It's rally time again, and the big guns are gearing up for an exciting first leg of the 2012 Namibian Rally Championships, being held in Swakopmund this week-end, where the race will be on to grab the top podium slot.
The N$45 000 sponsored Shell Namibia V-Power Rally which starts from Ocean View Shell Service Station at 10h00 on Saturday morning, is going to be revving with activity. A bumper turnout of around 19 top rally teams from around the country have confirmed their participation, with the aim to get ahead on the championship scoreboard whilst the year is still fresh.
Saturday's event has been organised by Oswaldo Mendes and his team under the auspices of the Walvis Bay Motor Club, and have set out a one-day 122 kilometre special stage desert route which pushes top speeds and challenges driving skills.
The Swakopmund rally will still run on the old 'road book' note system, before the sport is officially switched over to the new high-tech international Djemba system as method of reading the rally routes. This system according to Jan De Jager President NMSF (Namibian Motorsport Federation) is the first in Africa and was slowly introduced to the local rally scene last year.
He says that the Djemba System is the way forward for lifting our standards in motorsport, and is used in the world rally championship series. It was purchased by the NMSF last year for N$160 000 and is going to become compulsory for rally teams to implement in future events.
Meanwhile Mendes confirmed that the prestigious Swakopmund rally is one of the highlights of the motorsport season, and sets the pace for the year ahead. He also said that part of the rally proceeds will be a donated to a chosen charity as part of their social commitment towards the community.