Gazoo Toyotas tops again in Botswana Desert Race

  • De Villiers edges out regular foe Leeroy Poulter
  • Close to perfect weekend for Toyota crews
  • Renault gives polished show with new Duster
YOTA HILUX STILL KING OF THE DESERT: Dakar veteran Giniel de Villiers drove his Gazoo entry to another win, this time the 2017 Botswana Desert Race. Image: Toyota
TOYOTA HILUX STILL KING OF THE DESERT: Dakar veteran Giniel de Villiers drove his Gazoo entry to another win, this time the 2017 Botswana Desert Race. Image: Toyota

JWANENG, Botswana – It was no surprise to see the two Toyota Gazoo Racing SA entries top the results in the Production Vehicle category when the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race, Round 3 of the SA Cross Country Series (SACCS), ended here on Sunday (June 25).

Dakar Rally winner Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy edged out SA champions Leeroy Poulter/Rob Howie with the two FIA Class vehicles again showing they are in a class of their own.

Their Hilux’s put on the show of the weekend with only six seconds between them at the end of what was a typically tough Desert Race that again demanded reserves of stamina and determination from crews.

NEW ELF DUSTER CLOSE TO CLEANING UP

It was just about a perfect weekend for the Gazoo squad which stretched an unbeaten record dating back to 2015. It also saw Poulter and Howie increase their lead in the overall Production Vehicle championship.

It was also a good weekend for the Horn brothers, Johan and Werner, from Mpumalanga. The pair, out in the Malalane Toyota Hilux in Class T, claimed the final podium place and were comfortably ahead of fourth-place Lance Woolridge/Ward Huxtable (Ford NWM Puma Lubricants Ranger).

READ MORE Desert Race features on Carman’s Corner

Fifth overall went to the new Elf Renault Duster in the hands of Johan van Staden/Mike Lawrenson on only their second outing in the FIA Class. The were third in the Class but cut it fine and were only 28sec ahead of Woolridge’s younger brother, Gareth, and Boyd Dreyer in another Ford NWM Puma Lubricants Ranger.

The Horns and the Woolridge brothers went into the Desert Race closely bunched in the Class T championship. The status quo remains and this is a battle between a private team and two factoryassisted cars – that will be in focus for the rest of the season.

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