Strike 2 for Lightning Leon

Rather cool and misty weather welcomed the Witzenberg Motorklub Gymkhana enthusiasts on Saturday 1 May 2019, but an overnight change of venue made sure that everyone was soon busy setting up an alternate route.

With everyone well prepared for a traditional single lane event in the Old Pit Complex of the Killarney International Raceway the late afternoon decision to move the event into the G-Energy / Quarry / Turn 2 / CHD Oval area came as quite an unexpected curved ball.

The only good element being that everyone would start the day equally stunned at having to suddenly learn a new route! But, that is the nature of the sport, the ability to quickly adapt to changing weather or changing surfaces is considered normal in the world of rallying and good team work remains the key to success.

Abdul Sayed and his team found themselves in new territory and impressed by getting the event ready to start on time and it was Formula M racer, Ryno Pentz, who set the route alight with a blistering pace after the first round in his single seater Dico racer. After a long absence it was indeed great to see Ryno and DeeJay Booysen back in Gymkhana action.

Günther and Louise Appelgryn then shocked by posting the fastest time in the Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8 with their customary smooth driving style whilst Leon Engelbrecht and Izak van Zyl Jnr struggled for traction in the L&M Automotive Performance class G VW Golf MkII GTi 2.0 16v Turbo. Even Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager surprised in the Toyota 1.6 powered Datsun LDV by beating the Ceres Toyota class E BMW 325iM of Johann Zulch and Natasha de Jager on the opening attempt.

The weather cleared, temperatures improved and with more grip available the regulars started to step up their pace. Leon Engelbrecht and Izak van Zyl Jnr taking their second consecutive overall victory in the L&M Automotive Performance class G VW Golf MkII GTI 2.0 16v Turbo, but this time only 1.1 seconds clear of the very impressive combination of Günther and Louise Appelgryn in their Spiderman class B VW Golf MkI 1.8. Leon extracting the perfect balance between performance and mechanical sympathy from his monster Golf whilst Günther extracted perfect balance from his much milder Golf to seriously challenge for overall honours.

For once Anton Smit and Natasha de Jager managed to maintain momentum in their popular Toyota 1.6 powered class F Datsun LDV RWD, and third overall just reward. Quinton Phillipson and Leon Engelbrecht made their debut during the 1st Wheel Tech Gymkhana and showed promise. Fourth spot could so easily have been thir but the Audi RS3 Turbo certainly impressed on it’s second competitive outing and will have to be observed in future.

Sean Pretorius had Byron Hite navigating in his N12 Powerbrake class G  Subaru Impreza STi 2.5 Turbo 4x4 and served notice of his future potential by slotting into fifth spot overall. The pace is there, remaining consistent the future challenge. Sixth spot going to Mr Consistency, Johann Zulch, and Natasha de Jager in the Ceres Toyota supported BMW 325iM.

Abdul Sayed needed some time to settle into his rhythm but with Leon Engelbrecht navigating the modified JTC Auto Tools class D Toyota Tazz 1.3 recovered to a fine seventh spot overall.

André Smit and Natasha de Jager eighth overall in their DRS Autoworx class C VW Golf MkI 1.6. Fast improving all ladies duo, Nadia Singh and Nabeehah Sayed, driving their Subaru Impreza 2.0 Turbo 4x4 to ninth overall whilst Izak van Zyl Jnr and Dewald van der Merwe was more than pleased with tenth place in the mighty Twin Turbo 4.0 V8 Lexus powered Dynotech class G Toyota Corolla rwd. In fact, this was an impressive result given the fact that they rarely saw anything through the windscreen.

In fact, the only reason Cape Town was not covered in a smoke screen every time they went into the stage was that the wind direction! What a crowd pleasing show this was and great to see the former Gymkhana champion back in action. Mike van As and Mathew Agenaouy another combination who entertained enroute to 11th spot in their very appealing 1948 MG TC class F rwd lookalike.

Byron Hite and Natasha de Jager 12th overall in the hard working, and completely standard class D Toyota Tazz 1.3. Natasha fast becoming the new navigator in demand. Nabeehah Sayed (niece of Abdul Sayed) and Nadia Singh 13th on debut as all ladies team in yet another Subaru Impreza STi 2.5 Turbo 4x4 whilst the only team not classified in the results were Marco dos Santos and Cimberlea Dos Santos in their class G Subaru Impreza STi 2.5 Turbo 4x4. Unfortunately a suspension problem forced the retirement of the husband and wife combination.

As always the Dico Formula M single seater racers were expected to dominate class H and given his great first run Ryno Pentz looked like this would be his day, but alas, try as he might he could not produce another quick time and found himself fourth in class with only Byron Hite behind him in the standard Toyota Tazz 1.3. Günther Appelgryn third in the ever consistent Spiderman VW Golf MkI 1.8 whist Sean Pretorius produced two very good runs to finish second in the Powerbrake N12 Subaru Impreza 2.5 Turbo 4x4.

Dee-Jay Booysen turned his day around by finding consistency in the neat Dico racing Formula M and became the only driver to dip below two minutes enroute to a popular class victory in the car normally campaigned by Ryno pentz on the short circuit.

Mike van As and Mathew Agenaouy floated the LandRover 4.6 4x4 to a lonely class win as the only Team Womble car present. Six orphaned or abandoned girls between the ages 9 – 19 from Rylands enjoyed the opportunity as passengers with Izak van Zyl Jnr, Nabeehah Sayed, Nadia Singh, Günther Appelgryn, Quinton Phillipson and Sean Pretorius. Well done all!

Teams thoroughly enjoyed the single lane format and found the 2nd Wheel Tech WBMK G133 Gymkhana at the Killarney International Raceway to be one of the best they had ever attended. Compliments to Abdul Sayed and his Witzenberg Motorklub team.