21 Nov 2013 13:20pm
WINDHOEK, 21 NOV (NAMPA) - The 45th edition of the annual Total Tara Rally will commence in the capital on Thursday evening.
Twenty-two teams have entered to take part this year, but there is never certainty about whether all 22 cars will indeed start the race due to various factors such as engine problems.
Gert Truter, the winner of the 2003 and 2004 editions of the annual Total Tara Rally, promised a good performance this year, because he will be racing with his legendary 1980 Audi Quattro which won him the 2003 and 2004 titles.
Nampa visited Truter on Wednesday to enquire about his preparations, and found him fine-tuning the new Audi engine which he installed into his rally car recently.
Truter said the new engine might deliver twice more output as the previous engine.
My team and I are working now for almost four months preparing the car for the 2013 Tara, he said, adding that he believes the car is ready for the rally, except for the computer box at this stage.
For Truter, this Tara is a milestone. Apart from driving one of the most powerful vehicles, this year will mark 20 years since Truter and his navigator Tobie Barlow started as a team.
Barlow was the navigator when they won the Total Tara in 2003, and now 10 years later, Truter hopes for another win with Barlow in the navigators seat.
Chairman of the Windhoek Motor Club, Chris Liebenberg told Nampa on enquiry Wednesday that drivers are hoping for some rain during the races this year, as some teams experienced overheating problems with their cars last year.
Possible wet conditions will add some interesting driving conditions, he said.
French fuel giant Total, through its Windhoek office, sponsored the event with N.dollars 500 000 this year.
The 2013 Total Tara will start and end at the Wanderers Sports Club in Pionierspark this year, unlike previous years when it started at the Sports Club Windhoek (SKW).
The first car will set off at about 19h30 for the first special stage in the vicinity of the Hage Geingob Rugby Stadium.
The second special stage will take place in and around the Prosperita area, with the first car expected back at about 20h10.
The third and last special stage for Day One starts at around 20h40 at the Western Bypass close to the Kupferberg intersection in the vicinity of the University of Namibia (Unam).
Day Two will start at around 07h00, and will take drivers from Windhoek to Wilhelmstal via Okahandja, and back to Windhoek on Friday afternoon.
Spectators can look forward to an action-packed performance when the 'Super Stage' takes place at the Tony Rust Race Track west of Windhoek on Friday evening, starting at 17h30.
The Super Stage will see two cars at a time racing against each other at high speed around the race circuit.
Saturday, the last day of the Total Tara Rally, will see the remaining cars battle it out over seven special stages, with the first car expected to finish around 13h00 at the Wanderers sports grounds.
A team consists of a driver and a navigator.
The 23 special stages will cover a distance of about 300 kilometres, while the open stages on national roads will cover approximately 400km, bringing the total distance of the Total Tara to roughly 700km.
The 2012 Total Tara champions, Willie Dames and his South African navigator Armand du Toit, will not take part this year.