A new era

132 = 1

The opening round of the 2019 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship will see competitors and spectators congregate at the Killarney International Raceway in Milnerton on Human Rights Day, Thursday 21 March 2019.

Thanks to the unique characteristics associated with the sport everyone will be facing new routes despite the fact that the familiar Turn 2 / G-Energy / Quarry corner venue will be in use. It will not be the customary blast up and down the sides of the CHD Tarmac Oval but rather an interesting mix of technical instructions that will see competitors face two very different routes in a dual format.

Two routes, only two attempts at each with the customary rotation between runs making sure that drivers and navigators will have to work together in order to achieve their best possible result. No practicing is allowed, thus get those walking shoes ready as the only practice allowed will be in the walk and see more mode – no bicycles, skateboards or anything with wheels on it will be allowed whilst learning the route. Be early if you intend being well prepared!

The goal will be to set two good times on both Lanes A and B, with only the fastest times either side being combined in order to determine the final result (including any penalties that may have been incurred). Judges of Fact are appointed and trained to keep an eagle eye on every movement made by each competing vehicle and further encourages a squeaky clean, fast and flowing approach. Sounds simple enough, but believe you me, this is possibly the most intense two minutes one could ever experience in motorsport as every millisecond could prove critical in the final result.

The sport caters for the true gymkhana specialist who tend to look frustratingly slow as they do not put a wheel out of alignment anywhere but the Jayen Timer enjoys this approach and the times are normally incredibly impressive in each of the individual classes – not just the overall results. Catering for almost any vehicle that pass a Scrutineering Safety inspection these vehicles are classified in different classes in order to allow various championships within the overall championship.

Certainly not as confusing as it may sound as cars are effectively split into 4x4, front wheel drive and rear wheel driven capacity classes. Class A (2000cc and bigger FWD), Class B (1800-2000cc FWD), Class C (1600-1800cc FWD), Class D (Up to 1600cc FWD) and then Class E (2000cc and Up RWD), Class F (Up to 2000cc RWD). Class G accommodates all 4x4, turbo, supercharged, mid engine and supercars. Class H accommodates any vehicle running without a navigator ie single seaters or cars with only a drivers seat fitted. Class I encourages All Ladies crews to participate in a category of their own and the rule implies that both driver and navigator must be a lady.

In order to cater for both the experienced and inexperienced crews the routes are deliberately created with a balance between technical skill and limited top end speed. The emphasis is on creating an environment where driver and navigator are forced to work together in order to achieve a good result. With crews potentially sharing the same car in various categories this is the perfect opportunity to involve everyone in your family.

If the family wants to get involved in other aspects of the sport please speak to those officials present and consider becoming a valued member of the Witzenberg Motorklub Team. Now into the 20th year the senior officials will share the sentiment that they have enjoyed seeing generations of families starting off and progressing into alternative forms of motorsport. This will be the 132nd event and it’s just the beginning of a new era!

It is hard to believe that 24 July 1999 saw the 1st Tygerberg Subaru Gymkhana at the popular Club Mykonos Langebaan Resort start with 57 entries. Designed as an annual event for a maximum of 30 teams the reaction led to the establishment of the Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship and drivers such as Fanie du Toit, Mike Nathan, André Dreyer, Anton van Bosch and Duncan Jepthas developed their own following with stunning results and spectacular driving at various venues across the Western Cape.

Slideways driving certainly enjoyed it’s own following long before the concept of Drifting featured anywhere in South Africa and Werner Koekemoer was even adorned with the title of Mayor of Mykonos whilst Mynhardt de Jongh and his “Heeltyd Speeltyd” Nissan Skyline will never be forgotten. Neville Gleeson built the unique Jayen Timer and André Mitchell brought it to life on computer with dedicated software whilst Xandré du Toit developed the Judge of Fact scoring to perfection. Start and Finish legends such as Dewald and Meghan Nortjé dedicated years to the sport whilst Mama Bear, Anette Vermaak, earned the respect of all as Event Secretary. Pierre van der Westhuizen the Clerk of the Course and Robert Marle the friendly face of MSA. Their expertise and contributions towards making the series the success it has been cannot be expressed in words and there are many more who deserve recognition. Thank you is not just two words!

Two events in 2018 proved that there is enough heart and soul within the Witzenberg Motorklub to see the sport survive long into the future and thanks to the welcome association with the Killarney International Raceway it will continue to grow bigger and better. The time has come for the new generation to step forward and with Abdul Sayed at the helm they are off to a good start.

Do not miss the action on Thursday 21 March 2019!