Upgrades underway at Tony Rust

The need for safer racing, improved drag racing facilities and better infrastructure have necessitated upgrades at the Tony Rust Raceway on the outskirts of Windhoek.

The Windhoek Motor Club (WMC) spearheaded this initiative and much-needed renovations and upgrades are long overdue considering the tracks date back to the early 80s, with a lot of wear and tear and limited funds for maintenance.

This time around, several businesses, motorsport enthusiasts, supporters and even individuals got together and sponsored cash, building materials and even labour to the tune of N$300 000.

The main focus was on the extension of the drag strip, to include a burn outbox that will allow drag racers to warm and prepare their tyres before each race, Xico Coetzee says.

The previous drag racing starting box was sufficient but as the sport grew and the cars became more powerful, there was a need for the extensions, including ground moving and levelling, relocation of the storm water drainage system, an improved burnout box and a longer starting point, says Coetzee.

“The previous surface did not give enough traction (for the drag cars), hence some of the cars only spinned, losing valuable drag time,” he says.
The extension means racers will have a more flat surface, unlike in the past where they dragged slightly uphill, affecting their speed and performance.

The upgrades provide a much safer braking distance, unlike in the past where the drag racers often had to brake against the crest which could lead to disaster due to the limited visibility.

“The new surface will be covered with a compound called track-bite that will make the surface stickier for better traction and grip for a better start,” says Coetzee.

This means faster times for the drag racers since speed and traction are the two main factors in any drag race.

Some of the companies and individuals that assisted, include JP Hydraulics from Walvis Bay, SBS Trucking, Kris Liebenberg, DB Mining, WMC, Okapuka Sand, KG Sand and Stone, Namboer, Xico Coetzee Boerdery and Tallisman Hire Windhoek.

Coetzee says it’s difficult to mention all the sponsors due to the magnitude of all the contributions. However, to finish what they started, an additional N$200 000 is needed.

Once this is done, Coetzee says they will send invitations to South African motorsport enthusiasts.

The first drag races will be held once the tracks are finished, around the end of this month.

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