrik and Jan Kraai (Regent Racing BAT) scoring five wins in six races this season. Other championship battles, however, look likely to go all the way to the wire.

The prologue to determine start positions for the race proper will be run on Friday, November 2. The race proper will start at 08h00 at Lydenburg Toyota on Saturday, November 3 with the designated service point (DSP) and the finish at the Lydenburg Rugby Club.

-credit: msa

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Series Other rally