Get your motor running

From the Steppenwolf song ‘Born To Be Wild’ – “Get your motor runnin’, Head out on the highway, Looking for adventure..” – those sentiments are the passion behind the South Coast Bike Fest and things are already gearing up for the 2019 version from April 26 to 28.

IMG_0923 (800x533)

Once again the prime location of one of the country’s top holiday destinations, Margate, will welcome bikers from all corners of South Africa for a healthy mix of camaraderie, music and fun.

The annual event – presented by Ugu South Coast Tourism with endorsement and support from Ray Nkonyeni Municipality and Ugu District – will take place across Margate Beach promenade.

IMG_0677 (800x533)

“South Coast Bike Fest™ 2019 (#SCBF19) is set to be bigger and better than previous years with a full programme line-up that includes great music, incredible stunts, extreme sports, food and drinks,” says Vicky Wentzel, event organiser. “All the action will be taking place along the palm-fringed beachfront boulevard within beautiful coastal town of Margate, and we’ve ensured a really diverse festival programme that caters to all tastes.”

IMG_0647 (800x533)

Visitors to the South Coast Bike Fest 2019 can look forward to, among other things:

· Entertainment at the Main Beach Stage and Village Pier Rock Stage
· 6 Beachfront Boulevard-Themed Bars
· Street Busking Entertainment
· Demo Rides
· Village Market and Expo Zones
· Stunt Shows
· Food Courts
· EnduroX Staging Arenas
· 9 On-site Restaurants and Pubs
· The Mass Ride

The festival destination is the perfect day-trip from Joburg – under 700km – on safe biking roads. Many of the biking community stay over in the Midlands as a way to break the trip, and there are a number of accommodation venues close to the festival precinct. Simply email info@southcoastbikefest.co.za indicating your preferences, the number of friends and family joining, and accommodation will be sourced!

IMG_0787 (800x533)

Bikers and pillions wanting to access any of the bars or stages (Main Beach Stage, Village Pier Rock Stage, Energy Zone, Reggae Bar and Jazz Bar) must pre-register online (www.southcoastbikefest.co.za) and purchase a South Coast Bike Fest 2019 pin for R35. Bikers and pillions will need to purchase a pin each. Bikers must be accompanied by their pillion to collect the pre-purchased pin at the Sasol Garage, Margate – bike licences must be shown.

The full music line-up will be announced early in 2019. Vendor applications have opened and anyone wishing to be involved in #SCB19 can contact Vicky Wentzel at info@southcoastbikefest.co.za or call 082 812 7944.

Ticket prices for #SCBF19 are:

· VIP 3-day pass which includes full event access plus Golden Circle & VIP Pool Bar – R450
· VIP day pass which includes full event access plus Golden Circle & VIP Pool Bar – R150
· 3-day pedestrian pass – R200
· Daily pedestrian pass – R80
· 3-day pedestrian pass (4 to 12 Years, accompanied by parents) – R100
· Daily pedestrian pass (4 to 12 Years, accompanied by parents) – R40
· Children under 4 years – free
· 3-day pensioners’ pass – R180
· Daily pensioners’ pass – R60

IMG_0935 (800x533)

Advertisements

Six is better

Six is better than four and Kia has made this a reality for its Rio range that now sports a 6-speed automatic transmission.

The new unit replaces the old 4-speed box that served the fourth-generation Rio since its launch in June of last year.

Rio_1.4TEC_001

The new transmission provides increased performance. Kia’s 1,4-litre MPI engine produces 74 kW at 6 300 r/min and 135 Nm at 4 200 r/min. Mated with the new 6-speed automatic transmission, acceleration to 100 km/h improves from 13,2 seconds to 12,9 seconds, while maximum speed increases from 166 km/h to 175 km/h.

The Rio 1.4 is available with three specification options, namely the mid-spec LX, a mid-high spec EX and the high-spec TEC (the Rio 1.2 LS remains unchanged in the line-up).

The Rio 1.4 LX features an extensive list of standard features, including air-conditioning, power windows, electrically operated side mirrors, central locking with an alarm and immobiliser, a radio system with RDS as well as MP3, auxiliary and USB connectivity, six speakers, steering wheel-mounted remote audio controls, a rear USB charging port, rake and reach adjustable steering, automatic headlight control, front fog lights, LED Daytime Running Lights and 15-inch alloy wheels.

Rio_1.4TEC_003

The next derivative in the range – the Rio EX – builds on the already extensive standard features of the LX model through the addition of projection headlamps and LED rear combination lamps, as well as a 7-inch Touchscreen Infotainment System that incorporates a Rear Park Assist System with integrated rear-view camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

The range-topping Rio TEC adds further comfort and convenience to the EX grade through the addition of machine-finished 17-inch alloy wheels, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, as well as Cruise Control, an electrochromatic rear-view mirror, alloy pedals and leather upholstery.

The Rio range is priced as follows:
Rio 1.2 LS 5-speed Manual R 230,995
Rio 1.4 LX 6-speed Manual R 247,995
Rio 1.4 LX 6-speed Automatic R 264,995
Rio 1.4 EX 6-speed Manual R 261,995
Rio 1.4 EX 6-speed Automatic R 278,995
Rio 1.4 TEC 6-speed Manual R 288,995
Rio 1.4 TEC 6-speed Automatic R 305,995

Rio_1.4TEC_004

An optional sunroof is available for Rio TEC models for an additional R8 000. All Rio’s ship as standard with Kia’s 5-year / Unlimited Kilometre Warranty, inclusive of 5-years / Unlimited Kilometres Roadside Assistance.

The Rio 1.2 includes a 2-year/30 000 km Service Plan, while the Rio 1.4 includes a 4-year / 60 000 km Service Plan.

Road Review – Honda CR-V 1.5 CVT

What was intended as a glorious weekend of racing action at Killarney in Cape Town for the final round of the World Rallycross Championships recently, turned itself on its head when Mrs W pressed me into service as a ‘gopher’.

Well, not me as much as the Honda CR-V 1.5 CVT I had arranged to be my transport to and from the circuit for the weekend.

You see, Mrs W had the job as catering co-ordinator for several of the international racing teams. Armed with voracious appetites, it was necessary to top up – especially things like fresh fruit – so, early in the morning before even the teams arrived it was off to the local suppliers for me and my Honda that, fortunately, comes with a suitably large luggage space and fold-flat rear seats.

hondacr-v_01_880x500

Equally important – the level of the rear sill is ideally positioned for loading and unloading so it is not necessary to bend unduly while hefting large boxes and the like.

Although it was actually launched more than a year ago, this retrospective look at the CR-V, was a welcome opportunity to do things a little outside of the normal road review routine.

Completely redesigned and re-engineered from the ground up for the latest generation, the Honda CR-V gained a more spacious, quieter cabin with extended rear legroom and an expanded cargo compartment and is built on a new platform architecture, improving overall ride quality and refinement, adding crisper steering response, enhanced ride comfort and more composed handling.

Styling mirrors much of Civic, with the curved, slim line headlights that frame the broad-barred grille and the bonnet’s pronounced contours that meet the base of the slim A-pillar for a neatly integrated appearance.

Below the main grille, dual air intakes with a dark meshed finish split the colour-coded bumper, while the top model gains both LED headlights and front LED fog lamps. A metallic scuff plate underlines the new CR-V’s SUV identity.

Viewed in profile, the CR-V’s aerodynamic shape is even more apparent, thanks to the smooth roofline with its smoothly integrated roof rails, the subtly curved waistline, the narrow side glass aperture and the raked rear screen.

hondacr-v_05_880x500

Rear passenger legroom was been by a full 9 cm, and there is more shoulder room both front and rear. The 60/40 split rear bench seat can be folded flat to expand cargo capacity, creating a completely flat loading floor in the process.

hondacr-v_019_880x500

The overall dashboard design is clean and uncluttered and the centre console includes a lidded binnacle that also acts as a centre armrest, while dual cup holders are provided in an open storage box in front of the armrest.

With the seats in place the CR-V offers 522 litres of luggage space, extendable to 1 084 litres with the seatbacks folded down – and I used all of it, several times.

I am no fan of CVT transmissions but Honda has managed to produce one that is not irritatingly noisy nor that hunts incessantly trying to find the optimum gearing.

The 1 498 cc turbo engine is equipped with programmed, direct fuel injection, variable valve timing to deliver 140 kW of maximum power at 5 600 r/min, together with 240 Nm of maximum torque in a broad band between 2 000 r/min and 5 000 r/min.

The CVT gearbox is linked to an intelligent Real Time AWD system that seamlessly transfers power from the front to the rear wheels when additional traction is required.

hondacr-v_020_880x500

The system has undergone significant improvements for the new CR-V, including a substantial increase in maximum rear wheel torque delivery, and a new intelligent control system for improved overall performance, without having to wait for the front wheels to slip before proportioning torque to the rear.

The CR-V combines a MacPherson strut-based front suspension with a multilink rear configuration where liquid-filled bushings and special, low-friction dampers are fitted, while tubular stabiliser bars in front and solid stabiliser bars at the rear ensure improved turn-in response and more composed cornering.

The dual-pinion, variable-ratio electric power steering was also recalibrated to enhance steering precision and feedback – and it greatly appreciated while negotiating the traffic in and out of the racetrack and around the busy suburb of Tableview.

Inside, the 1.5T Executive has leather upholstery, the Digital Driver Information Interface and a 7-inch Display Audio infotainment system – all-in-all a comfortable ‘workspace’ with easy ingress to the driver and passenger seats.

hondacr-v_013_880x500

It also comes standard with a panoramic sunroof, auto-levelling for the headlights and a start/stop button instead of a conventional ignition key, while the remote central locking system includes keyless smart entry.

It is light, manoeuvrable and really easy to drive. It is also quite fun to drive.

With little real opportunity to put it to the test on twisty roads, there is not too much I can say about its high-speed handling. However, with the reputation Honda carries for that on its other vehicles, it is likely this small SUV will acquit itself well under pressure.

The range is backed by a 5-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a 5-year/90 000 km service plan. Also included is a three-year AA Road Assist package. Scheduled services are at for the 1,5-litre turbo variants.

Road Review – Mitsubishi Pajero Sport

The Mitsubishi Pajero has been an evolution of longevity with tweaks and upgrades almost an annual occurrence in between major styling revisions – the latest version of the Pajero Sport coming less than a year after the major revise of 2017.

IMG_20181207_141259_279

However, it was not all that long ago while standing with a Mitsubishi engineer in the sand dunes on the West Coast he emphatically dismissed my question about the Pajero getting electronic switching between two and four-wheel drive, stating “… our customers are dedicated off-road enthusiasts and demand the manual method…”

Oh yes Mr Bob Dylan, how the times have changed.

Now sporting that electronic switching and driving through an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the Pajero has shifted massively left-field to join the ranks of the luxury SUV class, often a phantom zone filled with very expensive and highly capable vehicles living out their lives never having served the purpose for which they were designed.

As an off-roader, the Pajero has a formidable history with 12 Paris-Dakar wins under its belt including seven consecutive titles – this going back to its first victory in 1985. However, the story starts long before then when Mitsubishi introduced the world’s first passenger vehicle with full-time four-wheel drive, the PX33, in 1933.

20181207_092713

The immensely capable off-roader – that has appeared in short, standard and long-wheelbase formats – is often grossly underestimated but I am not truly convinced by this latest 7-seat format.

Not that the seating configuration interferes with its ability, but purely a personal dislike for the format – the two rearmost seats are just for tiny tots and take up valuable luggage space, with those removable regularly gathering dust in a garage.

Obviously, there are intrepid travellers who really need that seating space at the back and, naturally, the provision is there for them, but it reduces luggage space to 193 litres. With the rear seats folded flat this increases to 813 litres.

With this latest iteration – and a contender in the Auto Trader SA Guild of Motoring Journalists Car of the Year competition – the designers improved the Pajero Sport’s safety by adding ISO-FIX child seat anchors and added a seventh air bag for the protection of the driver’s knees.

The Pajero Sport’s styling is described as ‘distinctive’, ‘energetic’ and ‘striking’. Vehicle design and styling follows trend patterns across all brands whether or not the actual designers like – or care to admit – it and completely in spite of what the marketing brochure says.

Viewed from the side, the shark nose of the Pajero may be great in terms of its improved departure angle but it loses something, I believe, the older and squarer vehicles had going for them – namely the fact the driver could see both front corners, knowing there was nothing ahead of them to worry about.

The current design ticks all the necessary boxes in terms of improved aerodynamics and the saving in fuel that comes with more slippery shape, around 8,1 l/100 km compared to the figures from earlier versions that hovered around the 9,0 l/100 km mark.

LED driving lamps with auto levelling and DRLs, including a headlamp washer for the 4WD version, are standard features, while a LED high-mounted rear stop lamp on the tailgate provides additional safety.

20181203_103529

In line with its Pajero heritage, it boasts double wishbone coil springs with a stabiliser bar in the front and multi-link suspension with stabiliser bar in the back. The quiet drive, thanks to its strong ladder-frame design, which absorbs all levels of NVH, gives the new Pajero Sport a big sedan car-like ride and handling.

Another massive advantage is its turning circle of just 11,2 m (as opposed to between 11,6 m and 12,2 m for some other premium SUVs).

Soft-feel leather seats make the long haul a pleasure and provide ample support when going donga-diving and the driver seat is electrically adjustable. The second row of seats offers a 60:40 split with tumble, reclining and sliding function with a centre armrest and cup holders.

The third row of seats folds flat into the floor to minimise intrusion into the cargo space when not in use.

Passenger comfort is improved with a tilt and telescopic steering wheel with paddle shifts, rear park distance control with a rear-view camera, dual automatic air-conditioning with rear passenger temperature controls and an electric parking brake.

Other standard features include a keyless operating system with electronic start function, multi-function leather steering wheel with audio and cruise control, Bluetooth with hands-free voice control and foldaway electric door mirrors incorporating turn indicators.

Standard built-in safety features include Active Stability and Traction Control (ASTC), anti-lock braking, EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), BAS (Brake Assist System), Brake Override System and seven air bags (Driver, Driver’s Knee, Passenger, Seat and Side Curtains). Hill Descent Control and the new electronic Off-Road Mode Control add additional safety benefits.

20181207_092650

The latest version is still powered by the 2,4-litre MIVEC turbo-diesel engine producing 133 kW at 3 500 r/min and 430 Nm of torque at 2 500 r/min, driving the wheels through its 8-speed automatic transmission with Intelligent Shift Control.

As an example of good things that keep getting better, the latest version of the Pajero Sport is just that bit more refined without losing its core abilities – and taking this vehicle off the beaten path is worth every minute as it tackles just about any obstacle in its path with aplomb.

On the road, it drives and handles like a sedan with the advantage of the extra view from the raised seating position. It has less body roll in tight corners than one might expect and the steering is both true and provides excellent feedback to the driver.

I am not entirely convinced an 8-speed gearbox is absolutely necessary, although this spread of ratios does help with both fuel consumption and overall noise reduction.

It is the kind of car that deserves a lot more time than we had while it was in the test fleet.

20181203_103458

New date for SA WRX

The South African – and final round – of the 2019 World Rallycross Championship has been moved to the beginning of November in a reduced calendar for next season.

IMG_8330

Following an FIA World Motor Sport Council meeting in Saint Petersburg, Russia recently, World Rallycross Championship managing director Paul Bellamy announced a revised 2019 WRX calendar, which has effectively been reduced from 12 to 10 rounds.

As early as October the decision had been made the Portuguese round at Montalegre, Vila Real, had been dropped, to be replaced by a new season-opening ‘away fixture’ at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi, while the German round at Estering would become a European championship-only standalone event.

The 11-round season was planned to end with the World Rallycross of Cape Town at Killarney International Raceway on November 30 and December 1, to accommodate the Killarney Motor Show on the first Sunday in November and the Toy Run on Sunday, November 24.

IMG_8574_1

Now, however, the United States round at the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas on September 28 and 29 has been downgraded to a round of the American Rallycross series, “which World Rallycross teams will be welcome to compete in, but it will not be part of the World Championship”, says Bellamy.

“After consulting with the FIA and our World Championship teams we have decided to reduce the number of events in our 2019 calendar. This decision has been made to help control costs for the teams and ensure the series remains as competitive as possible. We are planning the return of the World Championship to the United States in 2021, when we add electric cars.”

IMG_8457

The World Rallycross of Cape Town at Killarney International Raceway has also been moved forward to the weekend of 9/10 November. This has had a knock-on effect, forcing the Western Province Motor Club to move its premier Killarney Motor Show up to October 27, just two weeks before the World Rallycross event.

On the upside, however, it has become possible to include an additional, ninth round of the Regional Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors on November 30, to provide an even more action-packed year for Western Cape motorsport fans.

IMG_7952

FIA World Rallycross Championship 2019:
1. Abu Dhabi – Yas Marina – 5/6 April
2. Spain – Catalunya – 27/28 April
3. Belgium – Spa-Francorchamps – 11/12 May
4. Great Britain – Silverstone – 25/26 May
5. Norway – Hell – 15/16 June
6. Sweden – Höljes – 6/7 July
7. Canada – Trois-Rivières – 3/4 August
8. France – Lohéac – 31 August/1 September
9. Latvia – Riga – 14/15 September
10. South Africa – Cape Town – 9/10 November

Motorcycle mayhem at Killarney

On the face of it, it is pure insanity –  an eight hour endurance race for lightweight single cylinder motorcycles on a tortuously twisty karting circuit with 13 corners in just one kilometre.

Yet, after 35 years, the annual ‘8 Hour’ is now the longest running event on the Killarney International Raceway calendar, attracting entries from around South Africa and, indeed, the world, featuring competitors of international stature, up to and including former Grand Prix riders.

kill1

It was first conceived in 1983 as a two-hour end of season experiment by the Clerk of the Course at the time, Jimmy Coggs, to see whether the modified 60cc two-strokes raced on the Formula K circuit in those days could stand up to being run long enough for pit stops, strategy and pace to become a factor. They could, but the race very soon became a two hour sprint; the only strategic element was how to make the compulsory pit stops as quick as possible.

So it rapidly grew in length to four, six and finally the current eight hour format; but it is still an day-long sprint race with the top teams’ average lap times only a few tenths of a second off those recorded in qualifying.

With the advent of superb high-tech 150cc single-cylinder four-stroke engines in motorcycles such as the Indian-made Yamaha R15 and Suzuki GS150 R, the Indonesian-sourced Kawasaki Ninja 150 and in particular the Thai-built Honda CBR150, these have taken over from the more temperamental two-strokes in recent years, although a few die-hard ‘smokers’ are still entered each year.

The 8 Hour is now open to motorcycles with four-valve heads of up to 155cc, and with two-valve heads up to 200cc. The engine, carburettor, frame and electrical system must be standard; the alternator and electric starter must be working. Wheels, tyres, exhaust systems and rear shock absorbers, however, are free.

Bikes with two-stroke engines of up to 85cc (including motocross motors made before 2007) are also eligible; their engines, gearboxes and frames may be modified, wheels and tyres are free.

kill2

Teams must have from two to four riders, each of whom should be at least 13 years old on the day of the race, although provision has been made for riders between the ages of 11 and 13, at the discretion of the organisers, provided that they have at least two years’ proven race experience in the junior or similar classes. Some of these pre-teen riders, it must be said, are so small they make a 150cc motorcycle look like a superbike – and they seem to have no trouble keeping up with the ‘grown-ups’!

Topping the entry list for the 2018 8 Hour is British-based Jonny Towers, CEO of the RST bikewear brand, who has been a member of the winning team in 10 previous editions of this event, most of them at the helm of his own RST ‘dream team’. Towers has yet to reveal the line-up for this year, but his ultra-professional team set-up always attracts top national and international talent. As always, No.17 will be the bike to beat.

Not that he will have it all his own way; Mad Macs has entered a two-bike ‘dealer team’ on Kawasaki 150 Ninjas, the first for top regional superbike contender (and former short-circuit champion) Trevor Westman, along with Wesley Jones, Powersport king JP Friederich and multiple former SA Superbike champion Greg Gildenhuys. The second Ninja will be shared between Masters’ heroes Rob Cragg (a former regional title-holder) and Jacques Ackermann, along with David Enticott and Brandon Storey.

kill3

Also lined up for 15 December is the Fueled Racing CBR150 of Slade van Niekerk, Bernard Haupt, Jean-Baptiste Racoupeau and Chase Hulscher. Van Niekerk and Haupt recently rode this machine to victory in a one-hour race on the Half Main and this team must be seen as a threat to the established stars, as is the all-teen Otto Racing team of Chris Wright, Ricardo Otto and World Supersport 300 racer Dino Iozzo.

Other entries of note are the Ellis brothers, Michael and David – the only two-man entry – who seem totally immune to fatigue and always give a good account of themselves, as well as the HSC Racing team of cousins Nicholas and Brad Hutchings, Jarryd Butler and Abigail Bosson, the daughter of multiple 8 Hour winner the late Chris Bosson and Martie Bosson, herself a veteran of numerous 8 Hours.

The ultimate veteran, however, is former Class A racer John Craig, who has competed in every edition of this race since its inception in 1983; this year he will share the No Rush Racing CBR150 with Jimmy Pantony and Gerrit Visser Snr, in a team with a combined age of 166 years – and that doesn’t include the bike!

Only two two-stroke entries have been received thus far; the first, based on a Yamaha TZR50 chassis with custom-built inverted front suspension by Martin Paetzold and a Yamaha YZ80 motocross engine, has been prepared by veteran two-stroke tuner Adrian van der Merwe, who will share it with Malcolm Steyn and Steve Thurling. Another TZR50/YZ80 is a group effort from Jannie le Roux, Schalk Pretorius and Andre Kotze – and there are rumours of a very quick Honda CR80 powered machine as well.

Entry is R80 for adults, R20 for scholars under 16 and free for kids under 12. The gates open at 7.30am on race day, qualifying starts at 9am and at 9.35am the top 10 qualifiers will go out again for a five-minute Superpole session to determine the starting order at the sharp end of the field.

The race will get underway with a traditional Le Mans start, in which the motorcycles are lined up in their qualifying order along the east side of the back straight, and the riders line up against the tyre barrier on the west side, approximately 50 metres away.

When the flag drops at exactly 10am, the riders sprint across to their bikes, hit the starter button – and eight hours of utter mayhem ensues. Nearly all the motorcycles will be crashed at least once, many several times; a number will undergo major surgery in the pits, either for crash damage or mechanical failure. Nevertheless, all but a handful will still be running when the chequered flag comes out at 6pm, some without a shred of bodywork, others held together by faith and duct tape.

kill4

As in all endurance contests, everyone who makes it to the finish is a winner; when you see their faces in the pits at the end you’ll understand why they keep coming back year after year for this truly unique motorsport challenge.

Servicing the fight against poaching

Poaching of wildlife, particularly rhino slaughter, is a despicable activity at any time made even more horrifying by the fact many of the species being destroyed are in grave danger of becoming extinct.

Fortunately, a number of corporates in South Africa take efforts at curbing poaching seriously and are major contributors to these efforts – most recently, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) continued its support in the fight against rhino poaching by refurbishing six vehicles belonging to South African National Parks (SANParks) and extending their service plans.

127A7044

In October, TSAM donated a brand new Toyota Hilux Double Cab 4×4 – also to be used by SANParks in the fight against rhino poaching and other wildlife crime.

Rhino poaching is reaching unprecedented levels in South Africa and TSAM believes it is the collective responsibility of both the public and private sectors to extend their resources to the anti-poaching units working in the national parks and reserves across the country.

With this approach in preventing and apprehending the culprits behind the deaths of rhinos, TSAM has committed itself through a new initiative that will see it service and maintain the vehicles of the anti-poaching unit that is active within the Pilanesberg National Park in the North West province.

The initiative to assist in vehicle repair and in turn, sponsor six extended service plans for the Toyota Land Cruiser that operate in the park, was driven by TSAM’s own John Thomson (Vice President of Service, Customer Service and Future Toyota).

127A7000

Thomson’s commitment to the natural environment, and his subsequent rally for support of the anti-poaching unit, was sparked a few months prior during a visit to the Pilanesberg National Park where he met staff and witnessed first-hand the vehicle issues they were experiencing.

While maintaining and servicing any vehicle is a relatively straightforward task, explains Thomson, the unit simply did not have the funds to get it done:

“After speaking to the anti-poaching unit operating in Pilanesberg National Park, I immediately knew how we at Toyota could make a difference.

“First off, we sent the six Toyota Land Cruisers in their possession to our workshop in Northam for a thorough service, repairing the damage any vehicle would inevitably garner working in wild terrain, but we wanted to see how we could do more,” he says.

The extended service plans sponsored to the unit were handed over and gave TSAM and dealer staff the opportunity to experience a day in the life of a parks ranger. Being taken along on a morning of rhino notching, a means to identify each rhino in the park, was a momentous opportunity for everybody involved.

127A7015

After identifying a white rhino mother and calf, each was darted by a specialised veterinarian who works with the unit. Once the rhinos were subdued, the team set about notching the baby rhino, scraping DNA samples, inserting microchips into the horn, and injecting antibiotics and vitamins.

After the groundwork had been completed, the Toyota team had the chance to take photos with the rhinos and experience their presence up close.

“We know this is only a small contribution in the fight against rhino poaching, but we recognise that this was a practical way in which we could help this anti-poaching unit in their relentless task of protecting these national treasures,” says Thomson.

Toyota South Africa Motors is committed to the conservation and the preservation of South Africa’s natural spaces. In addition to initiatives such as the above, Toyota has partnered with and supported three significant environmental NGOs through its Today for Tomorrow Programme: the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Conservation SA and Birdlife SA.