11 Nov 2018 13:00pm
WINDHOEK, 11 NOV (NAMPA) South African driver Japie van Niekerk and his navigator, Gerhard Snyman were on Saturday crowned winners of the 2018 Total Tara Rally.
The 50th edition of the Total Tara Rally saw over 30 cars compete over a distance of 558 kilometres from Swakopmund to Windhoek in three days.
Van Niekerk, who is the only driver to have won the event three times in its history, added to his milestone with his fourth Tara Rally win, while his navigator Snyman won it for the third time.
Speaking to Nampa Saturday night after the awards ceremony, Van Niekerk said he was honoured to win the event for the fourth time, but credit should be given to his team that made sure everything went smoothly.
Its amazing to win the Tara Rally, which is one of the toughest rallies in Africa if not the world, again. Despite all the challenges with the tough routes we managed to bring our car to the finish line, which is great team work, he said.
Asked if they will return in 2019 to defend their title, Van Niekerk said they first had to enjoy their achievement and a decision with regards to defending their title will only be made in the course of next year.
I love competing in Namibia because of the way the event is organised and there are a lot of drivers who make the event really competitive.
His navigator Snyman added that Namibian routes are very challenging, but at the same time very exciting.
I have been here for a couple of rallies and winning it for a third time as navigator is quite an achievement, but credit should be given to the organiser who set up the routes which are challenging and gets everything out of the car, said Snyman.
Wilro Dippenaar and his navigator Riaan van der Westhuizen who won the event in 2017 finished second, while Jaco Redelinghuys and his navigator Dries Booysen were in third place.
The off-road event, which was introduced this year, saw Jaco van Dyk and his navigator Michel Rust crowned champions, while Richard Himmel and navigator Adolf Botes came second.
Stefan Labushagne and his navigator Christiaan Labushagne finished third.