Biesiepol Brilliance at Weskus Mall Gymkhana

Izak van Zyl and Danye Louw was made to work extremely hard for a second consecutive event and they were made to tap everything from their Dynotech class G VW Golf GTi MkII Turbo 2.0 before they could claim victory in the 5th Weskus Mall Gymkhana Vredenburg.

The Cape West Coast added a fresh South Easter to the already sunny and warm conditions and though it has little effect on the competitors it certainly put much more strain on officials. Danie Burger traded his HD Video camera for the role of negotiator leading into this event and thanks to his efforts the event opened with a brief Road Safety presentation by the Assistant Manager Emergency Services of the SAP, Mr Jacobs.

As expected the first run proved exceptionally tough on most teams as the combination of finding your way through the maze of similar looking “biesiepolle” as well as finding a good rhythm had many frustrated and worried going into the second round. Johann Zulch and Tanis Vermaak once again proving the big surprise when they posted fourth fastest in their big Beemer.

Leon Engelbrecht and stand-in navigator, Rafique Firfirey, looked most likely to upset the Dynotech party when they found themselves just 0.8 seconds shy going into the fourth and final round but sadly the orange Eikestad Plastic Repairs class A VW Golf Chico 2.0 refused to break through the 1min30 barrier. Günther and Louise Appelgryn then surprised with a blistering final run to steal second overall in the Spiderman class B VW Golf Chico 1.8.

If the podium results of the opening two gymkhana events is anything to judge by the 2013 season should be providing great action throughout. Though just off the podium in Vredenburg the class F battle that provided such great excitement at Killarney continued unabated on the West Coast. This time it was Kobus Wilson Jnr and Jean-Pierre Robberts winning the class in their 1976 Datsun GX DeLuxe 1.4 with the very entertaining Innovative Woodwork Nissan LDV 1.6 of Anton Smit and Gavin Parsons fifth overall.

Izak van Zyl Jnr and Danye Louw also claiming seventh overall and first in class D with the Ettiene Swart owned Cape Fire & Aircon VW Golf Chico 1440. Revved to 8000rpm this little car sounded like an F1 at times and it really is a compliment to the engine builder that it lasted for the day. Nashrene Schloss had Ebrahim Salie navigating the Toyota Corolla Sprinter 180i in class B and seventh overall was impressive on a day where everyone excelled.

Rafique Firfirey and Leon Engelbrecht swopped seats in the orange class A Eikestad Plastic Repairs VW Golf Chico 2.0 and eighth overall was indeed an impressive debut for the new driver. Somewhat shell shocked after his first run Rafique was amazed by the level of  concentration required to really set good times, but promised to return for more. Nashrene Schloss and Louise Appelgryn demonstrating the consistency of the green Toyota Corolla Sprinter 180i by claiming first all ladies crew home and ninth overall.

Ruan Reynders and Nico Vermeulen produced their best ever result in the class D Mini Clubman 1275 but the navigator will almost certainly always remember this as the event where his nerves were tested to it’s limit. Ruan thought it would be great to show off his stunt driving abilities by first lifting the Mini onto the left wheels – just short of scraping the door handles on the road. Not satisfied yet, he then proceeded to do almost exactly the same on the right wheels!

Danye Louw and Izak van Zyl Jnr had class C pretty much under control in the HH Wellington Toyota Corolla RSi 1.6 and could possibly have finished higher up the order had they not enjoyed a little sideways driving so much. Proving that he is also learning from the three times drivers champion, Izak van Zyl Jnr, it was Ettiene Swart in 12th overall with his Cape Fire & Aircon VW Golf Chico 1440. Clearly not revving quite as freely as when Izak takes control, but certainly showing much more confidence and commitment.

The ever consistent pairing of Johann Zulch and Tania Vermaak somewhat disappointed in dropping back to 13th overall in the class E winning Ceres Toyota E30 BMW 325iM but given the standard of competition this was a remarkable performance. Duncan Jepthas and Nashrene Schloss proving a point with 14th overall in their monster VW Golf MkII TSi 2.0 on road tyres. The powerful machine treated with caution enroute to a class P victory.

Jean-Pierre Robberts and Kobus Wilson Jnr lacked a proper back-up time to move above their 15th overall but the black class A Opel Kadett GSi 2.0 is handling better with each outing. Team Grand-Pa had Dewald van der Merwe and Izak van Zyl Snr 16th overall in the Dynotech class G VW Golf GTi MkII Turbo 2.0. Reaching the finish line completely out of breath certainly showed that the “oumanne” was really trying and their enthusiasm was something to enjoy.

Trading their race tyres for road legal rubber had the black Opel slot into 17th spot with Jean-Pierre Robbertse and Kobus Wilson Jnr somewhat surprised as to how well the car handled without the magical feet. Duncan Jepthas and Nashrene Schloss actually finishing in a lower 18th spot with race rubber fitted to their monster class G VW Golf MkII TSi 2.0.

Izak van Zyl Snr and Dewald van der Merwe 19th overall in the Dynotech class G VW Golf GTi MkII Turbo 2.0 and the top twenty completed by Rafique Firfirey and Leon Engelbrecht in their standard class G Audi RS4 Quattro. What a glorious sounding and magnificent looking machine to have present at a gymkhana!

Morné Roux and Monica Robbertse lacked punch in their standard class C Mazda 323 16oi and had to settle for a somewhat disappointing 21st overall. This team rarely outside the top ten when they are competing with the family EGi of the Golf. Obviously the Mazda will either see some attention or the faithful will return to action.

Having been somewhat shaken by his experience as navigator Nico Vermeulen did not return the favour when Ruan Reynders navigated for him in the class D Mini Clubman 1275 and though still proving economical on rear tyres they settled for 22nd overall. Magda Swart and Jcolien Hough 23rd in the Cape Fire & Aircon VW Golf Chico 1440, now simply not threatening any eardrums. Monica Robbertse and Jacolien Hough hot on their heels in the standard VW Golf Chico 1.8 with Walter van Dyk and Pierre du Plessis 25th in their class G VW Golf Chico 2.0 Turbo.

Clearly suffering the effects of not having competed for a few seasons the combination struggled to find a working rhythm. Trading sides they also had the ex-Jacques du Plessis class C Toyota Conquest RS 1.6 present and 26th overall simply proved that they need more practice.The final classified finisher of the day was Rishay Moodley and Lavehn Govender in their very sideways Fix-a-Smash class F E30 BMW 318i. Showing promise the youngsters were learning with each run.

Günther Appelgryn took top honours in class H with the Spiderman VW Golf Chico 1.8 with the spectacular HH Wellington Toyota Corolla RSi 1.6 of Danye Louw second. Danye taking a moment to have a really close look at a “Biesiepol” when he managed to do a Smit and run over one.

June-July 2012 claim the distinction as the reason why many could not attend the 5th Weskus Mall Gymkhana Vredenburg. Jacques and Lesley du Plessis became the proud parents of little LJ and though this was the reason offered for his absence it is also a fact that he was in Natal for the Tour Natal Rally?  

Jan and Melissa van der Vyver opted for a similar excuse and little Gerhard saw them remain home for the weekend whilst the event found itself without any Judges of Fact when Schalk van der Merwe and Monique Ramshaw decided it was time to announce their engagement and everyone stayed home to celebrate!

The good news was that the “old firm” could be recalled from retirement and the Club Mykonos Gymkhana trio of Norman Reynolds – Rudolf Oosthuizen and Phillip Botes clocked in for duty. Had they only known that the fresh South Easter would declare their gazebo hors-de-combat before the event even started they might have found some excuse to stay home too.

The challenging 700m course would eventually prove to be almost 1km in length and with no less than 39 checkpoints the 34 entries and 4 runs would have these old timers dig deep to spot 5304 potential penalties! Truly the stars of this event and it is doubtful whether any competitor have ever considered the true value of good Judges of fact! Well done guys!

Normally glued behind the viewfinder of his HD Video camera Danie Burger found himself working hard behind the scenes as the WBMK representative and he too deserves a huge thank you for the time and effort in making this event a success. As always the Advance Offfice Supplies Race HQ gazebo sported the faces of Neville Gleeson – André Mitchell – Marius Bester. Pierre van der Westhuizen the Clerk of the Course with Howard Daniels as MSA Steward.

Start and Finish Marshals Dewald and Meghan Nortjé were assisted by John McLinden and Anette Vermaak whilst Leatitia Bester and Jannie Slabbert were on track with their cameras. Desmond Harding the Pit Bull on this occasion.

More encouraging was the welcome sight of many former competitors and friends of the series dropping in at Vredenburg. Cobus Erasmus was a firm crowd favourite behind the wheel of the number 7 VW Golf GTi MkII 2.0 16v later campaigned with great success by André Dreyer (Vredenburg). Wessel Pretorius unfortunately made himself well known by rolling his Chev Lumina on the Simola Hillclimb in Knysna (unfortunately now cancelled for 2013 when the title sponsors withdrew). Abduraghman Amlay is better known in rallying and on holiday on the West Coast. Obviously his wife went shopping at Weskus Mall and remained at the gymkhana – he might actually still be there?

Daai Bakkie was a very old Toyota Corona 1.2 and it was driven by good effect by Stoffel Bezuidenhout of Vredenburg. Stoffel and his son, Christiaan, now back from a few years in Australia also welcome surprise visitors on Saturday. Robin Wakeford and a few others also putting in an appearance. Shaun, Jomane and Emily Turner and Nico Joubert all added to a great atmosphere and even Ferdi de Vos had his first taste of Gymkhana events.

On Saturday 20 April 2013 we return to do it all again as the 6th Weskus Mall Gymkhana Vredenburg will form round three of the 2013 WBMK Gymkhana Series.

Come and join us!