Dust, speed and heat

ACTION … The rally teams braved gust winds, dust, high speeds and scorching temperatures inside the cars. Photo: Francois Lottering

The past weekend saw yet another well planned and executed Redline Motor Club (RLMC) rally, with only one vehicle not making it after experiencing technical problems. From the initial 13 vehicles that started, 12 managed to complete the 12 stages over distances of 153km, of which 107km were special stages.

The rally featured veterans like Dippies Dippenaar and navigator Meyer du Raan in action again, while Gertjie Truter (Total Tara champion 2003 and 2004) and his daughter Louise as navigator, made a welcome return to the sport.

Speaking to Dippenaar from RLMC shortly after the last stage, he said he was satisfied with all involved in the organising and participation of the rally, with many of the participants expressing their gratitude for a well organised event.

Meanwhile, media liaison officer Ernest Thatcher described the event as phenomenal, due to the amount of entries and the fact that it ended without any incidents.

“The team (officials, marshals and rally teams) worked hard and the stages were all awesome, offering great spectator friendly points,” said Thatcher.

Some of the stages forced both the driver and navigator to be vigilant due to the tight corners, numerous trees and loose sand, while some longer stages at Aris, south of Windhoek, allowed the teams full throttle on narrow gravel roads.

Starting in Windhoek on Friday night and taking the first races to the Tony Rust Raceway, where the evergreen super special stages took place, it was evident that the heat was on since this was the second last rally for the year, where two teams raced simultaneously against each other on the same tracks.

From the start, spectators prepared for a high octane rally over two days. From thereon, it was additional three-night stages that required more than driving skills over narrow roads, high speeds and, at times, extreme dust that hampered visibility.

Though the cars were fitted with racing spotlights and beams, teams still needed serious guts and skills to finish the stage in one piece.

Saturday dished up the last eight stages that threw everything to the rally teams from gust winds, dust, high speeds and scorching temperatures inside the cars reaching almost 60 degrees. But in rally terms, it is all about the love of the sport and the bragging rights that come with the trophies.

And after each rally, it is back to the beginning to fix, repair and prepare the cars for the next event at Swakopmund next month.

The main sponsors for this event were Shell V Power, M+Z Motors, Pupkewitz Toyota, PZN Panelbeaters, RLMC and Kosmos 94.1.

The results are as follows:

Rally Class sedans: Overall

First place: Wilro Dippenaar and Carolyn Swan ( Ford Fiesta R5 S4), second place Zachary Martin and Anique Schoeman (VW Polo S2) and third place Wideo Bartsch and Raymond Fourie (VW Polo S2).

Pieter Greeff and JP Robinson ended in first place in the S1class with their 1600 Toyota Corolla. Dippenaar and du Raan finished in second place in the S4 class with their Ford Escort. Taking into consideration that their vehicle is left-hand drive and dates back to 1990, it is still a force to be reckoned with. The Truter team ended in third place in the S4 class in their Toyota Corolla.

When it comes to the challenge class, competition was fierce. Loic Bathfield and Johan Steyn needed only 01:14:39 to complete the distance of around 107 kilometres in their CR 6 in the CR1 class. Rian Kritzinger and his navigator, Ian Stander, with their Nissan Hardbody V8, took a few knocks and lost a front bumper, but still managed to finish in second place in the CR1 class in a time of 01:24:22. Ekko Eisenberg and Rassie Rietz in their JAC T8 D/C V8 ended in third place (CR1), Werner Bartsch and Christel Fourie ended in the CR2 class in first place with 2002 Ford Courier V6.

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