Toyota takes World Endurance & Cross Country wins in Race Week 45
It may have been relatively quiet one as the 2021 season starts to come to a close. But it was a brilliant Week 45 for Toyota Gazoo Racing with a double victory for the team. Local duo Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings fought off a determined challenge to keep their South African Cross Country Championship advantage heading into the finale later in the month. And Gazoo Racing’s World Endurance team dominated the 6 Hours of Bahrain.
Which Toyota will be champion?
The World Endurance Championship is now down to which Toyota crew will win. After Mike Conway, Kamui Kobayashi and Jose Maria Lopez moved closer to clinching the title for the number 7. They beat their number 8 teammates Sébastien Buemi, Kazuki Nakajima and Brendon Hartley by 51 seconds. Alpine A480 crew Andre Negrao, Nicolas Lapierre and Matthieu Vaxiviere ended a lap down in third.
Robin Frijns, Ferdinand Habsburg and Charles Milesi’s Oreca 07 took LMP2 honours. From Sean Gelael, Stoffel Vandoorne and Tom Blomqvist’s similar car. Kevin Estre and Neel Jani led Gianmaria Bruni and Richard Lietz home to a Porsche 911 GTE 1-2. And Ben Keating, Dylan Pereira and Felipe Fraga’s Aston Martin Vantage AMR took amateur class LMGTE AM honours.
Toyota Gazoo Racing’s other big scalp over the weekend was Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings’s Hilux SA Cross Country Vryburg 400 victory. They beat Ford Ranger duo Lance Woolridge and Elvéne Vonk in the Kalahari by just 8 seconds in the end. To see the title race go down to the Parys finale in November. Brian Baragwanath and Leonard Cremer’s Century Racing CR6 ended third.
Giniel still testing new Dakar Hilux
Gareth Woolridge and Boyd Dreyer’s Ranger was fourth. Ahead of Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy, who used the race to keep testing the new Dakar Gazoo Hilux T1+ prototype. Class T winners Malcolm and Frans Kock’s Ranger were sixth. Maiden winners, Boela Botes and Jay Pretorius’ Porter took the Specials cup. Brothers Cecil and Elardus Larney won the Side-by-Side race in their Can-Am Maverick.
Moving back overseas to other forms of racing, South Africa’s Wade Young rode his Sherco home fourth in the Getzen Rodeo to clinch third in the inaugural World Hard Enduro Championship. Countryman Travis Teasdale’s GasGas was tenth. But the win wasn’t enough for German Manuel Lettenbichler’s KTM to topple second man Billy Bolt’s Husqvarna. They tied on points. Bolt took the title on a count-back.
Across the pond and back on four wheels on track in the US, Alex Bowman’s Chevy held Toyota man Kyle Busch off to score a surprise win through a wild two-lap restart in the Martinsville NASCAR Cup race. And down under, Anton De Pasquale’s Mustang won the first and third Sydney Australian V8 Supercars races. He was excluded from the second heat. Shane van Ginsbergen won that race for Holden.
Maiden Max kart winners across the land
Back home in Week 45, three Max kart regionals saw Seb Boyd win DD2 at Killarney. Maiden victors Andrew Thomas took Masters, Storm Lanfear Senior and Matt Wadeley Junior Max. Joaquin de Oliveira won Mini, Keagan Beaumont Micro Max and Zach McAuley Bambino. Byron Teengs won EP DD2, Josh Moore Micro and Jack Moore Bambino in Gqebehra. And Brent Walden upset in KZN DD2, where Jono Pieterse won Masters. Troy Snyman Senior, Uzair Khan Junior, Kyle Spies Micro and Kayden Pistauer Bambino at iDube.