Home run for Allan and Melvin

Event: 
Walvis Bay Rally

Allan Martin and Melvin Gous took a popular home victory when they brought their clutchless J&P Hydraulics S3 VW Polo 4x4 home 3min41 clear of the field on the Omahooli Solutions Walvis Bay Rally on Saturday 15 October 2016.

Round four of the 2016 Namibian National Rally Championship  enjoyed valued support from Omahooli Solutions, J&P Hydraulics cc, Remax, Desert Iron and Steel, Sylver Engineering, Steckel’s Toyota, Kosmos 94.1Fm, Sign World and Seal Consulting Engineers and the event attracted a fine entry of 19 teams.

With competitors in specific areas normally also actively involved in the organising of their respective events the team organising find themselves as first car on the road. The balance seeded on championship points and Clerk of the Course discretion which saw Wilro Dippenaar and Riaan van der Westhuizen starting eighth on the road in the Shell V-Power S3 Toyota Auris 4x4.

Allan Martin, Chairman of the Walvis Bay Motor Club, and Melvin Gous, Vice-Chairman of the Walvis Bay Motor Club, thus the J&P Hydraulic S3 VW Polo 4x4 combination inherited the road sweeping duty with fellow WBMC committee members, Jan Everson and Fanie Botes, second on the road in their Seal Consulting Engineers S2 VW Polo.

One has to actually experience dune blindness to truly understand how difficult it can be to actually read these roads at high speed and it must have been some relief to all that the event started in unusually cool and pleasant weather conditions. Making good use of their road position Wilro Dippenaar and Riaan van der Westhuizen set off in determined fashion, winning the opening two stages in the Shell V-Power Auris, but must have been surprised to learn that on both occasions they only won by six seconds from Allan Martin and Melvin Gous. Really looking comfortable in the J&P Hydraulics VW Polo despite having sensed a pressure plate problem at the well known Dune 7 start and they seemed content in their role as sweepers.

Taking nine seconds off the Toyota on SS3 Windmeul the VW team was really starting to apply pressure and Wilro had to dig deep for the next three stage victories and unfortunately it came at a price as the Auris had to be retired after SS6 with a cracked gearbox casing. Allan won SS7, but then the Polo lost it’s clutch on SS8, and the team had their work cutout to reach the finish of the event without further penalties or potential retirement.

Oswaldo Mendes and Cecil Koorts took delivery of the Rudi Brandt Atlas Copco S4 Subaru Impreza WRX 4x4 Turbo minutes before the start of the event and SS1 one was their first opportunity to put their new steed through it’s paces. The Witzenberg Motorklub member something of a revelation in second place overall after a faultless event. Walvis Bay first and Swakopmund second! As they say, local is lekker!

Richard Slamet and Wiets Coetzee another combination that contested the event in cautious mode as Richard was still recovering from his enormous Tony Rust track accident. Breaking a sideshaft and being offered a VW replacement by Allan Martin had the team return under Super Rally rules and thought they won SS8 they were happy to finish 13 seconds behind the Scoobie in the S3 Toyota Run X 4x4. Great to se the spirit of sportmanship present in this championship with teams assisting where they can.

The pesky little Tsumeb ankle biter of Roland Himmel and stand-in navigator, Jaco Wiese, fourth overall after another impressive run. This S1 Toyota Etios 1.5 R2 always a factor, irrespective of area and not even an intermittend coil problem could slow their progress. Jaco Redelinghuys and Dries Booysen drove well within themselves to record a satisfactory fifth overall in their S3 Toyota Run X 4x4 whilst Etienne van den Heever and Willy van Wyk placed their recently acquired ex-Jan Habig / Oswaldo Mendes S2 VW Golf IV 2.0 sixth despite having broken a shockabsorber on SS5.

The ever consistent combination of Marco Luis and De Wet du Plessis seventh in their neat S4 Subaru Impreza 4x4 Turbo followed by a rejuvenated Peer Röhm and Eugene Marais in their Gunite Pools S1 Toyota Auris 1.6. The Auris no longer for sale and Peer looking forward to a mighty run on the 48th Tara Rally in November.

Morné Oosthuizen and Jacques Kruger ninth overall in their Off Road entry whilst Jaydee Kessler and Willem Wessels were extatic with their tenth overall debut finish in their S1 Toyota Conquest 1.6. Clearly a chip off the Uwe Kessler block. Jannie and George Coetzee somewhat disappointed with eleventh ooverall in their rapid ex-Hergen Fekken / Oswaldo Mendes S2 VW Polo having suffered a broken sideshaft and running under Super Rally regulations.

Freddie van Niekerk (son in law to Oswaldo Mendes) and Marius Nasilowski enjoyed a spectator pleasing run in Oubaas the hard working S4 Magnum enroute to twelfth overall and whilst Pieter Greeff and Steven Robinson picked up the wooden spoon award as the final classified finishers in thirteenth spot with the ex-Hanré Myburgh Omahooli Solutions S1 Toyota Corolla RXi 1.6.

Sadly Hanré was forced to miss only his second event in seven years and the VW Polo will be arriving at the 48th Tara with more than one painful tooth to heal. Willem Hugo and Mandi Hugo even less fortunate when they travelled to Walvis Bay only for the Griffin S4 Subaru Impreza 4x4 Turbo to expire on the eve of the event. Jan Everson and Fanie Botes ran into a spot of miscommunication in the Seal Consulting Engineers S2 VW Polo on SS4 and seized the engine when they did not realise that the oil cooler was damaged in their brief excursion over an embankment. Gert Coetzee and Hugo Arangies also parking their S2 Ford Focus ST in a pool of black gold on SS7 whilst the neat looking Atlas Copco S2 Toyota MR2 of Tinus Malan and Paul van Niekerk cried enough on SS1 with a blown motor.

Welmie and Stephen Kuhn travelled alll the way from Gobabis only for their S1 Toyota Run X to retire with gearbox problems on the penultimate stage. A bitter disappointing result for the only lady driver in the championship. The special stage on the Desert Raceway oval track proved extremely popular with spectators and tested the rallyists in a new environment whilst the prizegiving was easier to survive in the absence of the “Tsumeb Jagermeister”

The 48th edition of the legendary Windhoek Motor Club Tara Rally will bring the 2016 Namibian Rallly Championship to a close on 18-19 November 2016 and with her claws extended Tara is said to be preparing a warm reception for those brave enough to challenge her.