Castrol Team Toyota are in line for a sixth successive title on the bounce in the upcoming Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 desert race slated for Jwaneng this weekend (24th -26th).
Down the years Toyota has established itself as the most trusted car brand among Batswana and the last instalment of the race in the mining town will once again offer them a chance to cement their value in the highly popular race.
Such is the the gulf in class between Toyota and other motorsport brands that the last time Toyota Gazoo Racing SA Hilux failed to win the local championship was in 2011.Toyota’s contingent of Anthony Taylor/Dennis Murphy, Leeroy Poulter/Eddie Howe and Hans Grobler/Hennie Ter Stege have all enjoyed podium finishes in the past six years.
As it is the case in any other sports, predictable and serial winners are used as yardstick for competition. The duo of Taylor and Poulter have, down the years, been on a two horse race with the latter wining last year’s championship to ruin Taylor’s quadruple chase. Factory Ford production vehicle and North West young stars Jason Venter & Vince Alleman have faced a backlash for their below par performance in the competition in the last few years.
The 35 year old South African National Rally Champion Poulter’s early pace paid dividends last year after building an unassailable lead on the first day of the heats. His nearest challenger and Toyota teammate Taylor’s car bearings experienced technical problems as Poulter claimed his first win in the race.
Meanwhile, the Donaldson Cross Country Championship will bid farewell to Jwaneng since moving to the town in 2012. The race is once again expected to attract multitudes of spectators both locally and internationally who are fanatics of the off racing event. The race will celebrate its 26th tenure, it is set to feature three rounds of the Donaldson Cross Country Championships with three rounds of the South African cross country and quad bikes.
Local motorcycle favourite and Dakar Rally star Ross will once again be the favourite to dominate the quad competitions. Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO) in association with Botswana Motor Sports (BMS), Southern Africa National Off Road Car Racing Association (SANORA) and the Jwaneng Town Council (JTC) will all collaborate to make the competition a success.