A win on debut!

Near perfect weather conditions welcomed 33 teams to the Firfirey Motor Holdings Gymkhana at the Killarney International Raceway on Monday 17 June 2019. Round three of the 2019 Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana Championship and the 134th event in the series.

The usual trial and error approach saw the teams weave their way through the first round before stepping up a gear with each successive round. Still finding it’s feet on the vast expanses offered by the Killarney facility the route still favoured machine rather than crew but it was very encouraging to note the air of enthusiasm with which both competitors and officials approached the event.

Ashfaak Dawood and Byron Hite made a great combination as commentators, providing those in attendance with interesting facts and figures as the day progressed. Ashfaak better known as a single seat racer on the main circuit and Byron sidelined on the day due to the engine of his Tazz not being ready.

It certainly has been some time since a rear wheel driven car had won a WBMK Gymkhana and not since the very first event has anyone succeeded in winning an event on debut. Thus, Kyle van Dyk and Steven Heydenrych, certainly did the Cape Hell Drivers proud when they finished their debut gymkhana on the top of the scoresheets in their very well prepared and driven Nissan 350Z. Kyle, a respected driver amongst the Drifting fraternity, and his prowess behind the wheel of this Nissan truly worthy of applause. Even though the car had power in reserve the driver executed each manoeuvre perfectly balanced between spectacle and speed.

Former WBMK Gymkhana champions, Fanie and Zac du Toit, celebrated their return with a fine drive to second position overall in the popular FM Civils class A Mazda Rustler 2.0 16v LDV. Quinton Phillipson and Leon Engelbrecht brought the awesomely powerful Q-Tec Performance class G Audi RS3 2.5 Turbo AWD home in a fine third overall. This car really starting to come to RRRRRRR. Maybe it was because they stood in on the number 13 slot in the absence of Johann Zulch.

Finding Leon Engelbrecht and Izak van Zyl Jnr down in fourth position was indeed surprising as the L&M Automotive Performance class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo featured vastly improved suspension and it was driven with gusto. Fifth position had the same Nissan 350Z featured but inside the roles were reversed with Steven Heydenrych driving and Kyle van Dyk navigating. Steven was to have driven his CHD André Groenewald Motors Nissan Sentra oval racer but mechanical woes led to it’s withdrawal. In hindsight possible the best thing that happened to him on the day.

Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager impressed with solid drives in the Baby Navara 1600 Toyota powered class F Datsun LDV to finish a mighty sixth overall. Barend Haasbroek and Jonelle Reynolds seventh overall in their DRS Autoworx class G Subaru STi 2.5 Turbo AWD. Marco dos Santos and (a rather nervous looking) Cimberlea dos Santos eighth after a steady drive in their more sedate looking class G Subaru STi 2.5 Turbo AWD.

Hilton Africa and Erica Bezuidenhout ninth overall in their AutoZone Strand class C VW Fox 1.6 with very consistent driving. Walter Röhl famously stated that good rally drivers have dead flies on the side windows of their cars. Taking matters a step further Izak van Zyl Jnr and Mike Mathee were their spectacular self enroute to tenth overall in the Dynotech class G Toyota Corolla 4.0 V8 Twin Turbo. Now sporting a sixty degree turn angle looking out of control comes naturally to this car, yet,  somehow it rarely swops ends. Without a doubt the crowd favourite!

Abdul Sayed and Leon Engelbrecht brought the JTC Auto Tools class D Toyota Tazz 1.3 home in eleventh spot with André Smit and Natasha de Jager twelfth in their neatly turned out DRS Autoworx class C VW Golf MkI 1.6. Veteran gymkhana combination, Charl Carr and Heinrich Kleinschmidt, returned after a long lay-off and the little class D Opel Corsa Classic 1.3 looked good enroute to thirteenth position overall. Back in the days of the Club Mykonos Gymkhana someone gave the Opel Corsa the nickname of a “padpuisie” and the Classic Corsa instantly became a “pitsweertjie”. This silver Opel can proudly claim that it is the original “pitsweertjie”!

Guillaume Cillie and Marjorie Cillie enjoyed a very consistent performance in their fourteenth placed class G VW Golf R7 2.0 Turbo AWD. In fact they shared the Most Consistent Team of the Day title with Leon Engelbrecht and Izak van Zyl (their best times split by just 0.06 seconds). Driving the legendary Access Auto class B Opel Kadett 1.8 of Steve Bekker to fifteenth overall hopefully an indication that this car will in fact be returning to the Tarmac Rally Challenge on Saturday 13 July 2019. Hilton Africa and Erica Bezuidenhout enjoying their outing in this multi-talented car.

Nabeeyah Sayed and Ayesha Sayed drove their neat Subaru Station Wagon STi 2.5 Turbo AWD to a All Ladies class win in sixteenth spot overall with Cheslin Mitchell and Melissa May seventeenth in their extremely low slung Garage 10 class C Honda Ballade 1.6. Despite running into gearbox problems Sean Pretorius and Russell Widdop still manage eighteenth spot in the awesome Powerbrake class G Subaru N14 STi 2.5 Turbo AWD. Nadia Singh had a new navigator in Fatima Gabier and they brought their neat Subaru STi 2.0 Turbo AWD home is ninteenth spot on debut.

Eugene Griessen and Yvonne Griessen might not have been classified as finishers in their oval racing class E BMW E36 325i but watching the smiles on the navigators face it would be fair to expect them returning for more in the futures. Günther Appelgryn and Louise Appelgryn opted to with draw their Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8 after the opening round. The figure of eight turn proving impossible to do in the extremely neat Golf and Günther not willing to exploit the edges of the circuit. A pity as this combination have the ability to keep far superior machinery honest.

The monster Powerbrake class G Subaru STi 2.5 Turbo AWD of Sean Pretorius unfortunately broke it’s gearbox and was withdrawn. Sean was entered with Russel Widdop navigating and it would have been interesting to see his progress in class G. He did however run his Subaru Forester 2.5 Turbo AWD in class H and managed second place to Izak van Zyl Jnr in the Dynotech Toyota Corolla 4.0 V8 Twin Turbo with Günther Appelgryn withdrawn.

Team Wobble alias Mike van As and Mathew Agnaouy as always entertained with the 4.6 V8 Land Rover flip flopping it’s way to first in class J (Big Wheelers). True to form Barend Haasbroek (DRS Autoworx) sponsored the presence of a number of children who enjoyed being present and also found themselves strapped into a competing car for the ride of their lives.

MSA Steward, Robert Marle, and Clerk of the Course, Pierre van der Westhuizen, signing off on another successful event. A hearty thank you to Firfirey Motor Holdings for their support of round three of the series.

Round four is scheduled for 3 August 2019 and the Wheel Tech Gymkhana – WBMK G135 will be hosted in the Turn 5 / Drag Strip / Scrutineering Bay area of the Killarney International Raceway.