JWANENG: Toyota maintained their dominance in the annual 1000 Desert Race, winning the race for the third consecutive year yesterday. Toyota has been dominating the event for years with yesterday’s victory, their 14th.
This year, Toyota scooped positions one, two and three like last year, wadding off competition from other car makers amongst them Ford and Volkswagen. Giniel De Villiers returned to the local race after years of absence with a victory to beat last year’s winner, Leeroy Poulter.
The two drivers, from the same team, Toyota Gazoo Racing, arrived almost at the same time with less than 10 seconds separating them. Coming third was Johan Horn from Malalane Toyota, wrapping up another good year for Toyota in the annual event.
Speaking to Monitor Sport after the victory, De Villiers said it was a tight race between him and Poulter up to the end. “Me and Leeroy pushed until the end and had to win by about 10 seconds.
I think this is the closest finish in the 1000 Desert Race history. It is a special win for me because although I competed before, this is one
“That time I was leading but was unfortunate to hit a spectator along the way. This year, I came back and managed to do everything smoothly and won,” he added.
Leeroy who won last year’s event here also said it was a very competitive race. He added that the route was a bit slow on the first day but managed to get faster on the last day. “Giniel was ahead of me on the first day so I had to try and catch.
I caught him today but could not get past him in the dust,” he said. The event was in its last year in the mining town with Gantsi the new hosts from next year.