Allan and Maretha win 1000 Dunes Swakop Rally

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Donna Collins

Swakopmund-A cold and windy Swakopmund was the stomping ground for the first action-packed rally last Saturday, in which Walvis Bay driver Allan Martin and his pint-sized lady navigator Maretha Olivier from Windhoek, shot into first place with a wide lead.

From the early stages Allan and Maretha – driving a VW Polo S2000 ‘bullet’ – set a blistering pace ahead of their closest competitors to clinch the winning spot, whilst scoring a triumphant two-minute lead at the finish. This puts the team into a favourable position on the club championship scoreboard.

The Swakopmund-based Oswaldo Mendes and Cecil Koorts also drove their Subaru like a ‘bat out of hell’, enjoying a top performance to secure a well-deserved second place.

Driving the second Subaru in the line-up, was seasoned Windhoek driver Willem Hugo and his 13-year-old navigator Mandi Hugo, who kept a cool head as they shot into third place.
Hanre Myburgh and Dawie Hartzenberg secured fourth place in their VW Polo 1600, with Pieter Greef and Uween Lourens snatching fifth place in a Toyota Corolla.

The 1000 Dunes Swakop Rally attracted a total of 17 entries from around the country, who competed in their individual classes, with 11 vehicles making it to the end. The event marked the first Walvis Bay Motor Club rally, with Steckels Toyota as the main sponsor and headquarters for the start and finish of the event.

Amongst the new entries, was 17-year-old Zachary Martin with navigator Michael Strydom in their VW Golf 1600. Francois Louw and Freddy Smith in a VW Polo 2.0 with Pieter Karsten and Eugene Koen behind the wheel of a Toyota Hilux 2.7 bakkie.

Commenting on the rally afterwards, Allan said he didn’t expect to win, as he drove with clutch problems from the first stage, and had his work cut out for him to keep his rivals from taking the lead.

He said the rally was organised by WBMC committee in an effort to boost the spirit of rallying, as it had reached an all-time low. “It was a great event with really challenging stages, and action-packed spectator points,” he explained.

The rally route covered a total distance of 153 kilometres, of which 98.9 km consisted of seven fast and testing special stages through sandy, desert terrain. The next rally will be in Walvis Bay on October 15.

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