Ceres welcomes the Namibian visitors!

WBMK Ceres Rally

Back in 1979 Uwe Molzahn and Louis van Zyl won the prestigious 11th Total Tara Rally Namibia in their Ford Escort, but made an ever lasting impression by contesting the first round of the Western Cape Regional Rally Championship. With South West Africa at the time considered an extension of the Western Cape their presence was welcomed and it certainly built good relation at all levels.
Now , 36 years later, a number of Namibian teams are once again making the long “trek” to compete in a round of the Western Cape Rally Championship. Much have changed, there is an official border to cross, fuel prices have become prohibitive, not to mention the actual cost of running a thoroughbred rally car!

In the spirit of good camaraderie the Namibian Motorsport Federation moved the date of their Shell Okahandja Rally to 6 June 2015 and in collaboration with Motorsport South Africa the Witzenberg Motorklub set the scene to receive the visitors on 9 May 2015, not as challengers or opposition, but as fellow rallyists sharing similar passions. This an open invitation by the Witzenberg Motorklub to any Namibian rally combination.

And just as a matter of interest just by pure coincidence (really) it happens to be the 66th anniversary of the birthday of the Honorary President of the Witzenberg Motorklub, Pierre van der Westhuizen. Believe the Namibians will have their traditional cough medicine ready in sympathy?

As the 2013 Namibian National Rally Champions, Allan Martin and Berto Mostert, will be leading the Namibian group in their ex-Hergen Fekken S2000 J&P Hydraulics VW Polo 4x4. Allan started off as a number cruncher in the Western Cape but then gradually turned into an hydraulic expert in the family business and with an impressive competition department based in Walvis Bay his dedication to Namibian motorsport in oval, drags, drifting, track and rallying is something to behold. Currently holds the fastest time around the Tony Rust Raceway in a 2.0 normally aspirated car as well as second fastest time for turbocharged class A car on 1 min 06.5.

Berto Mostert is based in Windhoek and is better known as the somewhat hard charging son of the King of Paarlberg, Hennie Mostert. Starting off in a Renault 12 he surprised with a class win on the SWMC Tre Cento Rally and went on to achieve incredible results in a VW Golf that would prove to be below specification when eventually stripped. Initially not too happy about filling the Suicide Seat the combination worked and not only did consistency net them the 2013 Namibian National Rally titles, their dedication to the sport also saw the trio of coastal events step up a gear to make the 2013 season a vintage experience.

Driving in the vast expanses of the Namib desert is not the same as rallying around the beautiful, but tricky, fruit orchards of the Boland and neither Allan or Berto have any illusions about the challenge ahead. They are heading for “home” to expand their experience base and prepare a solid foundation from which they can hopefully launch a regular cross border program in the future. Oom Sarel and Oom Koos might just want to enlighten them regarding the fact that they prefer the number 4 and most of their car is green in colour? And then to top it all the Polo is known as Old Chucky?

Just for the sake of interest note that the Walvis Bay Motor Club abbreviation is WBMC and the Witzenberg Motorklub is WBMK, similar but not the same. The Walvis Bay Motor Club responsible for 50% of the Namibian Rally Championship with three popular coastal rallies whilst the Windhoek Motor Club takes care of the three inland events, including the prestigious Total Tara Rally.

The second Namibian combination to confirm their presence is Cecil Koorts and Oscar Schoombee who have been rallying together for some 13 years. Their current steed is the ex-Stephanie Hugo Gp N3 WMK (Windhoek Motor Club) Toyota Run X RSi and though this car became well known for it’s immaculate preparation in JCB colours it will now display the colours of Barex Equipment for the first time. Cecil and Oscar finished the 2014 Namibian Rally Championship in third position overall and despite their obvious lack of experience in local conditions they will undoubtedly enjoy the opportunity.

Jan Everson and Fanie Botes only started rallying in 2011 with a Ford Ikon 1.6i which simply never proved reliable enough and the team started to enjoy success with the acquisition of a Riekus Schmidt built S1600 VW Polo R2 1600 when they took a deserved class win on the 2013 45th Total Tara Rally, a feat they repeated in 2014. The orange colours of the Seal Consulting Engineers VW Polo may confuse a few fruit trees in Ceres but with a new Dave Ingle FSi 2.0 16v powerplant they too are settling into a brand new experience.

Jan Everson (Walvis Bay) and business partner, Pieter Greeff (Keetmanshoop), both rally but unfortunately Pieter will not be able to attend the 2015 Ceres event. As winner of the International oval between Namibia – England – South Africa at Tygerberg Raceway Jan have certainly proven handy behind the wheel of any car!

Better known for their prowess on the back of Superbikes the Slamet brothers need no introduction as Ronald will at the time just be returning from Spain where he would undoubtedly have delivered his very best performance as wild card entry and in Ceres Richard will be making his local debut behind the wheel of the freshly re-liveried ex-Tjaart Conradie S1600 I-S Freight Services Toyota Auris 1600 with Wiets Coetzee in the Suicide Seat. Unfortunately clashing dates will see Ronald racing at Killarney on the same day.

Locally the teams indicated will slot into the following classes:
No SA        Nam       WP Driver / Navigator                      Manufacturer
6   S2000  S3 or S4  S5  Allan Martin / Berto Mostert       VW Polo 4x4 2.0 20v
7   S20      S3           S4  Jan Everson / Fanie Botes           VW Polo FSi 2.0 16v
3   Gp N3  S3           S4  Cecil Koorts / Oscar Schoonbee Toyota Run X RSi 1.8
14 S1600  S2           S3  Richard Slamet / Wiets Coetzee  Toyota Auris 1.6

Starting at 10h00 from Holding Area at the premises of Ceres Toyota teams will complete SS1 over 12km before tackling the testing SS2 over 24km (Service Park 1 at Klondyke Cherry Farm). Special Stage 3 comes in at 14km with a short spectator friendly SS4 of just 5km (Service Park 2 at Klondyke Cherry farm). SS5 is a repeat of SS3 at 14km (Service Park 3 at Klondyke Cherry Farm) with SS6 the 24km SS2 in reverse direction (Parc Fermé at Old Ceres Showgrounds Finish). Good spectating possible at SS2 - SS3 - SS5 and SS6.
Local stars present in Ceres will include former WP champion father and son combination, John and Weston Peiser in their Speed Pro Cycling Equipment S5 WPMC Subaru Impreza GT 4x4 Turbo. They will be joined by the Shaun Jones and Mark Avice du Buisson S5 CPMCC Subaru Impreza STi 4x4 Turbo whilst Lourens and Nina van Rensburg will step up as the ankle biting challengers in their 7Films / LLJ racing S1600 / S5 WPMC Ford Fiesta R2 1600. The popular husband and wife combination more than capable of mixing it with the 4x4 entries and the technical nature of the Ceres stages will strengthen their challenge.

Abduraghman Amlay and Yusuf Ganief have been trying a few new tweaks on their Amlay Motorsport CCMCC Gp N3 / S4 Toyota Run X RSi and this would be the perfect opportunity to get their ducks in a row.  Anthony Connelly and Randall Marais will be one of two teams returning after having rolled during the 2014 edition of the Ceres Toyota Rally. Their CCMCC S4 VW Polo 2.0 will hopefully clear the dreaded “rut” safely in 2015 as it is going to present itself twice on the day.  Ironically they rolled at exactly the same spot as Julian Calvert and Louise de Goede did their S4 CCMCC VW Golf. This combination requiring a totally new car and their return certainly eagerly anticipated.

Llewellyn Jones and Christophe Pichon will be in command of the Shaun Jones S4 CPMCC E36 BMW 328i and they will be joined by Paul Hendrik-Franken and Henry Köhne in their FR3 Racing S4 WBMK E36 BMW 325i. Running well on the national scene with their Manitou Group S1600 WBMK VW Polo R2 1600 the combination will be out to enjoy themselves in their tail happy Beemer. Paul Emmanuel and Robin Benjamin joins S4 with their CCMCC VW Polo 2.0.

Having broken their unique, one of a kind, S4 WBMK Datsun GX Sedan 2.0, on the 2014 Ceres event it will be welcome back to Herman Mathee and Ruan Reynders. Take the time to have a closer look at this magnificent labour of love. Immaculately built, this car is an example of what can be done.

Kesevan Naidoo is still to nominate his navigator in the Freightmore S3 CCMCC Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 and will want to challenge for overall honours in Ceres. He started the final stage of the recent CPMCC Malmesbury Rally just a single second behind the leading Ford of Lourens van Rensburg but suffered engine problems and dropped to an eventual third.

Paul van Wyk and Quinton Swarts have the potential to challenge and their acciDent Guru S3 WBMK VW Golf Citi 2.0 will hopefully not be breaking sideshafts in the Boland. Keenan Sassman is another young driver capable of challenging for top positions in his S3 Toyota Corolla RXi 1600. Engine maladies have resulted in disappointing results to date.

Trevor Hodges returns in his S3 CCMCC VW Golf GTi and could well prove blisteringly quick whilst the Jive team will once again consist of two cars in class S3. Anwar Levy and Jean-Pierre Jacobs in their VW Polo 2.0 and Ebrahim Levy / Matthew Köhler in their Toyota Corolla RXi 1600.

In class S2 the van Greunen cousins, Darren and Llewellyn, have disguised their grins with beards but will long treasure their superb second place overall in Malmesbury with their ex-Gugu Zulu S2 WBMK VW Golf Citi 1.4i. Awarded the Most Impressive Team of the event they will like nothing better than to repeat the feat in Ceres.

Justin and Brian Hoskins look set to return to action in their Johan de Goede prepared S2 WPMC VW Golf Citi. Unfortunately a clash of dates sees the Wingfield Motors Power Series Regional Championship Killarney set for the same date.

Twenty three entries make the Ceres Toyota Rally will make a trip into the beautiful Boland worthwhile. Weather promises Mostly Sunny conditions with a maximum temperature of 19ºC and minimum of 7ºC with a East South East wind of 7km/h gusting to 30km/h. Sunrise at 07h22 and Sunset at 17h56.

Be there!