Lightning Leon Strikes - Again!

Gymkhana enthusiasts were treated to another stunning event on Thursday 21 March 2019 when Wheel Tech added their name in support of the 132nd Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana at the home of Western Cape motorsport – the Killarney International Raceway.

Clerk of the Course, Pierre van der Westhuizen, and Abdul Sayed leading their new team of officials as hosts of this dual lane event in the Turn 2 / G-Energy corner section of the circuit. The flexibility of the sport part of the challenge as it becomes an entirely new event every time.

Thirty one entries were declared ready for action after documentation and scrutineering had been completed and with the Jayen Timer / Scoring combination of André Mitchell and Neville Gleeson ready it was Sean Pretorius (solo) and Leon Engelbrecht – Izak van Zyl Jnr that tackled the challenging routes. The latter combination did sound rather odd as the Dynotech VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo have become the L&M Automotive Performance VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo and new owner, Leon Engelbrecht, had it’s creator as navigator.

Four constant velocity joints later “Lightning” Leon Engelbrecht looked extremely please with his Mini Cooper replacement whilst Izak van Zyl Jnr did his level best not to look too shaken as navigator. The Golf pairing playing a strong iron as they dominated the event. The ever consistent husband and wife combination of Günther and Louise Appelgryn also impressive with a solid second position in the Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8.

Johann and Petra Zulch another husband and wife combination in determined frame of mind as the big (in gymkhana terms) Ceres Toyota class E BME E30 325iM surprised many with a fighting third overall. Having just sold his car to the navigator Izak van Zyl Jnr and Leon Engelbrecht finished fourth overall in the L&M Automotive Performance VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo. And you thought only F1 had team orders!

Top newcomers for the day put their superb class G VW Golf GTi Type R Turbo 4x4 to good use, Guilaume and Marjorie Cillie driving neatly towards a great gymkhana debut result. They were however kept very honest by sixth placed Marco dos Santos and Abdul Sayed in the black class G Subaru Impreza STi 4x4 Turbo 2.5, just 0.09sec separating their cars after four entertaining runs.

Seventh overall went to Abdul Sayed and Leon Engelbrecht in the JCT Aoto Tools class D Toyota Tazz 1.3. Initially built for the Clubmans series Abdul tried his hand at Gymkhana and enjoyed the sport to such a degree that he has now become the driving force behind the future of this popular category of motorsport. Hilton Africa and Erica Bezuidenhout hot on their heels in the Auto Zone Strand class C VW Jetta 1.6.

Quinton Phillipson and Leon Engelbrecht just 0.06sec shy of the red Jatta in the neat class G Audi RS3. The top ten completed by Rikkie and Debbie Mulder in their class D VW Polo Classic 1.4i, just 0.01sec shy of the monster RS3 Audi. Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager eleventh in the class F Toyota 1.6 powered Datsun LDV (Baby Navara) with André Smit and Natasha de Jager 12th overall in their DRS Autoworx class C VW Golf MkI 1.6. Father and son enjoying their little family rivalry.

Voted Most Spectacular Driver of the Day it was Barend Haasbroek and Jolene Reynolds 13th overall in their DRS Auroworx class G Subaru Impreza STi 4x4 Turbo 2.5. The Halli Trust accepted an invitation from the Witzenberg Motorklub to not only attend the 21 March 2019 Wheel tech Gymkhana at the Killarney International Raceway but six children enjoyed the opportunity to actually complete the route as “navigator” and given the smiles all round they certainly enjoyed the day. Many members availed themselves in assisting with this project but a special thanks to Barend Haasbroek for his valued support.

Craig Harper and Georgina Mathews enjoyed going in every direction but the correct one in the impressive Harper Type 5 2.5 but the friendly smile remained as he has an ace up his sleeve. Beware of the Fiat 500! It is making good progress behind the scenes.

Nadia Singh and Nabeehah Sayed a new All Ladies combination and they finished 14th overall on debut in their Subaru Impreza STi 4x4 Turbo 2.0. Mike van As and Matthew Agnaouy enjoyed their Ford 1.6 powered class F 1948 MG TC replica enroute to 15th overall whilst Neil Rademan and Erica Bezuidenhout stuck to a cautious debut and 16th overall in their class G Subaru Impreza 4x4 Turbo 2.5.

Byron Hite and Rikkie Mulder giving their all in what has to be the least powerful car in the event to claim a respectable 18th overall in the hard working standard class D Toyota Tazz 1.3. Mike van As and Matthew Agnaouy also had the “wobbly” class J LandRover present and they made it home in 19th spot.

Try as they might the extremely hot 4.0 class E BMW M3 of Riaz and Shuayb Essack found the route simply too much to master on the day but sportingly attempted each run. They will come back with plan B!

Sean Pretorius have become something of a single seater specialist in his Powerbrake class G Subaru N14 4x4 Turbo 2.5 and should he have had the services of a navigator he would have finished the event second overall. However, the WItzenberg Motorklub series is based on the basic principles of rallying and as such want to promote good cooperation between driver and navigator as crew with class H actually intended for the pure single seater cars ie Karts, Formula M. It does also however present the opportunity for those brave enough to simply drive without the aid of a navigator.

Günther Appelgryn one of those who enjoys challenging himself and he placed second in the Spiderman VW Golf MkI 1.8 with Huckleberry Finn alias Sean Stevens an entertaining third in the former Clubmans Daihatsu Charade. Vernon Galp opted to drive alone in his neat Audio Smith Toyota 86 2.0 and is slowly but surely beginning to master the integrate routes. Fourth in class H with the ever enthusiastic Byron Hite home in 5th spot with the standard Toyota Tazz 1.3. Peet van der Walt quite capable of getting lost by himself in the Emergency Glass Repairs Rally X BMW 328i and once her reappeared from the smoking rear tyres 6th place in class had him grinning more.     

A number of teams also opted for additional non-scoring entries but all were of the opinion that the event was very well run. Pierre van der Westhuizen the Clerk of the Course and Robert Marle as always the MSA Steward. This is motorsport for the people, by the people! Get involved as marshal or competitor and you will undoubtedly enjoy being part of the gymkhana family. Just keep an eye on social media for the individual reactions.

A special word of thanks to Ryno de Kock as official photographer and Colin Brown for his contribution as photographer.

Diarise the 1 May 2019 as round two of six in the 2019 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship presented in association with the WPMC Killarney International Raceway.