Class F shines – Dynotech wins!

                

The WPMC Killarney Motorsport Complex in Milnerton hosted the opening round of the 2013 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Series in brilliant weather on Saturday 23 February. Documentation hosted at the Cape Peninsula Motorcycle and Car Club Rollbar whilst the challenging route was to limited to the former tarmac oval pit area and the kink between Quarry (Engen) and Damps (Rhodes) corners.

Various reasons saw a number of regular teams not present at Killarney, most notably Jacques “Kuite” du Plessis. Though he would be quick to point out that the earlier than anticipated start to the season resulted in him not being able to finish his new Toyota Conquest 2.0 the real reason would be the fact that his wife, Lesley, had indeed given birth to his son shortly before the event! That inevitably led to proud uncle, Pierre, also not arriving in the older Toyota Conquest 1.6.

2012 WBMK Gymkhana champions, Fanie du Toit and Kobus Wilson Jnr, could not resist the opportunity to compete at Killarney and the FM Civils class Mazda Rustler LDV 2.0 16v led the forty strong entry despite still carrying it’s traditional number 30. The Worcester combination determined to retain their hard earned title. In stark contrast, Gary “The Pest” Meyer, made it to the entrance gate of Killarney before his ex-Jehan de Jongh race spec VW Golf MkI cried enough.

With the majestic Table Mountain looking down on Killarney route competitors almost striked after the first run. Given that it is considered the correct manner in which to protest against almost anything in South Africa it was encouraging to note that the Clerk of the Course, Pierre van der Westhuizen, proved even more of a threat and everyone opted to continue unabated. Jokes aside, the route proved testing and once everyone realised that that was indeed the objective when presenting a course to competitors it resulted in one of the tightest podiums in the thirteen year history of the series!

Multiple champions, Izak van Zyl Jnr and Danye Louw, really had to dig deep to win the event in their Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 Turbo. If anyone doubted Izak’s ability to get the best out of this car on any course he certainly silenced many critics at Killarney. With the podium positions covered by less than second after four very entertaining runs the season has the potential to be the best ever!

Van Rhynsdorp based Anton Smit and Gavin Parsons surprised even themselves when they achieved their first podium in almost seven years of racing, finishing a mighty second overall, just 0.63 seconds down in their Toyota powered Innovative Woodworks class F Nissan 1600. Without a doubt their best performance to date and Anton also nominated as the Fix-a-Smash Driver of the Day.

The recent announcement that the Datsun name will be returning to South Africa possibly the reason that motivated the third place duo of Kobus Wilson Jnr and Jean-Pierre Robberts. They have acquired the ex-Herman Mathee class F Datsun GX Sedan and despite only having taken delivery on the Thursday preceding the event they truly rattled cages by dominating the opening run by amost five seconds! To eventually finish third overall, just 0.19 seconds behind second, a truly remarkable result by the Worcester team.

Izak van Zyl Jnr and Danye Louw was also offered the use of the Ettiene Swart owned Cape Fire and Aircon class D VW Golf Chico 1.4i and to simply rub salt into sensitive wounds they claimed first in class and fourth overall on debut.

Brent Laurings and Duncan Andrews set the outright fastest time of the day in their 1984 class A Opel Kadett GTE 2.0 but try as they might the Bothasig team simply could not back it up and though they still managed to win their class it must have been somewhat demoralising to accept fifth overall. The potential however clearly visible!

The orange Eikestad Plastic Repairs class A VW Golf MkI 2.0 of Stellenbosch based Leon Engelbrecht and Marius Swart certainly added to the challenge in the class and they were well satisfied with sixth overall and second in class on their comeback event. The yellow Opel and orange Golf leaving the red Rustler somewhat shell shocked in seventh overall and third class A. Fanie du Toit and Kobus Wilson Jnr suffering a broken CV and lacking their normal finesse on the day.

Swopping sides Marius Swart and Leon Engelbrecht made it four class A cars in a row by placing the orange Eikestad Plastic Repairs VW Golf MkI 2.0 eighth overall and fourth in class. Both however begging for power steering before the next event! Nursing a flailing CV ninth overall was somewhat disappointing for Brackenfell based Günther and Louise Appelgryn in their always immaculate class B Spiderman VW Golf MkI 1.8. As always clinically clean in their approach the couple still gave a very good account of themselves and once the Golf receives some TLC from Duncan Jepthas they will be on form again come Vredenburg.

Danye Louw had Izak van Zyl Jnr navigating in the HH Wellington class C Toyota Corolla RXi 1600 and the car sported larger wheels and tyres. Certainly less likely to burn rubber the Moorreesburg based driver actually posted impressive times enroute to a class victory and tenth overall position. Rumour has it that Marcile will also return as lady driver come 5th Weskus Mall Vredenburg 9 March 2013.

Johann Zulch and Tania Vermaak were somewhat unfortunate to finish eleventh overall and first in Class E with their Ceres Toyota supported E30 BMW 325iM. Third overall after the first run and as always incredibly consistent on times the Beemer impressed immensely on a course clearly favouring the lighter, more compact machines. A performance to savour for the Ceres based driver and Gr11 De Kuilen High School Kuilsrivier student navigator.

Jan van der Vyver had Mike Mathee as navigator in the Race-Tech class D VW Golf Chico 1.4i and though this would have been considered the perfect course for this rapid little car Jan found himself at war with almost every obstacle. Whatever it was that he had against the cones was serious as he literally tried to obliterate them. Still managing twelfth overall and second in class could be considered impressive under the circumstances.

Morné Roux and Monica Robbertse started their season with 13th overall and second place in class C with their completely standard “new” 1995 Mazda 323 160i. Clearly still learning the car they will undoubtedly improve as the season progresses. Ruan Reynders and Nico Vermeulen entertained in their three wheeling class D Mini Clubman 1275 and were rewarded with 14th overaal and 3rd in class.

Duncan Jepthas made a welcome return to the series, winning the new class P in his awesome VW Golf MkII 2.0 TSi. Driving with the use of only one arm he had Nashrene Schloss navigating the yellow Golf to good effect on road rubber, hence class P, and they were satisfied with 15th overall. Ettiene and Magda Swart 16th overall and 4th in class D with the Cape Fire and Aircon VW Golf Chico 1.4i. A year sabbatical certainly showed some signs of “rust” and they will also be a combination to watch later in the year.

Trying the Mazda 323 160i on normal road rubber as a class P entry Morné Roux and Monica Robbertse achieved 17th overall and 2nd in class on debut. Ettiene Swart and Izak van Zyl Jnr also shared the mighty Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 Turbo and Ettiene was somewhat relieved to find himself 18th overall and 2nd in class.

The normally super competitive Nashrene Schloss simply could not find her rhythm in the immaculately prepared Toyota Corolla Sprinter 180i. 19th Overall as a class B entry with Duncan Andrews as navigator and 20th overall as a Class I entry with Louise Appelgryn as navigator reflected the consistency but lack of pace.

In 2012 they represented Team Dad, but in 2013 they are heading for the title as Team Grandad. Dewald van der Merwe and Izak van Zyl Snr still enjoying their personal rivalry in the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 Turbo. Dewald finishing 21st overall with Izak Snr 22nd overall on this occasion. Deon and Maralize Conradie are familiar with Killarney as Deon used to be a handy Clubmans Ford Escort racer. Their class E FFR Buggy 2.3 however refused to turn in properly and they had to settle for 23rd overall and 2nd in class despite giving it their all throughout the day.

Nico Vermeulen and Ruan Reynders swopped roles in the class D Mini Clubman 1275 and three wheeled their way to 24th overall and 4th in class. In the absence of the Hermie de Kock Opel Corsa this has to be the most economical vehicle with respect to tyre wear as those rear wheels rarely come into contact with the tarmac.

Father and daughter combination, Kobus and Lizelle Smit, enjoyed another elbow knotting day in their KS Panelbeaters Strand class E E30 BMW 325i. Showing good form the big turning circle proved frustrating at times and they had to settle for 25th overall and 3rd in class. Another team finding the long wheelbase of their vehicle somewhat daunting was Jean-Pierre Robberts and Kobus Wilson Jnr in the rapid black Opel Kadett GSi 2.0. Their eventual 26th overall and 5th in class certainly no indication of what they are capable of.

Monica Robbertse and Jacolien Hough also entered their Mazda 323 160i into two classes and found themselves to be extremely consistent taking 27th overall and 3rd class M as well as 28th overall and second class I. Magda Swart celebrating her return as lady driver with 29th overall and third in class with Jacolien Hough as navigator in the Cape Fire and Aircon VW Golf MkI Chico 1.4i.

Mike Mathee and Werner Coertzen silently worked their way to 30th overall and 4th class P in the incredibly quiet VW Polo TDi 1900. Watch their progress on youtube where they have posted a very interesting video clip for the benefit of all to enjoy - www.youtube.com/watch?v=ok9erDcRdt8 . Ruan Reynders and Nico Vermeulen challenged themselves in the extreme by enetering their very impressive – but rather large and heavy – Chevrolet Lumina SS in class P and though 31st overall may not sound impressive it was no mean feat on this course.

Werner Coertzen and Jan van der Vyver also made their competitive debut as team in their standard class C VW Caddy 1600. The experience gained enroute to 32nd overall will undoubtedly see them improve with every outing and given the smiles victory was just around the next cone. Angie Swart and Tania Vermaak had a tough day in the very neat class I Ford Fiesta ST 1600 and 33rd overall proved that the combination still requires some refinement. The final finishers of the day certainly won the hearts of most of the spectators as this Fix-a-Smash E30 BMW 318i rarely found itself in a straight line. Rishay Moodley and Lavehn Govender enjoying every second almost as much as the spectators.

Brent Laurings frustrating himself even more by winning the single seater class in a time that would have seen him second overall for the day in his Opel Kadett GTE 2.0! Truly a case of the one that got away. Danye Louw his normal spectacular self enroute to second with the HH Wellington Toyota Corolla RXi 1600.

Esham Enus was a familiar face at Club Mykonos with his 125 Kart and it was somewhat warming to see his son, Mustapha, continue the tradition by entering a very rapid kart under the Murway banner. Very fast but very tricky to handle and too many errors cost him dearly. Third in class simply indicating a lack of experience and the results will certainly come with time. Jan van der Vyver a fighting fourth in the Race-tech VW Golf MkI Chico 1.4i.

Unfortunately Anton van den Berg suffered a dropped valve on his Suzuki LTR450 Quad but he certainly proved entertaining whilst it lasted. Günther Appelgryn opting not to complete all his runs in the Spiderman Golf thanks to a suspect CV.

Prizegiving followed in the CPMCC Rollbar before everyone heade their respective ways but not before everyone agreed that the event was a huge success. More importantly it showed that clubs can work together to make an event succeed and WBMK – WPMC and CPMCC need to be applauded for their efforts.

Dewald and Meghan Nortjé also need to be applauded as the never tiring Start and Finish Marshals who had to endure the intense heat from dawn to dusk. Schalk van der Merwe – Stino Baard and Monique Ramshaw were tested as Judges of Fact and Jacques Janse van Rensburg did a sterling job as Pit Bull. Neville Gleeson and André Mitchell had the Jayen Timer functioning perfectly and results were ready almost before the last car parked in the pits. Anette Vermaak – Meghan Nortjé and Monique Ramshaw and Nicola Consani the ladies in charge of documentation whilst Bertus Mitchell assisted Dad behind the computer.

On track Uwe Pey and Jacques Janse van Rensburg saw to it that the event ran without hitches and even the photographers were made to work. Uwe Pey and Herman Mathee also doing duty as the Scrutineers. Normally armed with his HD video camera Danie Burger and Jannie Slabbert righted more than their fair share of upended cones and Danie so nearly became the focal point when push starting the Enus kart! Young Dieter Pey as always behind his camera as were the Street Motion combination of Reynard Gelderblom and Jaco Matthee.

Pierre van der Westhuizen as always the Clerk of the Course and thanks to the challenging John McLinden route he actually had to make a few decisions this time around. Robert Marle the MSA Steward as always observing more than most.   

A hearty thank you to Fix-a-Smash, Two Oceans Aqua, Cape Fire & Aircon, Midas Saldanha, Advance Office Supplies for your continued support. WPMC for the venue, CPMCC for the Rollbar and to Elizabeth Terblanché – for the best hamburgers yet!

A special thank you to every team who supported Marloui Nortjé by placing the Get Well Soon Marloui decals on their cars – the good news is that she is indeed showing positive improvement!

Round two follows on 9 March 2013 and the 5th Weskus Mall Vredenburg Gymkhana always delivers surprising results.

Do not miss this event!