Rustler tames Biesiepol Tester

The penultimate round of the 2014 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship took place in near perfect weather conditions on Saturday 18 October 2014 and the 9th Weskus Mall Gymkhana Vredenburg prodyced a humdinger result.

Fanie du Toit and Kobus Wilson Jnr showed almost flawless form in the FM Civils class A Mazda Rustler LDV 2.0 16v to extend their four point advantage to eight by winning overall. The handling of this little LDV should be of grave concern to all as Fanie have now perfected the “turnaround” and have consistency to match.

Rafique and Aatera Firfirey arrived with their silver AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Turbo sitting much lower on the road and though it took two runs for Rafique to dial in all the changes in handling they impressed with a great final run to slip into second overall. Undoubtedly this is now the fastest couple present on the WBMK Gymkhana scene and there is more to come from that silver dream racer.

Kobus Wilson Jnr and Jean-Pierre Robberts looked capable of repeating their overall victory achieved on the 8th Weskus Mall Gymkhana Vredenburg, but eventually had to settle for a fighting third overall in their giant killing class F Datsun GX Sedan 1.4i.

Natheer and Rafique Firfirey certainly looked hungry in the light blue AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Supercharged and showed great consistency to finish fourth overall. Try as they might Brent Laurings and Duncan Andrees had to accept fifth place overall and the yellow Opel Kadett GTE 2.0 are now eight points shy of the red Rustler in the overall points log with one event remaining.

Leon Engelbrecht and Natheer Firfirey somewhat disappointed with sixth overall in the hard working silver AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 Turbo. Seventh seventh overall also not where we expect to find the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTI 2.0 Turbo of four times champion, Izak van Zyl Jnr and his father-in-law, Dewald van der Merwe. Still developing the new 16v engine the combination have moved their focus to the 2015 season.

Leon Engelbrecht had Günther Appelgryn as navigator in the Eikestad Plastic Repairs class A VW Golf  MkI 2.0 and once again the orange Golf looked faster than the eventual eighth overall achieved.  Jan van der Vyver and Liezel Oosthuizen enjoyed their run to ninth overall and first in class D with the Race-Tech VW Golf MkI 1.4i. The top ten completed by Anton Smit and stand-in navigator, Kobus Wilson Jnr, in the Innovative Woodwork, Toyota powered, class F Nissan LDV 1.6.

By finishing eleventh overall and first in class Rafique and Natheer Firfirey claimed the class B title for AHI Racing in their ever consistent VW Golf MkII GTi 1.8. Nashrené Schloss and Louise Appelgryn was certainly not holding back as the quickest all ladies crew claimed twelfth overall in the always immaculately prepared Toyota Corolla Twin Cam Sprinter 180i.

Most encouraging was the return of Duncan Jepthas with Nashrené Schloss navigating in the monster class G VW Golf MkII TSi 2.0. The unique sound of this car makes it a popular addition to any entry and to watch this man race with the use of just one arm is inspiring. Thirteenth overall and fifth in class on a demanding course was commendable.

The most consistent driver of the day, Jean-Pierre Robberts, managed two identical times down to 100th of a second and Kobus Wilson Jnr navigated the BreedeValley Truck Centre class A Opel Kadett GSi 2.0 16v to fourteenth overall and fourth in class.

Jacques du Plessis and Danye Louw had a torrid outing in the Du Plessis Auto class C Toyota Conquest RSi 1.6. They really tried everything except rolling the Conquest but to no avail, the stopwatch simply would not deliver the times expected and they finished a frustrating fifteenth overall and first in class. Unfortunately Pierre du Plessis was forced to miss this event due to work commitments.

Danye Louw and Jacques du Plessis found it difficult to adapt to the Tersius van Tonder class G (Due to it running ten inch slicks) VW Golf MkI 2.0 and were satisfied with sixteenth overall and sixth in class. This certainly a very quick vehicle, but it requires a little bit of getting used to before chasing times.

Shamiel Brown stepped into the vacant seat of Dickie Firfirey (who claims he was working in Botswana) and with Rafique Firfirey navigating they placed the Cabriolet Supercharged AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 seventeenth overall and seventh in class. Struggling with power steering problems and certainly not used to a limited slip differential Günther and Louise Appelgryn found the going extremely tough in the Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8.

To his credit Günther managed to keep the bonnet secured on the car for the entire day, but eighteenth overall was certainly not where he was hoping to finish. Second place in class B allowed the Firfirey brothers the opportunity they required to seal the class championship for 2014.

Team GrandPa 1 alias Dewald van der Merwe and Izak van Zyl Snr brought the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v home in nineteenth place having really given it their all. If ever there was proof required as to how technical the course was the fact that the ever consistent Johann Zulch and Tania Vermaak had to accept twentieth spot overall and first in class E with their Ceres Toyota backed E30 BMW 325iM certainly provided everything needed.

Walter van Dyk had to settle for Jacques du Plessis as navigator (in the absence of Pierre du Plessis) and they also worked extremely hard for 21st overall and eighth in class. Morné Roux and Liezel Oosthuizen impressive with 22nd overall and second in class in their standard Mazda 323 160i. Driving the “hot” light blue AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S Supercharged Shamiel Brown and Natheer Firfirey claimed 23rd overall.

Nashrené and Taahirah Schloss had to settle for 24th spot overall and third in class B when the Toyota Corolla Twin Cam Sprinter 180i cried enough. A variety of problems developed but the final straw was when the alarm freed itself and attacked the alternator belt.

Masood Dangor and Rafique Firfirey (yip, same guy) brought the Cabriolet Supercharged AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 home in 25th spot overall. Masood happy to have beaten his sister Aatera on this occasion. Yolanda and Izak van Zyl 26th overall in the Dynotech class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v whilst Liezel Oosthuizen had Morné Roux navigate her standard VW Polo Playa 1.6i to 27th spot overall and third in class C. Then  Tania Vermaak navigated the same driver and car to 28th overall and second place in class I as all ladies combination.

Aatera and Rafique Firfirey swopped roles in the silever Turbocharged AHI Racing class G Mini Cooper S 1.6 and they were elated to finish 29th overall. Izak van Zyl Snr and Dewald van der Merwe alias Team GrandPa 2 taking 30th spot in the 4.0 V8 lexus powered 1987 Dynotech / Selectri Air Toyota Corollus. Tania Vermaak and Liezel Oosthuizen the final classified finishers in 31st spot with the bog standard class I VW Golf Citi Sport 1.4i.

Fastest time of the day went to class H winner, Kobus Wilson Jnr, and his incredible little 1976 Datsun GX Sedan 1.4i. Jean-Pierre Robberts picked on a Biesiepol with the BreedeValley Truck Centre Opel Kadett GSi 2.0 16v but still managed second place in class H with Danye Louw complketing the podium in the rapid Tersius van Tonder VW Golf MkI 2.0.

Jan van der Vyver always impressive in the little Race-Tech VW Golf MkI 1.4i and fourth was no surprise with Günther Appelgryn fifth in the Spiderman VW Golf MkI 1.8 and Dewald van der Merwe sixth in the Dynotech VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo. Jacques du Plessis drove the tyres off the rims of his Du Plessis Auto Toyota Conquest RSi 1.6 but still could only achieve seventh in class whilst eighth for Izak van Zyl Jnr in the awesome 4.0 V8 powered Dynotech / Selectri Air Toyota Corollus was of little consequence.

Most spectacular Driver of the Day without doubt Izak van Zyl Jnr in the Dynotech / Selectri Air V8 4.0 Lexus powered 1987 Toyota Corollus and if he had enough tyres he would probably still be going around the course in Vredenburg. Whilst everyone complained about the challenging nature of the route this driver made navigating through the course totally sideways look elementary!

Very encouraging to note was the amount of new, young, navigators in training present in Vredenburg. Fanie du Toit had son Zac navigating, whilst Davin stepped in to show Brent Laurings how it should be done and Hishaam did his level best to keep Rafique Firfirey on the correct route. On the other end of the scale Rafique Firfirey had senior citizen, Galil Firfirey, as navigator.

As always no event happens without the support of individuals behind the scenes and in Vredenburg special thanks have to be extended to AHI Racing, Danie Burger, Unicom Services and the Weskus Mall Vredenburg management team for another stunning venue and atmosphere.

Pierre van der Westhuizen present as Clerk of the Course with Robert Marle as the MSA Steward. André Mitchell and Nicola Consani took care of matters Scoring whilst Neville Gleeson was present to run the Jayen Timer. Long hours of tedious negotiations with the WBMK Gymkhana Union succeeded in bringing Anette “Mama Bear” out of retirement as event secretary for the 101st time. Piet Steyn and Joe Jonker stepped in as the Judges of Fact for this event whilst Dewald and Meghan Nortjé were on task as Start and Finish Marshals. André Brinkman the ever present Pit Bull, and he did not pass Vredendal enroute!

Commentary stepped up a gear on the West Coast with the presence of Internet Springbok Radio announcers, Pieter “Swannie” Swanepoel and Diffie van Deventer joining Marius Bester behind the Unicom Services microphones for the day. Every suffered the consequences of having Swannie return but it certainly livened up the activities.

AHI Racing have to be complimented with thirteen entries under their banner and Rafique Firfirey found himself involved as either driver (4) or navigator (5) in nine of these entries! Talk about being keen! Dynotech / Selectri Air sported seven entries.

With only the 6th Ceres Gymkhana remaining on 15 November 2014 the fifteenth WBMK Gymkhana Championship season is fast drawing to a close. Can Fanie du Toit claim a second drivers title or will Brent Laurings come out tops in Ceres. The fight for third is equally intense!

The good news is that we are expecting the return of a very popular V8 exponent and the addition of another V8 exponent! 

See you in the Boland!