Dippenaar, Van der Westhuizen win Tara Rally 2017

19 Nov 2017 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 19 NOV (NAMPA) – Driver Wilro Dippenaar and Riaan van der Westhuizen won the 2017 Tara Rally Competition held in Windhoek on Sunday.
The duo, who were driving a Toyota Aries, won the 49th edition of the race in a time of one hour and twenty minutes.
They beat a strong field of 15 participants with Jaco Redelinghuys and Dries Booysen coming second in a time of one hour, twenty one minutes and nineteen seconds.
Allen Martins and Derek Jacobs were third in a time of one hour, twenty five minutes and nine seconds.
The participants competed in 17 stages which accounted for a total of 127 kilometres.
Speaking to Nampa after winning the race, Dippenaar said he and his navigator were happy about the win, as they had improved from their second position last year.
“The competition was tough, but we managed to do well and we will definitely come and defend our title next year,” he said.
Chairperson of the organising committee, Anja Lingner said she was satisfied with the outcome of this year’s competition, adding they are already planning for the 50th competition next year.
“We had a successful event this year, there were no negative vibes. The officials worked hand in hand, the team did a magnificent job and I am sure the riders also enjoyed the race,” she said.
Lingner said they already have some pledges for hosting next year’s competition, the planning of which will begin in March.
She paid tribute to the sponsors who made it possible to host the last two editions following the withdrawal of Total as main sponsor in 2016 after a protracted dispute.
She noted how the sport has moved on from that incident and that lessons were learnt.
“We are trying to source funds so as to boost the event. We want to go big next year. We want to have at least 50 competitors and we are already talking to older guys who retired to come back and do it for the fun of it,” Lingner said.
Last year’s competition winners, the South African duo of Japie van Niekerk and Robin Houghton did not defend their title and no other international drivers participated in this year's competition.
The Tara Rally is Namibia’s longest-running international sporting event, having started in 1969.