• July 10th, 2020

SA Hot Rods and V8 Sprints rock the Tony Rust Oval track

Donna Collins

The return of the “Big Noise” they called it - the 2019 Shell V-Power International Oval Challenge held at the Tony Rust Race Track where thunderous V8 Sprint cars and Rotary Powered Hot Rods from the South African racing circuit, shook the ground. 

In fact, this was the first time in about six years that Namibian motorsport fans witnessed such an electric atmosphere and gathering at the oval track, with a formidable performance from nine V8 winged Sprint cars that let rip with 850Hp engines. Added to this racing spectacle were eight Rotary Hot Rod space frame ‘rockets’, that left nothing to the imagination as they unleashed their power in one formidable dice. 

This long-awaited oval track revival race, and SA Hot-rod tour which saw some of the fastest cars and drivers compete on Namibian soil, was organised by the Redline Motor Club crew - who worked flat out from the beginning of the year to get the race up and running. It took two motor carriers which left from Jo’burg to bring the cars up, and cost in the region of N$100 000 to get the show on the road - with the 17 drivers flying up. 

All in all, there were 29 cars on the track, which included three local Hot Rods from the PZN Panelbeaters oval track racing team, driven by brothers Wilro and Jandre Dippenaar who both race the SA circuit, as well as former multiple oval track champ Andre Meyer giving it stick amongst the big guns. 
Racing started on the Saturday afternoon and ended with some fast and furious night action under the powerful spotlights and Namibian sky. Added to the excitement were seven V8 machines from the local gravel oval track circuit, as well as two 4-cylinder dirt track oval cars.

Spectators were treated to spectacular racing in all the categories, but the man of the moment was 67-year-old “Wild Willie” Zurich from Jo’burg driving his V8 Sprint which in traditional dramatic fashion of these winged machines, are push started onto the starting line. This legend has been racing Sprints for 39 years, and is no stranger to Namibia or the Tony Rust Track, where once again he was the star of the show, clinching the chequered flag in all heats.

According to Ernst Thatcher the event’s PRO, this was an exclusive once off motorsport extravaganza, and by far the biggest oval race held at the race track in a long time. He also said that if the excitement and positive feedback is anything to go by, the Redline Motor Club would like to turn this into an annual happening. 

“Unfortunately, Oval track racing at the Tony Rust track has long since died out, but this race put a lot of spark under the guys butts again, and we would like to revive the sport and get it up and running,” said Thatcher enthusiastically. 

“We have a structure and a business plan drawn up and will be looking at all options as well as companies for sponsorships,” he concluded, adding, “Since there is a real hunger amongst the guys to bring oval track racing back - all it needs is the green light.”

Staff Reporter
2019-06-13 11:26:59 | 1 years ago

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