By: Deon Schlechter
Last Saturday will go down in the history books as one of the most thrilling and entertaining days for all racing disciplines, when hordes of spectators witnessed drivers from Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Cape Town do battle at the Tony Rust Race Track.
Racers from as young as 15-years-old to the “old toppies” in their late fifties, had spectators on their feet with some outstanding driving skills during the three heats long circuit challenge.
Jan Gous, at the “tender” age of 56, made Christiaan Liebenberg work hard all day in his Subaru Impreza, while seasoned racing driver Willie van Rhyn also made a sterling comeback in his son Bazil’s, hot VW Polo and let rip. Competition for bikers, go-karters and oval track racers were equally ferocious.
Capetonian Dave Alhadeff, in his immaculate Panos GT V8, eventually walked away as winner of the highly-contested Clubman’s Class B. But not before Namibian Christiaan Liebenberg put up a breathtaking show in his 2.0 liter Subaru Impreza to finish second overall and ahead of the brutal Ford Mustang of Fred Phillips, also from Cape Town.
Unfortunately, Phillips dramatically wrecked his beautiful ‘black beast’ in the last heat when he crashed into the barriers, sending tyres, smoke, sparks and spectators flying.
Drama struck early in the day when Nigel Slabber, reigning Superbike champ, lost the front end of his superfast Suzuki GSX R600 in the turn at the end of the main straight, and had to be taken to hospital with slight concussion.
The incident left the door open for Pierre Grobler to win the day’s racing on his Yamaha R6. Hedley Tavenor was second and Heiko Doedens third.
In the Clubman Class D, 16-year old Conrad-Lee Brown put up a much-talked about show in his late Dad’s 2.0 litre Opel SuperBoss to win overall. He was followed by brothers Wynand and Ruaan Viviers in a Toyota Conquest and Nissan Starlet, respectively.
Another youngster that caught the eye, was 15-year old Freddie Stander from Walvis Bay, driving a 1.6 supercharged Mini Cooper S that was built by BMW Motorsport in South Africa. It was only his first outing on the long circuit, but consensus was reached that this youngster with the flaming red hair has the potential to be a future racing star.
The Clubman Class C provided the usual thrills and spills, but Michael van Zyl in his flying VW Golf piped AndréHavenga (Chev Record) and Guilliaume Kruger (Toyota Avante) to the post after sensational dicing. The reigning Namibian champion, Robby Eichoff took his immensely powerful turbo-charged BMW 3,2 litre M3 to top-honours in Class A, after experiencing some turbo problems earlier in the day. The only let-down of the day was when Michel Rust’s 2.0 liter Nissan Sabre blew a top-gasket in the warm-up laps and he had to retire for the day.
It was serious sweating behind the wheel, when the ever-growing and very entertaining Ford Bantam 1 600 cc Class came up. It was an all-family affair as these pitch-black bakkies blitzed around the track. Marius Botha came out on top, followed by Bertus Botha and Reino Botha.
Sparks also flew when Johnny Doeseb from Walvis Bay clinched the mighty V8 Class for Oval Track racing in his flaming-red “Tiger” Mercedes Space frame later in the day. Second was Johan Mills.
JandréDippenaar (Opel Tigra Spaceframe) won the Hot Rod/4 cylinder Class, with Johan Roodt (Ford Fiesta Spaceframe) second and Charl Fourie (Mercedes Benz) third.
Marius Beyleveldt took top-honours in the Quad ovals, with Wiehahn Köhne second and Andrévan der Merwe third.
Rhys Cragg won the go-kart Maxterino Class. Second was Franco Junius and third Richie Slamet.
The Junior Max Class in karting belonged to Michael Strydom. Athi Mankonkwana was second and Chase Norval third.
Luigi Bidoli clinched the Senior Max Class, with Richard Slamet second and Jaco Nel third.
Clifford Steyn won the Production Bike Class on the long circuit. Second was Alberto Monteiro and third was Johan Jacobs.