New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Racing Roars to a Grand Finale

NAMIBIAN motorsport drew the curtain on a splendid season last Saturday in pouring rain when the last roaring engine was switched off after a memorable two-day event at the Tony Rust Race Track that rewrote the attendance register of the Windhoek Motor Club.

In the much anticipated One Hour Endurance Race, Achmat Achmat came, he saw, and he grabbed the chequered flag in the downpour after a spectacular and thrilling race.

The man from Cape Town in his canary yellow BMW E36 M3 streaked ahead at the drop of the flag and after sixty heart-pounding minutes of pure-bred racing, he was just too good for the Namibian drivers.

André Havenga in his pitch black Chevrolet Rekord was the first local lad across the finishing line. Third home, was the highly talented 21-year old Chaan Brown in his Opel Super Boss.

The One Hour Race was the cherry on the cake in a weekend of many highlights when thousands of spectators flocked to the track on Friday afternoon already for two days of high-adrenalin racing in every form of motorsport.

It included drags, drifting, oval track racing, bike racing, circuit racing and go-karts. It also marked the end of the motorsport season in Namibia and everybody agreed on one thing: it went out with a bang!

New space had to be made in the attendance register of the Windhoek Motor Club when some 3 000 tickets were sold in record time on Friday evening.

Cars were lined up all the way from the turn-off to Otjimuise to the Tony Rust entrance gate on the Daan Viljoen road, but nobody left the track disappointed at around midnight after text book night racing and drags.

Braaivleis fires and a jam-packed stadium were testimony to one of the most successful events in many years.

Early Saturday morning the future stars of motor racing lined up their go-karts in the last effort of the year to gain championship points and drivers gave it their all in the mini-rockets.

By mid-day the stands were filling up again as ominous dark clouds started decorating the sky when the flag dropped for almost three hours of nail-biting bike and car circuit racing to decide the Namibian champions in the various classes.

The grand master of the six cylinder turbo charged cars, Robbie Eichoff, clinched the title when he drove an immaculate race in the first heat in his white BMW E36. In the other heat, Michael Rust showed the pack his heels in his Nissan Sabre.

Alex Howard ruled the roost on his Yamaha in the bike category and clinched the title, after some furious dicing with Richard Slamet.

The young JD Kessler was crowned go-kart champion on Saturday morning after three heats of exciting racing.

In the class for turbo 2X4's dragsters, Jaco Kotze was king in his Monster Nissan bakkie, with Jandre Dippenaar second in his Datsun GX. Jaco Theron's Toyota Celica was the turbo 4X4 champ with JP Hildebrandt second in his Evo.

Robby Reschke was the winner of the hot hatches in his City Golf, and Ewald Bushoff was second in his Toyota GT. The V8's belonged to Kurt Hartung in his red Ford Mustang, with Riaan Hartung second in a Ford F100.

Brian Barnard won the quads on a Banshee 350. Second was Frank Klosta on a similar quad. The bikes did not attend all three rounds of the round robin and no winner was declared.

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