Fanie and Zak take 3rd Mykonos

Returning to the most exotic destination on the annual Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship for the 28th running of the Club Mykonos Resort Langebaan Gymkhana saw Saturday 15 October 2016 dawn with great anticipation. As a holiday destination there is little to challenge the “little” Greece venue and for gymkhana enthusiasts this is where Kings are made.

Intimidating, scary and always challenging the unique double format layout challenges the brave, rewards the wise and destroys the nervous. Unforgiving, it requires maximum attack to succeed and a single error to end your day. Spectators carry competitors through each run and close finishes are rewarded with spontaneous applause. There is nowhere to hide as every move is closely scrutinised, criticised or applauded and only one team is crowned as the King of Mykonos!

Mike Nathan became King of Mykonos six times (Mykonos 4, 14,15,16,17,18) and wrote himself into the annals as the legend of Mykonos. Werner Koekemoer (Mykonos 2,3) became the Mayor of Mykonos as Most Spectacular Driver and simply the mention of his name sends shivers down the spine of every ardent Mykonos spectator. Sharing the points lead after six of eight rounds in 2016 the scene was set for a thrilling dual at the head of the field. Two father and son teams going head to head with double champions Fanie and Zak du Toit (Mykonos 26,27) representing experience whilst Rafique and Hishaam Firfirey had brought the current weapon of choice.

Complicating matters for the championship contenders was the return of former winners André Dreyer (Mykonos 19), Duncan Jepthas (Mykonos 21), Izak van Zyl Jnr (Mykonos 22,23,25) leading an entry of hard chargers which included Dewald van der Merwe, Leon Engelbrecht, Günther Appelgryn and Nashrené Schloss. With 66 entries throughout all classes the day lived up to expectations. UNIREF and the Denyssen family have become synonamous with motorsport on the West Coast and their support of the Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship started with Donevan and Adrian Denyssen in their silver class A Opel Kadett GSi 2.0. This year the family returned with young Eugene Denyssen having completed his debut season in the British F3 Championship.

Izak van Zyl Jnr had father-in-law, Dewald van der Merwe, strapped into the suicide seat of the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo and looked likely to pick up a fourth King of Mykonos title after three heats. Rafique and Hishaam Firfirey found themselves down in 29th overall after two heats with too many changes making the obviously quick Mini more than a handfull to master, but then they suddenly posted a phenominal time in heat three. Nothing but victory would give Fanie and Zak the advantage they craved and Izak was making life difficult for the FM Civils class A Mazda Rustler LDV 2.0 16v.

Running head to head heat four saw the silver Mini shadow the white Golf from start to finish but still the Dynotech team proved superior with the AHI Racing slipping into second overall after another stunning time. But then, Fanie du Toit, thrives under pressure and normally delivers his best performance on his final run. Beating the Mini into second place would retain a one point advantage in the championship but winning the event would offer a two point advantage into the final round.

Digging deeper than ever before Fanie and Zak du Toit achieved the near impossible by earning a third King of Mykonos title with a brilliant final time in the FM Civils class A Mazda Rustler LDV 2.0 16v which had the crowd applauding a truly royal effort. Izak van Zyl Jnr and Dewald van der Merwe magnanimous in defeat, they simply could not do more in the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTI 2.0 16v Turbo and for Rafique and Hishaam Firfirey third overall represented the comeback effort of the season in their AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Turbo.

Leon Engelbrecht and Carel Bosch placed the second AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S Turbo 1.6 Cabriolet fourth overall after some impressive driving. Leon certainly picking a unique, or brave, way in which to celebrate his ninth wedding anniversary! Dewald van der Merwe and Izak van Zyl another combination to catch the opposition by surprise as “SkoonPa” really drilled the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v to a brilliant fifth overall.

Spiderman celebrated his return to Mykonos with a class B winning drive to sixth overall and the green VW Golf MkI 1.8 was even seen in oversteer during the day. Günther and Louise Appelgryn doing extremely well to stay ahead of the veteran combination of André Dreyer and Patrick Vermaak in the kerb hopping Weskaap Bakwerke class A VW Golf MkII GTI 2.0 16v.

The brothers Du Plessis brought a real spectacle to Mykonos 28 with two of the most impressive Toyota Conquest entries in South Africa going head to head. Pierre and Wynand du Plessis in the 1.8 16v (engine built by Louis Snyman) and younger brother Jacques du Plessis and Danye Louw in the 2.0 20v (engine built by Serge Damseaux) version. Only the privilege of watching the brothers competing against each other can truly describe the spectacle as there was nothing in it from start to finish. Unfortunately living on the edge sometimes leads to mistakes being made and Jacques clipped a kerb in the 2.0 20v, flipping over onto it’s wheels but out of the event.

They continued in the 1.8 16v and it was Pierre and Wynand du Plessis that would eventually claim eighth overall from Jacques du Plessis and Danye Louw. The top ten completed by Duncan Jepthas and Nashrené Schloss in the immacculately prepared class A Toyota Corolla Sprinter 2.0 16v. Eleventh overall going to the brilliantly driven, giant killing, 1976 class F Datsun GX Sedan of brothers in law, Kobus Wilson Jnr and Werner MacDonald. Fighting way above their weight category this little Datsun was an absolute pleasure to watch throughout the day. Nashrené Schloss and Duncan Andrews 12th overall in the class A Toyota Corolla Sprinter 2.0 16v with another giant killer, the Race-Tech class D VW Golf Citi 1.4i of Jan van der Vyver and Carmen Nortjé in 13th spot.

The top all female crew of Nashrené Schloss and Taahirah Schloss 14th in the Toyota Corolla Sprinter 2.0 16v with Danye Louw and Jacques du Plessis 15th in the hard charging Boland Trade Centre class D VW Golf Citi 1.4i. Natheer and Rafique Firfirey enjoyed a cautious approach to 16th overall in the third AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Supercharged. Anton Smit and Tania Vermaak well pleased with 17th spot in their three wheeling Toyota 1.6 powered Trysome class F Datsun LDV. The Du Plessis Auto class A Toyota Conquest 2.0 20v survived long enough to place Pierre and Wynand du Plessis 18th with the impressive class G Subaru Sportwagen 2.5 Turbo 4x4 of Riaan Swart and Francois Mostert 19th and the same 2.0 20v Conquest 20th in the hands of Jacques du Plessis and Danye Louw.

Walter van Dyk and Pierre du Plessis was found lagging behind in 21st with the normally impressive Televideo class G VW Golf MkI 2.0 16v Turbo whilst Johann Zulch and Cobus Viola gave it their all to place the much bigger and heavier class E BMW E30 325iM 22nd. Morné Roux and Liezel Oosthuizen also had nothing more to offer from their class A mazda 323 Egi 2.0 16v and had to accept 23rd. Masood Dangor and Aatera Firfirey also somewhat disappointing in 24th spot with the AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Cabriolet Turbo whilst Francois Mostert and Marius Ellis drove the wheel off their class A Opel Astra 200i to finish 25th overall.

Hilton Africa and Brandon Freeman winning class C and finishing 26th in their Willie’s Service Centre VW Fox 1.6. Having recently returned from his debut international season of British F3 single seater racing it was great to see Eugene and Hilary Denyssen drive their UNIREF class G Ford Fiesta ST 1.6 to 27th spot. Johann Zulch and Cobus Viola also had their rally class F Ford Escort 1600 Sport present and enjoyed the little rwd enroute to 28th overall followed by Aatera Firfirey and Carel Bosch in the AHI racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Cabriolet Turbo.

Masood Dangor and Aatera Firfirey 30th overall in the AHI Racing class C Mini Cooper 1.6 after a cautious approach with Aatera Firfirey and Liezel Oosthuizen 31st in the AHI Racing class I Mini Cooper S 1.6 Cabriolet Turbo. The hard working Boland Trade Centre class B Opel Corsa 1.8 of JD van der Merwe and Danye Louw 32nd and the neat class A Alfa Romeo 147ST 2.0 of Ruan de Hart and Tania Vermaak 33rd. The team overcame exhaust manifold maladies to post very consistent times later in the day.

Izak van Zyl Jnr and Dewald van der Merwe more than entertained the appreciative crowd in their always sideways Dynotech class G Toyota Corolla V8 4.0 enroute to 34th overall and the title as Most Spectacular of the Day. Even Werner Koekemoer would be in agreement that this is a worthy successor to his BMW.

Marius Ellis and Francois Mostert way down in 35th spot with the class A Opel Kadett Gsi 2.0 16v mumbled something about rule number one being applied whilst Abdul and Khaleel Sayed had their class D Toyota Conquest 1.3 working hard enroute to 36th spot on debut at Mykonos. Aatera Firfirey and Masood Dangor 37th in the AHI Racing class C Mini Cooper 1.6 followed by the hard charging little class D Toyota Yaris 1.3 of Liezel Oosthuizen and Aatera Firfirey.

Celebrating her 21st birthday by driving in position 21 Tania Vermaak and Liezel Oosthuizen certainly did themselves proud in their standard class I VW Golf Citi Sport 1.4i by finishing 39th overall and third in class after some impressive driving. Liezel Oosthuizen and Tania Vermaak 40th overall in the class I Toyota Yaris 1.3. The first time that Tania actually beat her good friend and coach Liezel in any gymkhana.

Tania Vermaak also had Nicola Consani navigating as a class D entry with the stanadrd VW Golf Citi Sport 1.4i and though the car was totally outgunned they enjoyed good times enroute to 41st spot. JP Cloete and Hilton Africa 42nd in their class F BMW 318i and with roles reversed the BMW also finished 43rd. Sadly the only non finisher the UNIREF class G Ford Fiesta ST Turbo 1.6 of Hilary and Eugene Denyssen after having attacked a pavement.

The single seater category was well supported with 15 drivers favouring solo attempts. Izak van Zyl Jnr proving superior by posting the fastest outright time of the day in the Dynotech VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo and he was followed home by André Dreyer in his Weskaap Bakwerke VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v and the Spiderman VW Golf MkI 1.8 of Günther Appelgryn. The amazing little Datsun GX Sedan 1.6 of Kobus Wilson Jnr in fourth and Dewald van der Merwe sixth in the Dynotech VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v.

Duncan Jepthas seventh in the neat Toyota Corolla Sprinter 2.0 16v with Jan van der Vyver and the rapid Race-Tech VW Golf MkI 1.4i eighth, the Toyota Corolla Sprinter 2.0 16v of Nashrené Schloss ninth and the 1900 Tdi VW Golf 5 of André Dreyer a very different entry in 10th spot.

Brandon Freeman 11th in the Willie’s Service Centre VW Fox 1.6 with the always spectacular Dynotech Toyota Corolla V8 4.0 of Izak van Zyl Jnr 12th, the impressive little Daihatsu Charade 1.3 of Sean Stevens 13th, Ruan de Hart 14th in his Alfa Romeo 147 ST 2.0 and Leon Louw 15th in his BMW 328i.

As always the case many people behind the scenes deserve much praise for the success of the event starting with the Maintenance Team of Club Mykonos Resort led by Manager, André Bester. Simply stunning the superb venue and facilities! Alan Deysel and the Security Team looking after parking and traffic – you were great! To Meruschka Koopman and Michelle Goldschmidt as the PR ladies of Club Mykonos Resort Langebaan a great big thank you and of course the Denyssen family and UNIREF for their valued support.

Pierre van der Westhuizen the Clerk of the Course and Robert Marle the MSA and Environmental Steward and as always the Jayen Timer and Scoring ran like clockwork in the hands of Neville Gleeson and André Mitchell. Anette Vermaak and Meghan Nortjé saw to it that Documentaion ran smoothly whilst Dewald Nortjé completed Scrutineering. André Brinkman and Hennie Hoffmeyer did a sterling job as Judges of Fact whilst Dewald and Meghan Nortjé each inherited a Start and Finish for the day. The efforts of young Carmen Nortjé as Pit Marshal did not go unnoticed though and she was awarded as Marshal of the Day. Commentary was provided by Marius Bester and superb PA system by Unicom Services Vredenburg.

Always nice to bump into the many familar faces in the area which included stallward supporters such as Bossie Bosman and Dave Joubert. Even Allan du Toit dropped in for a visit.

The final round of the 2016 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship will be changing dates to 3 December 2016  for the 2nd Boland Trade Centre Moorreesburg Gymkhana. Harvesting in the area necessitating the date change.

With everything to play for nobody can afford to miss this event.

Be there!