Dippenaar outshines SA drivers to win Cattle Country Rally

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Donna Collins

One of Namibia’s ace motorsport competitors Wilro ‘Dippies’ Dippenaar is making waves on the South African rally scene after winning three out of the five 2017 African Regional Rally Organization (ARRO) series, which held the fifth leg of the competition in Gobabis recently.

Driving a potent Shell V-Power Toyota Auris S2000, Dippenaar stormed into first place in the annual Shell-V Power Cattle Country Rally, with his navigator Riaan van der Westhuizen, in a time of 1:17:31. This triumph further accelerated the team’s hopes of leading the 2017 ARRO standings.

The event was organised by Redline Motor Club of Namibia under the leadership of the club’s chairperson Dippenaar, who had extended an invitation to ARRO’s competing teams. This was the fourth consecutive year the South Africans competed in this prestigious annual event held in Gobabis, and the fourth year that Dippenaar was crowned the winner.

A total of 17 teams participated in the Cattle Country Rally, of which six were Namibian teams. In fact Dippenaar and Van der Westhuizen set the fastest time which helped them clinch the overall rally win.
Second slot was snapped up by another Namibian team, Jaco Redelinghuys and Dries Booysen, in a time of 1:18:02, also driving a Toyota Auris 2000, claiming their podium finish after putting up an outstanding front-runner fight till the end.

The battle between the two leading Toyota Auris vehicles was nail-biting, with drivers giving each other just seconds between the stage wins. And with almost no room for error between them, the slightest mistake by any one of them would have secured the other the overall victory.

Both crews were pushing the needle to the max in each stage with some dramatic driving antics. They tore through
the gravel stages, slid into the bends sending out huge dust clouds and flew over the jumps, entertaining the large crowds who turned up to enjoy the action.

Further back in the field another tussle developed between the SA rally teams, but it was Dean Bradbury and Timothy Botes who finished third overall in their Can Am Maverick. The SA team trailed over eight minutes behind the leaders, and of the 17 vehicles that started, only two fell out during the rally.

The Redline Motor Club committee and marshals have earned themselves a reputation over the years as being excellent hosts to visiting rally crews participating in the Shell V-Power Cattle Country Rally. ARRO motorsport participants praised this event as an “outstanding rally”, and look forward to the 2018 event.

Dippenaar meanwhile will be heading down to South Africa this month to take part in the last leg of the ARRO season with his hopes set on a win. He will also take part in the Total Tara Rally in Windhoek, to be on November 18 and 19, and was the youngest competitor at 18 years old to win the Tara title.

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