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Toyota RunX Rally Car 

Broadcast dates : 8th May 2005
14th May 2005

Toyota’s are renowned for their ability to handle dirt roads. And who better to tell us about the RunX on gravel than multiple Rally champ Serge Damseaux? 

We appreciated Serge driving our road-going RunX so gently. Especially when he’s used to pounding gravel to a pulp in his Toyota Motorsport RunX. But Serge was feeling mellow, having recently set a new South African record for rally victories in the Cape Rally.

The 2005 season has seen Serge competing in a brand new RunX. The Cape victory was a first for an entirely different class of rally car.

The four-wheel-drive RunX was built in Toyota Motorsport’s workshops in Johannesburg and was a step into the unknown for the team.

Toyota Motorsport chief Wammy Haddad says that the team was under immense pressure to make the start of the 2005 season.

The rally RunX started life as a bare bodyshell. The roll cage provides rigidity as well as crew protection. And the entire body is seam-welded for added strength to take the pounding of dirt roads.

Toyota Motorsport employs a team of Cad-Cam computer designers who conceptualise and draw the hundreds of specialised components in Damseaux’s car. Yet many standard components must be used according to the rules.
The engine must be a Toyota production-based unit, albeit highly modified.

The 200 kiloWatt powerplant is canted far back in the engine bay for optimum weight distribution.

Attention to detail is exemplary. And the finished product is a super RunX, pumped up on performance-enhancing substances.

Mechanical Niggles saw Serge retire on the first rally in KwaZulu Natal. But in the Cape Rally, the car ran like clockwork.

It’s Damseaux’s refreshing honesty that makes him a favourite with the team who has helped him to dominate rallying here in the past fifteen years. Of course Toyota appreciates the maestro’s smooth style that makes it all look so easy!

In contrast to a dusty rally stage, the building of a top-flight car takes place in clinical conditions. This applies particularly to the engine-building process, where each component is painstakingly assembled.

Each engine is run on the team’s dynamometer before installation. But the real test is out in the forests and mountains.

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