MOTORSPORT NEWS Rally

Du Toit and Vermaak new WP Rally Champions

 

Back in 2006 Serge Damseaux requested a test venue for a youngster who wanted to try his hand at rallying in the ex- Dean Sanders Gp N2 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6 and shortly afterwards I found it quite impressive to see Serge sitting in the suicide seat. Only one run before Serge explained his intentions in typical elaborate fashion by pointing his finger at me with a self explanatory “you go”.

Etienne du Toit and Patrick Vermaak

Not too long after this first meeting we celebrated his 21st birthday by parking the Corolla upside down next to Charl Wilken on the VW Algoa Rally. Learning with every event the 2007 Gp N2 South African Class Championship was earned with pride and led to a season in the impressive Sasol Gp N3 Toyota Run X RSi 1.8. Unfortunately the championship eluded us.

Success on debut in the national Overberg Grand Prix with the ex-Mark Cronjé A7 Toyota Run X 2.0 20v was fantastic but a lack of financial support made this a solo appearance in 2009 and Ettiene du Toit actually matured so much he returned as a Master in the Engen VW Polo Cup Championship.

Then the Corolla was finally dusted down in the Joostenbergvlakte barn and Team 467 was born. Coming home as 1st Western Province crew, 1st WBMK crew and 1st class S3 on the season opening iKapa Reticulation and Flow Klipdale Rally proving that the team held some promise after a ten year lay-off. Faulty suspension set-up led to an unscheduled phone-call on the CPMCC Malmesbury Rally, but taking top honours on the Witzenberg Motorklub organised Ceres Toyota Rally really was special. WBMK crews filling all three spots on the podium of their home event!

The Riebeek Valley Rally again saw Team 467 home 1st Western Province Crew, 1st WBMK team and 1st class S3 and though it is the driver and navigator that is mentioned in the final results it requires a large number of individual supporters behind the scenes to succeed as a team in the sport of rallying. Krãnzle High Pressure Cleaners, Würth, Imperial Toyota Cape Gate, Supa Mac, Teng Tools, Voyabex Africa, AVIS Van Rental, Stunt Africa, QuickShade, Tyre Zone, Kontra Signs and Wimpy Kenilworth Centre the support that allows Team 467 to grow stronger with each event.

The Freightmore All Tar Rally at the Killarney International Raceway currently the cherry on top as round 5 of the 2017 Western Province Rally Championship secured the Western Province Rally Drivers Championship for Ettiene du Toit. On four of the five events completed to date Ettiene du Toit finished as the top scoring Western Province driver, which should have related to 100 points. Current regulations however sees him on 92 points, but still out of reach of any opposition driver with one round remaining.

As the ballast filling the suicide seat it has indeed been my pleasure to keep Team 467 pointed in the right direction and irrespective of what the Overberg Grand Prix holds as final event of the 2017 Western Province Rally Championship this has been a comeback season of note!

Story: Patrick Vermaak