Zulch takes 2 at Dagbreek

Absolutely perfect weather conditions welcomed competitors to the 5th Dagbreek Gymkhana Piketberg, 25km from Velddrift and 40km from Piketberg on the new R399, Saturday 26 May 2018 and though the entry might still be considered small, the action certainly on the challenging route did not disappoint.

Johann Zulch (Ceres) again proving to be the class of the field by powering his legendary Ceres Toyota supported class E E30 BMW 325iM to overall victory with Cobus Viola (Ceres) returning to the suicide seat. In typical Zulch fashion each of his four runs finished on the same second to net the Most Consistent award as bonus. Dimensionally the largest and the heaviest cars in weight makes the class E entries unlikely candidates for two consecutive overall victories, but Johann Zulch obviously never read that memo!

Hilton Africa (Strand) and Erica Bezuidenhout (Strand) recently celebrated their engagement and a determined effort saw the couple finish in a fine second place overall with their Autozone Strand class C VW Jetta MkI. As a relative newcomer to the sport the Autozone team certainly deserve compliments for the manner in which both their have improved in preparation and presentation.

Brother and sister, Morné Roux (Kraaifontein) and Liezel Oosthuizen (Kuilsrivier), as always proved to be both consistent and quick but excessive tyre wear limited their attack and the popular combination settled for a fighting third overall in the class A Mazda 323 EGi 2.0 16v whilst André Smit (Brackenfell) and Natasha de Jager (Brackenfell) were deservedly pleased with fourth overall in the ever improving class C VW Golf MkI 1.6.

Rubbing some salt into the eyes of the men was Liezel Oosthuizen (Kuilsrivier) and Tania Vermaak (Strand) who finished in a brilliant fifth position overall with their completely standard class I Toyota Yaris 1.3. The All Ladies duo proving that they have certainly not lost their touch and though they lack the outright power their smooth and errorless approach often produce great results.

Piet and Leoné Steyn (Somerset West father and daughter) celebrated their return to local motorsport with sixth position overall in a rather unique vehicle named Mierleeu. This 1500 Alfasud powered off-road spaceframe vehicle was built to drive in off road events around Oranjemund and some development will be required to change the set-up. Very entertaining and certainly very determined. After e few years in Australia it really was nice to welcome the family back.

Tania Vermaak (Strand) and Liezel Oosthuizen (Kuilsrivier) impressed on debut in the completely standard class I Toyota Tazz 1.3 of Byron Hite and could well have finished higher had the vehicle not snapped the right inner constant velocity joint with Byron driving. The ladies combination limited to just two timed runs. Tania proving to be quite versatile as she currently also finds herself second on points as navigator in the 2018 WC Rally Championship as navigator after three rounds.

Byron Hite (Welgelegen) had Tania Vermaak (Strand) navigating for him in the same car and they too suffered the fate of only two timed runs as the third run saw the Tazz retire. Eighth overall with vast improvement as driver certainly still good reason to celebrate. What was tough was the fact that Tania had posted a faster time than the owner in only her second attempt in the Tazz. Still a very sporting gesture by Byron Hite to offer Tania Vermaak the opportunity to drive his Toyota.

Anton Smit (Paarl) and Tania Vermaak (Strand) most unfortunate to retire from the 5th Dagbreek Gymkhana Piketberg when the Toyota 1.6 powered Nissan LDV destroyed it’s clutch on the opening run.

Hilton Africa (Strand) proved quickest in the independently run class H for single seaters (no navigator) category with the Autozone VW Jetta MkI 1.6 with Byron Hite (Welgelegen) in second place with the Toyota Tazz 1.3. André Rossouw (Strand) drove his circuit racing class H VW Golf MkI 2.0 in his WBMK gymkhana debut but the set-up simply did not lend itself to the tight turning circles, but he has indicated that he will be back in future events.

Neville Gleeson (Edgemead) was back in control of the Jayen Timer with Anette Vermaak (Strand) taking care of matters during documentation. Dewald and Meghan Nortjé (Kuilsrivier) as always the Start and Finish Marshals whilst André Brinkman (Worcester) led The Judge of Fact duties. Pierre van der Westhuizen (Piketberg) the Clerk of the Course with Daan Terblanche (Langebaan) the MSA Steward for the day.

A big thank you to all the competitors and supporters who made the trip to the popular West Coast venue and for the superb atmosphere and spirit during and after the event. All this bodes well for the next event on Saturday 16 June 2018 when the 12th Sir Garnet Gymkhana Wolseley could possibly result in a completely different result as the traditional Solomon Street event requires a very different approach from competitors.