The odds are in favour of the Racing Hilux of Castrol Team Toyota in this weekend’s Sun City 400 offroad race after two successful campaigns at the Toyota Dealer Sugarbelt 400 in KwaZulu-Natal and the Toyota 1000 Kalahari Desert Race in Botswana.
Anthony Taylor and co-driver Dennis Murphy won the two events and now share the championship lead with Chris Visser and Japie Badenhorst from Ford Racing. The two teams head into Sun City, the fifth of eight events, 31.5 points clear of multiple champion Duncan Vos and co-driver Rob Howie in their Racing Hilux.
“Sun City is a favourite event for spectators, but for drivers it always has an ace up its sleeve,” says team principal Glyn Hall, in reference to the often treacherous road conditions and thick dust that have claimed many a racing car over the years.
“Fortunately we have drawn a late start in the prologue, which means we will run on an already-cleared road,” says Hall.
The prologue plays a very important part in the Sun City 400 as the thick dust makes overtaking or high speed pursuit very difficult. With Taylor and Vos running later on day one, they stand a good chance to set good times and start ahead of the pack on racing day.
“We will do everything we can as a team to support both Anthony and Duncan,” says Hall of their preparations and race-day strategy.
Sun City always puts on a show for the 400 km race it sponsors and the organisers have published a comprehensive list of spectator points for the racing on both the Friday and Saturday. The organisers expect a full starting grid and as example no less than 25 SP Class vehicles will line up to compete.
Toyota will also be strongly represented amongst the privateer competitors. Johan van Staden and Mike Lawrenson in their Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux are running behind Vos and Howie on the leader board, followed by Malcolm Kock and Johan Burger in their Kock and Sons Toyota Hilux.
Other Toyota racers include Hugo de Bruyn and Henri Hugo in their Micaren Exel Toyota Hilux. De Bruyn showed their mettle in the Toyota Botswana 1000 Desert Race where they finished second.
Also lining up in the SP class are Jannie Visser and Joks le Roux (RFS Toyota Hilux) and Sarel van Biljon and Philip Herselman in an Atlas Copco Toyota Hilux. Van Biljon made a name for himself as an accomplished Quad racer in the Dakar and he has shown great talent on the Desert race in Botswana.
In Class D teams such as Jason Venter and Vincent Alleman (Trysome Toyota Hilux), Johan and Werner Horn (Malelane Toyota Land Cruiser), Rustenburg locals Dana Vos and Henri de Kock (Hilux) and Frikkie Botha and Koos Visser (Hilux) will provide spectacular racing in Class D.
The prologue is scheduled to start at 12:30 on Friday and the race will start officially at 8:30 on Saturday.
Toyota Motorsport South Africa Acknowledges Its Sponsors and Specialist Official Supplier and Technical Partners
Toyota enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with Castrol, Toyota Financial Services, Imperial Toyota Group, Innovation Group, 4x4 Mega World, Bosch, DeWalt, Donaldson, Edgecam, Ferodo, NGK, SKF and Spanjaard.