WINDHOEK Nov 14 – With less than two weeks before the annual Total Tara Rally starting in Swakopmund and ending three days later in Windhoek, adrenaline starts to pump as organizers, officials and teams start to get their final preparations in order.
The Tara stared back in 1969, and this year the 51st rally will see once again some serious competition among local as well as competitors from South Africa.
TOTAL NAMIBIA Managing Director ( MD) Naftal Kakwambi told this reporter during the launch of the 2019 Tara end October in Windhoek that TOTAL is happy to give back to the community through sports.
Kakwambi added that sports unite people and that is his and Total’s dream to see a united Namibia through sport.
“After a very successful 50th Tara Rally in 2018 we are pleased and glad to have returned to support the Tara Cat and want to confirm our commitment to support the arguably most famous and longest ongoing motorsport event in Africa” Kakwambi told this reporter.
The Tara with its roots deep right here on local soil started 51 years ago and grew from a humble rally among friends to an international event that saw contestants as far as Zambia, South Africa ( SA) and even Kenya taking part. However escalating costs lately forced many entrants from other SADC countries, with the exception of SA, to shift this from their rally calendars.
The Tara this year will start at the Dome in Swakopmund on Thursday 21 November before departing the next day to Windhoek via Spitskoppe, Usakos, Karibib and Okahandja where drivers and their teams will take part in several special stages before ending the second day in the capitol.
Saturday, the third and last day will end around 14h00 at the Tony Rust Tracks west of Windhoek. Though entries are still open, so far not less than 12 teams entered, among them the 2018 Tara Champions Japie van Niekerk and navigator Gerhard Snyman from SA. Team van Niekerk won the Tara 4 times in the rally’s history and already indicated last year his participation for this year.
The total stretch is around 722 kilometer (km) of which 225 km consist of 21 high speed special stages.
namibia Daily News will bring you regular updates and before and during the Total Tara Rally thanks to the kind assistance by Suzuki Namibia that availed an off-road vehicle to follow the participants, while TOTAL Namibia made sure the car will not get stuck without fuel.
Author: Francois Lottering