Comeback victory for Leon Engelbrecht

Leon Engelbrecht and Quinton Phillipson had to dig very deep for victory in the L&M Automotive Performance VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo having broken a driveshaft on the opening run and then having to be both cautious and aggressive o the remaining three. But then, this is Lightning Leon and a challenge is why he competes.

The first run saw Quinton Phillipson and Leon Engelbrecht on top of the timing sheets in the awesome Q Tech Performance Audi RS3 2.5 Turbo AWD with Sean Pretorius and Marco dos santos breathing down their neck in the monster Powerbrake Subaru STi 2.5 Turbo AWD. Most impressively it was Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager that had everyone sit up and take note of their 1600 Toyota powered class F Nissan LDV on the same second as the technologically superior opposition. The scene set for a fantastic result.

The weather was perfect at the Killarney International Raceway and the atmosphere around the Turn 5 route even better as Kyle van Dyk and Jaco Spammer stepped into the fray with the fastest time on the second times run in their class E Nissan 350Z. This combination surprised by winning the previous event overall and clearly it was no fluke as Kyle was once again looking very composed in the rwd Nissan. Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager really ruffled a few feathers by slotting into second spot with the screaming Nissan LDV with the ever consistent Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8 of Günther and Louise Appelgryn also starting to announce it’s presence in third spot.

With the resulted determined by the best two times combined Leon Engelbrecht and Quinton Phillipson showed signs of recovery in the Turbo Golf whilst the Audi RS3 lost some momentum with a few unforced errors. The slightly longer and more technical route certainly had all the competitors working harder than normal as both navigation and determination was being tested.

Kyle van Dyk and Jaco Spammer led after the third run thanks to impressive consistency in the Nissan 350Z but Leon Engelbrecht and Quinton Phillipson was up to second with an impressive time in the Turbo Golf. Günther and Louise Appelgryn had the powerful cars feeling uncomfortable by slipping into third sport with the Spiderman VW Golf 1.8 whilst Quinton Phillipson and Leon Engelbrecht recovered to fourth place. Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager driving their best event ever and despite clearly not having the same power they were super consistent. Sean Pretorius and Marco dos Santos rounding off the top six in the Super Scoobie.

The fourth and final run set the scene for an awesome result and it was Leon Engelbrecht and Quinton Phillipson that succeeded in finding the most in reserve, slotting the L&M Automotive class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo into overall first with the fastest time of the day. Kyle van Dyk and Jaco Spammer also dug deep in the class E Nissan 350Z and another almost faultless effort saw the rear wheel drive car slot into a very deserved second place overall.

Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager the performance of the day in the Toyota 1.6 powered Nissan LDV. Going even quicker that they thought possible the Baby Navara achieved an incredible third overall amongst some of the strongest contenders ever at any gymkhana. Sean Pretorius and Marco dos Santos fourth in the monster Powerbrake class G Subaru N14 STi 2.5 Turbo AWD and in fifth it was another amazing achievement for Günther and Louise Appelgryn in the Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8.

Quinton Phillipson and Leon Engelbrecht showed that this Q Tech Performance class G Audi RS3 2.5 Turbo AWD is capable of challenging for overall honours. A single mistake is the difference between first and sixth spot between extremely diverse machinery but talented crews.

Experienced veteran, Izak van Zyl, had Mike Mathee along for the drive in his awesome Dynotech class G Toyota Corolla 4.0 V8 Twin Turbo and incredibly they proved exceptionally quick whilst still being the Most Spectacular of the day. Driving through the side windows the Toyota rarely faced the direction in which it was traveling and seventh overall was simply down to a master at work behind the steering wheel.

Johann and Petra Zulch also proved to be quite impressive in what could be termed the heaviest car at the gymkhana and the Ceres Toyota supported class E BMW E30 325iM managed a great eighth spot overall. Newcomers of the day was Dylan Brown and Storm Jooste in their Subaru Forester XT 2.5 AWD, running consistently and error free they managed a most impressive ninth spot on debut.

Marco dos Santos had a new navigator in Megan Meineke but also found a consistent pace to bring his class G Subaru STi 2.5 Turbo AWD home in tenth overall. Abdul Sayed and Leon Engelbrecht 11th overall in the JTC Tools class D Toyota Tazz 1.3 with André Smit and Natasha de Jager 12th in their ever improving DRS Autoworx class C winning VW Golf MkI 1.6.

Nadia Singh and Fatima Gabier the top ladies combination a and also the Most Consistent combination of the day in their Subaru STi 2.0 Turbo AWD. Initially rather rattled with the complexity of the route on paper, they certainly found their way to 13th overall. Swopping sides it was Fatima Gabier and Wendy Snell in 14th spot on debut with their rather unique Subaru XV CVT.

The least powerful car present by a comfortable margin powered by great enthusiasm saw Byron Hite and Natasha de Jager bring the bog standard class D Toyota Tazz 1.3 home in 15th overall and two more newcomers, Joshua Mouton and Andrew Odendaal, were quite pleased with a debut 16th spot in their class B VW Golf MkII 1.8. The 16 year old youngster initially finding this strange form of motorsport somewhat different to oval track racing but he got stuck in and improved with each run.

Needing a little more practice Raaziegh Harris and Ziyaad Allie shared Giffie – Wild Thing, their class A VW Golf MkI 2.0 on debut, but despite their best efforts the route simply proved a mountain too high and neither would be classified as finishers. Nothing to be ashamed about – many started the same way and the real challenge will be to return and face that challenge again!

Three drivers were brave enough to enter as single seaters and it was Sean Pretorius who proved superior in the Powerbrake Subaru STi 2.5 Turbo AWD with Günther Appelgryn second in the Spiderman VW Golf MkI 1.8 and Byron Hite a brave third in his standard Toyota Tazz 1.3.

As always it is interesting to listen to the armchair critics comments about how well they would do at this – but they never get around to actually competing. Please join in on 16 November 2019 for the 5th round of the 2019 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship at the Killarney International Raceway.

The 135th Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana attracted a quality 26 team entry and ran in near perfect weather conditions at the Killarney International Raceway. Pierre van der Westhuizen the Clerk of the Course and MSA Steward Robert Marle.

It remains one of the most cost effective forms of motorsport as you can be very competitive in various classes with standard vehicles and the lessons learnt as driver / navigator not only promotes good relations in the car but it also promotes safer driving. The great camaraderie amongst the officials, competitors and spectators is often complimented and thanks to photographers such as Ryno de Kock the results  become a topic of discussion until the next event.