30 NOVEMBER 2013
A warm welcome and hello to the event we’ve all been waiting for, the D.O.4.S.A. National for 2013. The cars were racked and stacked in the pits with 105 cars waiting in all classes to have a go at each other. The tension was high and one could cut it with a razer blade. We had cars from Victory Raceway PE, George Motor Club, Oudtshoorn Motor Club, Bloemfontein Motor Club OFS, Kleinplasie Raceway and the host club Tygerberg Raceway. The atmosphere was electric as the drivers waited to get the show on the go.
IN THE 1660 MOD CLASS…..
We had so many cars that the class had to be split for the whole event and we only saw them together in the final of the evening. This class had all the major drama in it as we had cars rolling, cars smashing and rolling up against the wall, a car that erupted in a fireball and plain hardcore in you face stuff. The first issue came right at the start when Divan Weitz and at least two other drivers made contact in lap 2 of the race and sent Weitz slamming into the wall causing him to roll the car against the wall, the car climbed the wall but dropped back onto the track and it carried on rolling for a few meters ending up on its roof, the Golf was totalled but thank goodness the driver walked away shaken but ok. The second issue in this class happened in the very next 1660 race when Mustapha Mia had a fuel hose pop off, the fuel pump carried on pumping resulting in his Golf erupting into a complete fireball. Mr Mia was very calm and found the first marshals post where the marshals put the fire out ( the car was completely engulfed in flames and you could not see the car in it ), he popped out the car and thank goodness he escaped serious injury. The third issue was during the final when Christiaan Richter clipped a tyre exit turn 2 and rolled his Golf nose over tail at least three times, luckily for him he also walked away unharmed. While all this was happening we had awesome racing and the guys let rip into each other the whole night long. Barend Spies also had an problem while lying pretty high up in the final and during a “full course yellow” the front left wheel of his Golf came off and that could have cost him dearly at the end of the day. JP du Plessis and Jacques du Plessis must be wondering when their run of bad luck will end as they had serious mechanical issues from the beginning resulting in both brothers retiring right at the beginning. Together with these names mentioned we had plenty of other hotshots out there namely Tertius v Tonder, Burger vd Westhuizen, Willie Richter, JP du Plessis (jnr), Wayne Skinner, Ruzaan Jansen, Gert Ellis, Dirk Bosman, Johan Carstens and Schalk vd Westhuizen to name a few ( there were plenty more ). Schalk vd Westhuizen in his rookie season in one of the heats took a maiden win and that must have pleased him immencely. Mariette Brand was the other lady racer in there and I salute her as you need “BIG ONES” to stay with these guys and she did just that….. But when all the madness calmed down your SA CHAMPS was… 1st JP (jnr) SA1, 2nd Tertius v Tonder SA2, 3rd Willie Richter SA3.
Photos : Abri du Bruyn
IN THE 2.1 MOD CLASS…..
Here 16 cars arrived on the day and this was almost as intense as the 1660’s. Michaela Norman, Chris Etzebeth, Raymond Jefferies, Matthew Jefferies, Hendricus Botha, Barend du Plessis, Nicky Koeglenberg, Dewald de Villiers, Christo Kotze, Eugene Zoghby, Gavin Fleming, Ruan Koen, Leigh de Wet, Jacques Pienaar and Thysie Valentyn arrived to do battle with each other and what a fight it was, Raymond Jefferies sadly picked up car issues after race 1 and retired for the rest of the event also Ruan Koen had bad luck and a night he’d rather forget but not as much as Thysie Valentyn, Thys’s event came to an end after winning one of the heats in the following heat when his car died in turn 1, he parked it up against the wall and we never saw it out there again. Gavin Fleming and Chris Etzebeth in their “semi flexi’s” did well to stay with the “flexi” cars and they both drove the wheels off their Golfs. Leigh de Wet also had a good event and the Fiesta is as it should be, but when the evening was over your SA CHAMPS was… 1st Christo Kotze SA1, 2nd Hendricus Botha SA2, 3rd Nicky Koeglenberg SA3.
IN THE HOTROD CLASS…..
Nearly 20 cars came onto the track to fight it out with each other and the “super modified” boys left it all out on the track. Hank Els, Armand de Villiers, Han-Koch Brand, Dylan Nel, Sydney v Rensburg, Hendrick Beets, Gert Brink ( snr & jnr ), Nicky Koeglenberg, Raniel Koeglenberg, JP Kotze, Kyle Huddlestone, Bobby Ray, Tiaan Louw, Bryan Grimbeek and a returning Wade Grimbeek made the fans go wild at their close racing right throughout the evening. When it mattered Nicky Koeglenberg had a spin and he must of thought at that time there goes a SA nr but he raced twice as hard after that. Raniel Koeglenberg and Bobby Ray are now getting to grips with their cars and thay both had flyers out there. Wade made a welcome reurn and took a win in one of the heats which set him up nicely for the rest of the event. Hendrick Beets was looking strong at one stage but retired with mechanical problems. JP Kotze, Dylan Nel, Kyle Huddlestone and Hank Els were always in there and looking strong, but when it mattered the most your SA CHAMPS here was… 1st Tiaan Louw SA1, 2nd Hank Els SA2, 3rd Wade Grimbeek SA3.
IN THE MIDGET CLASS…..
For this event there was no A and B classes just one class as everyone runs together for that coverted SA1 title. Wessel Rabe, Bennie Engelke, Eerick Horn, Mark Conyers, Johann Moller, Francois de Witt, Rudi Horn and Andries Bezhuidenhout went at each the whole night. Wessel Rabe was on song and for the 1st time in years we saw the Wessel Rabe of old, Mark Conyers started off mediocre but ended strong, Bennie Engelke had a spin and re-started from the back in one of the races and must of thought there goes an SA nr. The fight between Bennie and Eerick for that SA3 nr was hectic and it had to go to who ended ahead of who during the night, Johann Moller was right in there to snap at everything and anything should the front group drop the ball… When all was said and done you SA CHAMPS are… 1st Wessel Rabe SA1, 2nd Mark Conyers SA2, 3rd Bennie Engelke SA3.
IN THE V8 CLASS…..
It was great to see a full field of V8’s out there with 12 cars howling around the “island”. It was awesome to see Mark Fontini, Steven Heydenrich and Johan Tullekan who are now also part of TRW. They were joined by Johan Engelbrecht, Attie Nel, Burger vd Merwe, Hennie Bosch, Arrie v Zyl, Duane Prinsloo, new man Chris Gardner, Leon Ferreira and ex SA1 Pieta Victor. Mark Fontini had a DNF in race 1 as he had a issue with his back axle but they got that sorted out. For once Burger vd Merwe had to work hard and fight his way through a pack that was determined to keep him behind, but they could’nt. Hennie Bosch had a great night and raced the wheels off his “new era” V8. Attie Nel, Johan Tullekan, Steven Heydenrich and Mark Fontini were right in there if anyone tripped over his own feet…. When the sound of V8 power settled your SA CHAMPS are… 1st Burger vd Merwe SA1, 2nd Arrie v Zyl SA2, 3rd Hennie Bosch SA3…. ( It was 29 yrs ago that Burger’s dad Du Toit vd Merwe became SA1 ).
IN THE LATE MODEL CLASS…..
Here 14 Late Models pitched to go to WAR and a WAR it was. Gabrie Gelderblom, Izak Spies, Chris Liebenberg, Danie Sandenbergh, Jean Steyl, Otto Graven, Willie Dames, Sarel vd Merwe, Karel Bakker, Eerick Horn, Thysie Valentyn, Altru de Klerck and new kid on the block Fanie Mostert, they were joined by not such a new kid namely JB Lazerus who raced many years ago at the old Goodwood Showgrounds. Chris Liebenberg has a new car and is still getting to grips with that machine and must get the setup sorted out but still went well enough out there. Otto Graven did well until he retired early with car issues. Willie Dames and Thysie Valentyn were both looking good but sadly Willie had a spin in one of the turns, his car rolled back and Thys had no where to go and he slammed into him wrecking both cars.Fanie Mostert and JB Lazerus are still getting used to their cars and will be a force in the not to distant future. Sarel vd Merwe is also getting used to LM’s and almost walked away with an SA nr ( it was touch and go ). Izak spies has done his equipment over and raced like hell was chasing him… When the rolling thunder was over your SA CHAMPS were… 1st Izak Spies SA1, 2nd Jean Steyl SA2, 3rd Chris Liebenberg SA3.
It was a national of note and a big thanks goes out to one and all for making it such a huge and massive success. Tygerberg Raceway now goes into recess for the Christmas period and holiday season and we will see you all back on the 8 Feb 2014 for an INTERNATIONAL SHOWDOWN over two weekends involving a BRITISH HOTROD TEAM.
Until then have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.
Franky Heunis ( commentator ).