Mini Hattrick

A small entry of twenty teams delivered a stirling performance during the 9th Sir Garnet Gymkhana Wolseley on Saturday 30 September 2017 with the result only determined during the fourth and final round. Near perfect weather welcomed all to the Solomon Street venue with the 1930 Sir Garnet Hotel base to the 125th Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana.

At the front of the field it was the L&M Racing Supercharged class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 of defending Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Champions, Rafique and Hishaam Firfirey that disputed first overall with Leon Engelbrecht and Aatera Firfirey. The father and son combination facing off against the mand that created their steed and wife / mom as navigator in the same vehicle.

Starting the fourth and final run only 0.8 seconds separated the two crews and having delivered a masterful final run it was up to Rafique and Hishaam to dig deep in order to tip the scales in their favour. Unfortunately a few millimetres too tight saw the bollard tip over and it was Leon Engelbrecht and Aatera Firfirey who claimed their third consecutive victory in the supreme L&M Racing Supercharged class G Mini Cooper S 1.6. Rafique and Hishaam Firfirey satisfied that they had delivered their best to finish a fighting second.

Third place represented yet another internal struggle as Pierre and Jacques du Plessis pushed the Du Plessis Auto class B Toyota Tazz 1.8 16v as hard as they could. Pierre and Wynand du Plessis, father and son, delivered a vintage performance to pip Jacques and Pierre du Plessis, brothers, to a splendid third overall.

Fifth position falling to the ever competitive Morné Roux and Aatera Firfirey in the legendary class A Mazda 323 EGi 2.0 16v. Though Liezel Oosthuizen could not be present on the day the change of navigator did not seem to have a great influence on the customary clean driving style of Morné. When the chips are down one can always expect an impressive performance from the Ceres Toyota backed class E BMW 325iM campaigned by veteran, Johann Zulch, and Cobus Viola and they once again had the rather large Beemer looking very agile enroute to a very impressive sixth overall.

Seventh overall also indicative of a determined effort from Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager in the Toyota 1.6 16v powered Datsun LDV. Regular navigator, Tania Vermaak, could not attend this event and Natasha found herself strapped into the LDV at very short notice. Francois Mostert and Marius Ellis really worked hard in their class A Opel Astra 2.0 to stay ahead of the ninth placed class D VW Golf MkI 1.4i campaigned by Marius Ellis and Francois Mostert. Best of friends off course there simply was no way that Francois was going to accept the fact that a 1.4i Golf could beat his 2.0 Opel and their tussle was a highlight of the event.

Hennie Odendaal and Giovanni Agostinelli now own property either side of Solomon Street as the attempted to remove the pavement on the station side in their class C VW Golf MkI 1.6 before finishing 10th overall. Happiest crew of all was Werner Venter and Chinelle Calitz who finally managed to complete a run without hesitation or doubt in their class F Mazda Miata 1.6 to claim 11th overall.

Another driver leaving Wolseley with renewed motivation was Abdul Sayed who shared his class D Toyota Tazz 1.3 with Aatera Firfirey as official entry and unofficially with Leon Engelbrecht as navigator. Lesson learnt saw vast improvements during the day and consistently quick times saw Abdul and Aatera claim 12th overall.

Aatera Firfirey and Natasha de jager the only all ladies crew present in their Opel Corsa 1.4 Turbo and consistent runs saw them claim 13th overall as class I entry and with carel Bosch as navigator Aatera also claimed 14th overall as class G entry. Really making her day was the fact that she also finished as the Most Consitent Driver of the Day with just 0.11 sec diffirence between her quickest two runs in class G.

The final classified finisher on the day was 15th placed André Smit and Natasha de Jager in their class C VW Golf MkI 1.6. It was most encouraging to note the assistance provided by competitors in setting up the venue / route early morning and the recovery afterwards was even more impressive.

Pierre van der Westhuizen present as Clerk of the Course for the milestone 125th Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana with Robert Marle the MSA Steward and Environmental Officer. André Brinkman doing a stirling job as Judge of Fact whilst André and Nelmarie Mitchell really had the Jayen Timer and Scoring coming into it’s own as not a second was wasted during the day.

Anette Vermaak looked after documentation and even found herself on duty as Start and Finish Marshal. The passing of the Ceres steam train was a welcome bonus for the day and actually brought the event to a halt whilst it whistled it’s way past the Wolseley station enroute to Ceres. Breaks during the event were filled by the pleasant sound of the local community Marimba band.

With some time in hand the steady trip home via Slanghoek allowed one to truly appreciate the beauty of the area and set the scene for another magical experience when the 10th Du Plessis Auto Gymkhana takes competitors to Ceres on Saturday 21 October 2017.

Make sure you do not miss the action!