allAfrica.com: Namibia: Tough Tara Rally Brings Home the Champs

29 Nov 2014 | Author: | Comments Off on allAfrica.com: Namibia: Tough Tara Rally Brings Home the Champs

Namibia: Tough Tara Rally Brings Home the Champs

There was no lack of drama during the past three-day Total Tara Rally which ended on Saturday afternoon, and ranked as one of the toughest events in Africa.

Least of all by the SA winning team, Japie Van Niekerk and Gerhard Snyman, who roared into the finish behind the wheel of a sleek Ford Fiesta S2000, which completed the event in an overall time of 3:09:19.

This was one of the toughest, yet best rallies we have ever competed in, the elated winners told Woema after they had sprayed themselves with Champaign at the end, adding. The heat was terrible, but even more of a challenge was Thursday’s night stage, because in SA we’d don’t drive at night – so it was something new to us, and we literally had to go by our senses.

Commenting on the 750 klometres of demanding rally stages, they said, it was very long, and it felt as if we had driven two national events.

That was the feeling about the 45the edition of one of Africa’s premier rally events, which showed again why no car or rally team were sure of finishing the race.

Anything could happen, and it did, when a flat tyre in a special stage prevented Wilro Dippenaar and his co-driver KesNaidoo from gaining on the front runners in their potent Toyota Auris, which had hardly time to cool down from competing in a SA rally the week before.

But the young Namibian was relentless as he battled it out for a top spot, bringing his car home in a scorching second place, in just over a minute behind the winners. Dippenaar has earned himself a place in the ‘whose who’ of rally history books.

Girl power also ruled, with a sizzling performance from Stefanie Bota, and her dad, Willem Hugo, in a Toyota Run-X, which finished third overall in a time of 3:22:27. Looking as fresh as a daisy and flashing a ‘Hollywood’ smile when she stepped onto the finish ramp, Stefanie who was the only woman on the Tara podium, and from start to finish, gave the guys a run for their money.

She floored it ahead of the new rally champs, Allan Martin and Berto Mostert, who brought their bright green VW Polo, which has dominated the Namibian Rally Championship season, to earn them the coveted 2013 title.

The battle for fifth spot was taken by Hanre Myburgh and Geon Ellis in a Toyota Corolla. And of the 17 vehicles that started the Rally on Thursday, only ten vehicles made it to the finish. The rally started on Thurday evening with three night stages on the outskirts of Windhoek.

Friday saw the rally taking on the Namibia heat and dust in and around Okahandja and six hard, speedy and long stages at Wilhelmstal where temperatures of over 31 degrees was recorded.

The action retuned to Windhoek for the evening stages at the Tony Rust race track, where as always these stages of the rally were well attended by spectators who want to witness high speeds on the track and on the gravel roads around the race track.

The last day of the rally was around Windhoek to make it more spectator friendly. A total of seven stages on the day were covered, but as always, this was a stage with plenty of dramas and action.

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