Two track records shattered at Tony Rust

Photo: Francois Lottering

Two race records were broken at the Tony Rust Raceway on Saturday during the second leg of the National Circuit Racing Championships and during the drag races later that night.

Mark Sternagel ensured his record of 62,691 seconds per track lap remained in place.

The 2,46 kilometres long track has been described as one of the most brutal tracks in the region, due to the many up and down stretches, as well as several tight corners, according to some local and international racers.

Xico Coetzee, racing for the first time in a Toyota Corolla 2JZ (box shaped) called Uber, stunned the hundreds of spectators with a time of 9,63 seconds over a quarter mile.

Saturday’s event can go down in the racing books, despite starting an hour late due to oil spills on the tracks. After safety officials sorted this out, spirits were high as spectators lined up for the first of three action filled heats.

All eyes were on Sternagel as his BMW was still being serviced shortly before the event.

Sternagel’s nickname as the ‘Usain Bolt’ of motocross is testament to his capability on both motorbikes (MX) and in race cars.

Sternagel said he and the technical team didn’t have an easy week, after working on the car for many long hours to ensure it was battle ready.

In fact, Sternagel said they were still busy with some final finishes in the wee hours of Saturday morning, with barely a with a few hours before the actual race.

“We had a wonderful day on the tracks, but we had a difficult week preparing the car,” he said.

But as the saying goes, all for the passion and love for the sport.

The only woman competing on the day, Chané Havenga, said she was a bit nervous before the race but enjoyed it, despite the late start.

“I was in seventh heaven and was super excited,” said Havenga, who is not only a circuit racer, but a trained navigator for rally drivers. She was even awarded earlier this year by the Namibia Motor Sport Federation for her role in the sport.

Jan Everson from Walvis Bay made his return to the tracks since his previous race in October last year, after some mechanical issues and damage to the car as a result of a small accident on the tracks.

Everson described the last heat as a tough one and said he has since made some changes to the car to move it to “C Class, in order to race with the big boys”.

16 racers in five different classes took part:

Class A: First Michael van Zyl.

Class B: First Michael Strydom, second Michel Rust, third Hein Bisschoff.

Class C: First Ewald Bisschoff, second Geh Visagie, third Jan Everson.

Class D: First Mathew Strydom, second Pieter Greeff.

Class F: First Craig Bisschoff, second Chané Havenga.

Super Modified Class: First Mark Sternagel, second MP Pretorius, third Richard Slamet (Sr).

The drag event saw several entries, as well as modified cars entering as ‘privateers’, but it was the dragster vehicles that had the audience on their feet cheering for the real petrol heads.

This was the first official event on the recently upgraded and renovated drag strip at the Tony Rust Raceway, which is prepared with ‘track bite’ before any drag racing event. This is a compound sprayed on the tracks for better grip and traction.

Coetzee entered two cars and took honours with a time of 9,63 second in Uber and again in second place with another Toyota Corolla 1.6 Twincam named ‘Taxi’, in a time of 10,85 seconds.

In third place was Horazio ‘Rassie’ Rietz in a Mercedes CLA 45 with a time of 12,10 seconds.

The only motorbike entered was Richie Slamet with a Yamaha R1, in a time of 11,24 seconds.

After the event, Coetzee said plans for a bigger, better and faster drag event in August are underway and Namibians can look forward to seeing some of South Africa’s best dragsters in action.

Stay informed with The Namibian – your source for credible journalism. Get in-depth reporting and opinions for only N$85 a month. Invest in journalism, invest in democracy –
Subscribe Now!

Latest News