Tarka: Swan song for Sarel van der Merwe

Motorsport legend Sarel van der Merwe will have his off-road swan song on the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 in the Eastern Cape on November 1 and 2. Supervan will retire from motorsport at the end of this season and the Eastern Cape event, the ...

Motorsport legend Sarel van der Merwe will have his off-road swan song on the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 in the Eastern Cape on November 1 and 2.

Supervan will retire from motorsport at the end of this season and the Eastern Cape event, the second last round of the Bankfin Off-Road Championship, will be his final fling in an off-road vehicle. With regular driver Paolo Piazza-Musso unavailable because of prior commitments, van der Merwe will team up with Scott Abraham in the O'Hagan's/Kopanong Hotel Superteam Jeep.

Van der Merwe's last off-road appearance in the Jeep was last year when he and Abraham led the Nissan Sugarbelt 400. A mechanical problem sidelined the pair, but Supervan is hoping for a better result when he returns to old stamping grounds in the Eastern Cape.

"There is a bit of sentimentality attached to the Tarka 400 drive, but I am grateful to the Superteam for the opportunity to have a final fling," said van der Merwe. "The Jeep has always had the potential to win events and it would be great if Scott and I can come up with a good result.

"Reliability has been a problem in the past, but if the vehicle holds together we could cause a bit of an upset -- and I would enjoy that."

An inner ear infection has curtailed Supervan's circuit appearances this season, and he has concentrated on running the Supervan Racing Team challenge in the Wesbank V8 championship, and his role as a television commentator on the national rally series. Now back to full fitness the Queen Motor Spares Tarka 400 is a welcome diversion for van der Merwe.

"I haven't driven as much as I would have liked this season, so the Tarka 400 is a welcome return to action," he said.

"It is going to be a bit emotional, but all good things come to an end and the party after the event, especially if we do well, should be something to remember."

-msa-

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe