Traffic Warning, E Blower, 9 Aug Power Series and other club info.

Hi All,

The info below includes:

# Link below to the E-Blower Vol 18 or find the edited copy below (without pictures) at the end of this mail

# Traffic services will be monitoring the Silverstone Road entrance for traffic violations during the week, .

#Preview of round 6 of the Wingfield Motors sponsored Power Series (9 August 2014).

# Reminder - WPMC members boma open to members and their guests on Saturday.

# Reminder - Motorcycle competitors using the covered pits can plug into the power provided.

# Reminder - New entrance for pedestrians – Use the BRT (My Citi) bus to get to and from the track.

# Woman's Day event at Killarney on 16th August.

# Monday and Tuesday open practice for club members.

 

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TRAFFIC SERVICES WILL MONITOR THE NEW ENTRANCE:

Following an increase in the rate of incidents where the red lights are being ignored and people are turning right into Killarney at Silverstone Road, the traffic department will be monitoring the traffic lights at the Killarney entrance / exit at random times during the week. These traffic officers will fine all offenders they witness not obeying the traffic signals.

A reminder that it is not permitted to turn right when coming to the track from the Dunoon side - doing so is extremely dangerous and the risk of a collision with a My Citi Bus approaching from behind is extremely high. These buses approach at speed and if you are turning and you will not easily see them coming. Please go through Killarney Gardens and enter Killarney from Silverstone Road.

Please also exercise caution when exiting Killarney and even if the lights are green and in your favour, please check when pulling away that trucks and buses are not going through a red light at the intersection.

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POWER SERIES SPONSORED BY WINGFIELD MOTORS – 9 August:

The sixth round of the Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors takes place on Saturday 9 August, Ladies Day special – free entry for all ladies and other benefits – for further information please find the link to the preview below!

 

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WPMC MEMBERS BOMA OPEN TO MEMBERS AND THEIR GUESTS ON SATURDAY: (9th August Power Series)

In addition to the benefit of free entry to the event, WPMC members now have an exclusive boma from which to watch the racing.

The WPMC members’ boma situated on the Tygerberg Straight, for exclusive use by members and their guests, will be open at this race meeting. This boma offers excellent viewing of the entrance to Turn 1 and the track from Engen Corner through Rose Sweep to the start of the back straight.

Additional benefits include:

- Cosy atmosphere with comfortable seating both inside and outside;

- A cash bar will be operation with all drinks at Club prices;

- Two TV’s linked to DSTV for sporting events

- A TV screen displaying lap times will be mounted in the boma

- Braai facilities, including wood, are available should you wish to braai (Limited crockery and cutlery is also available).

- If you don’t feel like braaing, take away food is available at the nearby “Bull Bar”

- Toilet facilities in the boma

So bring the family and make use of the boma to watch all the action in comfortable surroundings.

Some house rules:

- Operating times are from 9am and the boma will close half hour after the last event has ended.

- The entrance will be manned by security

- Membership books must be presented to gain admission, all members to sign in.

- A member is permitted to bring a maximum of three guests per event. The cost per guest is R20. All guests to sign the register. Members are responsible for their guests

- No alcohol is to be brought onto the boma premises

If you are not already a member of the WPMC, with fees declining to 50% as from 1 July, now is the time to join the club.
No lengthy waiting periods, nominations required etc to become a member of the largest motorsport club in South Africa, simply contact Terri on
021-5571639 or visit her in the Control Tower and you could become a member the same day.

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MOTORCYCLE COMPETITORS USING THE COVERED PITS CAN PLUG INTO THE POWER PROVIDED:

Motorcycle competitors using the covered pits will be able to use the power provided for their tyre warmers. A trailer generator will be plugged into that power system to reduce the number of generators used by the competitors. In the event of a general power failure, the trailer generator will be redeployed. Therefore to be safe, kindly do bring your generators along for use should it be required.

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EASIER ACCESS FOR PEDESTRIANS – USE THE BRT (My Citi) BUS TO GET TO AND FROM TRACK:

A reminder that the gate at the Silverstone road traffic lights will be open for PEDESTRIAN access/egress on Saturday (No entrance for vehicles).

Avoid all the hassle of traffic etc and instead use the My Citi bus to get to and from Killarney. The bus stop is opposite the Silverstone Road entrance, disembark here, cross the road and you are at the entrance. For your convenience, we will have a ticket seller operating at THIS GATE for PEDESTRIANS ONLY.

Busses run every ±15 minutes with the last bus departing at about 11pm, so enjoy a visit to the Trackside Pub and Grill for some refreshments after racing ends before making your way home.

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Monday and Tuesday open practice updated schedule

These sessions are for the exclusive use of WPMC members.

Please understand that these are unofficial open sessions and all present are here at their own risk, there will be NO medical support nor marshals on site. Should the circuit become unsafe during these sessions, expect the sessions to be terminated.

Free Practice Times 16h30 – 18h00
Date: Day: Status:
11/08/2014 Mon Confirmed
12/08/2014 Tues Confirmed
18/08/2014 Mon Confirmed
19/08/2014 Tues Confirmed
25/08/2014 Mon Confirmed
26/08/2014 Tues Confirmed
01/09/2014 Mon Confirmed
02/09/2014 Tues Confirmed
08/09/2014 Mon Confirmed
09/09/2014 Tues Confirmed
15/09/2014 Mon Confirmed
16/09/2014 Tues Confirmed

—–

The E-Blower. Vol. 18

The (un)official voice of the WPMC.

Managing Editor : IM Nobody. Chief Sub Ed: J Robin Emslie. Art Director: J Colin Brown. Motorcycle Director: Dave A Abrahams. International Ed: Cedric P Selzer. War Correspondent: Jo King.

Editorial.

While we’re looking forward to our Womans Day Festival Meeting on Saturday (August 9), that includes entries from Porsche kingpin Toby Venter and Dave “McFlash” McFadden and we appreciate the positive comments about the improved member’s facilities at the circuit, we remain saddened by the bad guys who seem to infest our sport and are usually only out to make a quick buck.

Now we’ve been particularly lucky or suspicious – or maybe we’ve just been conscientious enough – to avoid the problem here at Killarney. Yes, we have had a couple of charming rogues in our midst — but as has been documented before – the WPMC was able to recover any losses and we actually benefitted from the generosity exercised by at least one of them.

By contrast the Free State government will agree that the Phakisa Freeway near Welkom was never “free.” According to CARtoday.com in 2004, Phakisa cost the province nearly half a billion rand over a five year period, for a return of just R7.7 million, a tiny fraction of their outlay. It was this huge loss that led to an investigation of the finances of the not-so-Free-way and its founder Bobby Hartslief, who had meanwhile relocated to Colorado.

Of course that’s not all. Big bold Frankie, aka Francois Pretorius, the former MSA head honcho, together with Killarney’s very first bad boy – who was actually a girl — feature in two of our Blips.

Happily it’s not all bad, because we’re also covering the Kyalami good news story in: Halleluja, we’ve been saved!

But first:

Meet our sponsors: Bigfoot Express.

The sun never sets on the 60 year (young) Sun Moodley, a character just as colorful as the name of his hugely successful business — Bigfoot Express.

Founded by Sun and his wife Rina more than 18 years ago, this independent express distributing company began by offering a next day service between KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape. Today, it has expanded and developed into one of the leading businesses of its kind in South Africa. So much so that the validity of their slogan, “Big or small – we haul ‘em all,” is ensured by a fleet of over 200 heavy duty carriers commuting between the company’s purpose built warehouses in seven major centres.

As far as motorsport is concerned, Sun claims to have always been speed conscious. His competitive start began with karts before he switched at drag racing. Then it was the main circuits in an M3 Beemer before the onset of the Porsche passion. There have been 17 so far, half of them Cup-cakes, but also road GT3’s and a GT2.

There was a spell in a Shelby CanAm that resulted in him winning the Masters class (for drivers over 50). He has also competed extensively in Europe, where his record includes a 2-Hour victory at the Red Bull Ring in Austria and a 9-Hour win (with co-drivers), in Lithuania.

He has also been generously involved in sponsorship at Killarney, Phakisa, Durban and Port Elizabeth. Special events for clients and fans alike have included the Bigfoot Festival of Speed at PE last year, as well as headline backing for our own Sports and GT category for the past four years – for which we are extremely grateful. His Bigfoot trucks with their cargoes of valuable racing cars are familiar sights at South African circuits.

Sun finished third and fourth during the fifth round of the Sports and GT title chase at Killarney last month and we look forward to seeing him in action again here, before too much longer.

Things are getting better.

In an ongoing effort to prioritize our spectator facilities, a contractor was appointed to cover the majority of the Killarney grandstands with shade cloth in order to provide some measure of weather protection. This task has now been completed.

The seating areas that have received protection include the major stand on the inside of the circuit near Turn 1 (nee Hoals Hoek), the smaller stands providing viewing in the Rose Sweep area (Damps Dip), the main stand alongside the Tygerberg Straight – this one was the original Charles Byron brainwave. Also the spectator stands in the drag start area and finally those on the exit of Turn 5 onto the main straight.

We trust that this will ensure our venue becomes even more spectator friendly. Incidentally, we have been assured that the colourful blue shade cloth is also waterproof.

Then there’s the new WPMC members’ boma on the Tygerberg Straight, for the exclusive use of members and their guests that was also completed in time for the July meeting. Members are allowed up to three guests at a nominal R20 each, who must be signed in.

It offers excellent viewing of the entrance to Turn 1 and the track from Engen Corner through Rose Sweep to the start of the back straight. A cash bar will be operation and braai facilities are going to be available on race days.

If you are not already a club member, with fees having declined by 50% from 1 July, now is the time to join. No lengthy waiting periods or nominations required to become a member of the largest motorsport club in South Africa. Simply contact Terri on 021-5571639 or visit her in the Control Tower and you could become a member the same day.

Woman’s Day Festival Meeting

With the sixth round of the Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors, falling on the same date as the national Woman’s Day public holiday this coming Saturday, what better time to hold a Festival Meeting to honour our ladies.

Naturally the girls (of all ages), will be admitted free of charge. There are going to be special attractions for ladies including free hot chocolate at the Trackside Bar and Grill, for the first 100 lady customers. Mothers can safely bring their little anklebiters who will be looked after in a kiddies play area behind the clubhouse. And providing they are under 12 YOA, they also qualify for free entry.

And then for something completely different, one lucky lady (and maybe also a macho male as well), is going to win a “taxi ride” around the circuit at racing speed in a magnificent new McLaren MP4 12C, sports car, driven by Cyril Ginsburg, a former champion. And don’t worry, helmets will be supplied

The MP4 has a carbon-fibre chassis and is powered by a twin turbo, quad cam V8 hooked onto a semi automatic seven speed transmission. It gallops with a posse of 592 horses and when tested by Sport Auto magazine in France, reached a top speed of 343 km/h.

Women in Motorsport.

Motorsport is probably the only sport in the world where women can compete with men on equal terms (well OK, there are odd exceptions, like mixed doubles in tennis). But as the feisty Danica Patrick once said, “I was brought up to be the fastest driver, not the fastest girl. That’s how I have always approached my racing.”

The attractive Mrs Kay Petre was the first in these parts. She arrived here from England to compete in the inaugural Grosvenor Grand Prix at Pollsmoor in 1937, where she did well to finish sixth. Sadly, she was seriously injured in a freak accident on the steeply banked Brooklands circuit shortly after returning to the UK. She never raced again.

Then there was South Africa’s Desere Wilson who is still the only lady to have ever won a F1 championship race. It was a round of the British Aurora championship at Brands Hatch in 1980 where the organizers were so impressed with her performance they named a grandstand after her.

The glamorous Danica Patrick who has raked in $18 million – which is more than most of the men she races against are worth – is currently a good midfield finisher in her big GoDaddy Chev in the lucrative American NASCAR series. And Susie Wolff whose husband Toto controls the Mercedes F1 team, while she’s a F1 Williams test and development driver. The lass was in tears when her practice session before the British GP had to be aborted after a mechanical failure.

Versatile Janine Davies was born in Cape Town but grew up in Benoni — along with Charlise Theron. A former motocrosser who attended a FIM training school in Spain, she now rides a big 1000cc Superbike as a member of the official Yamaha team. She’s also a part time model and a contestant in the televised Strictly Come Dancing contest on SABC3 on Friday evenings.

Finally we have national competitor Andrea Bate who is going to be in action on our circuit along with Samantha Wilson and Di Dugmore during our Woman’s Day Festival meeting on Saturday.

Motorbikes.

Just after the halfway point of the 2014 Mike Hopkins Regional Motorcycle series, all four of the Superbike classes are poised to provide a nail-biting finish to the season, with some unexpected contenders appearing seemingly out of left field.

The big guns of Class A are led by defending champion Ronald Slamet on the Mike Hopkins ZX-10R – no surprise there – but Aran van Niekerk (DMR ZX-10R) has literally fallen by the wayside after breaking his ankle in a huge crash at the May meeting, and Slamet’s nearest competition is veteran rider and 2010 champion Malcolm Rapson, also on a ZX-10R, with 106 points to Slamet’s 132.

Sadly, the expected challenged from young gun Gerrit Visser has failed to develop, thanks to a couple of ill-timed falls, but when he stays aboard his SuperGP-spec ZX-10R, he’s right on the pace, and it’s not too late for a late charge: watch this space.

Class B leader Andre Calvert (Kawasaki ZX-6R) has just broken out into the premier league so it’s likely that the Class B title will be fought out between Mark van den Berg (Honda CBR1000RR) and Jacques Brits (BMW S1000RR) who are currently separated by exactly one point – 109 to 108! Anything could happen here and probably will.

The surprise leader of Class C is rookie David Enticott, his Triumph Daytona 675 punching above its weight to earn him 116 points so far, well ahead of class stalwart Wayne Arendse (Honda CBR600RR) and affable Australian Bronte Heinrich, on a classic Ducati 996 Superbike.

The 600 Challenge score-sheet holds another surprise: After a huge crash at the July meeting that brought out the red flags, talented teen Hayden Jonas (Kawasaki ZX-6R) is lying second to on-form Andre Calvert, 136 to 124, with Alex van den Berg also within striking distance on 107 points.

Jonas, however, is more likely to see this as an incentive than a setback, and will be out there on August 9 with a point to prove. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Halleluja, we’ve been saved!

Step back Billy Graham and Ray McCauley – because motorsport has its own savior. His name is Toby Venter and he’s going to be racing here at Killarney on Saturday. The nod he gave to a R205-million bid from Porsche SA, for the Kyalami Grand Prix circuit at Midvaal, north of Johannesburg, brought the auctioneers hammer down with a solid final clunk, last month.

And what a barrage of memories that conjured up. Because over the years Kyalami really had it all – from the good to the bad and in more recent times – to the simply dreadful. The original circuit was always rated amongst the very best in the world. Unfortunately, I recently found its successor on an overseas list of the 10 all-time worst in the world.

My personal recollections go back to its prime in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, when for up to a week before a Grand Prix or a Rand Daily Mail 9-Hour race, the large infield area became a huge tent town that must have been reminiscent of the Rand’s gold rush days.

I recall my most disappointing 9-Hour when, after being offered a drive with the works Volvo team, my flight was delayed and I arrived late for the practice session. I rushed to our pit, only to find that my co-driver – who was a butcher from Bloemfontein in real life — had already crashed and written the car off.

As far as F1 was concerned, the all time high has to have been Jody Scheckter’s emphatic win in the 1975 GP, this after he – and several others – had all been involved in accidents during the controversial qualifying sessions. Another big one was privateer John Love’s incredible effort in 1967. The Rhodesian was in the lead until an unscripted extra fuel stop deprived him of a certain victory and he had to settle for second.

The most tragic was the 1977 race when Tom Pryce was decapitated after hitting a marshal who ran across the track carrying a bulky fire extinguisher to a car that had caught alight and stopped, on the other side. The marshal was also killed.

Political sanctions and commercial interest eventually resulted in the “old” Kyalami closing when South Africa lost the Formula 1 franchise after the 1985 GP. It was eventually replaced by a truncated version that transformed what had been a magnificent high speed drivers circuit into a castrated up-and-downer, with competitors circulating in the opposite direction.

Then there were the personalities who controlled the racing over the years and who differed from one another as much as the circuits did. The first was the respected Alex Blignaut who although as straight as a rifle barrel, could also be as tough and unyielding as kevlar.

Unfortunately there were others, especially in the later years, who seemed unable to follow his example. Tollgate Holdings was a public company that spawned Motor Racing Enterprises (MRE), the group that took over the running of the new Kyalami.

We were party to a discussion when they put out feelers about a similar deal with Killarney and a meeting was arranged on a Sunday morning. I arrived at the circuit in a 1.3 Corolla followed shortly afterwards by Brian Hoskins who was driving a medium age Beemer and Denis Joubert in his Audi. Well we felt pretty ordinary when the MRE brass dropped out of the sky and parked their luxury helicopter next to us.

We adjourned to the clubhouse for tea and biscuits and after an initial palaver that went nowhere, agreed to discuss the matter again later. We never did.

When Tollgate was eventually liquidated owing the bank R300 million, the Judge’s comments about its management were not particularly complimentary. As far as those who were involved were concerned, the company MD Julian Askin set a new lap record as he left the country.

MRE’s Mervyn Key was charged with fraud and arrested immediately after the 1993 Grand Prix at Kyalami. Charges against him were never proven. Dave McGregor was only involved by association and was able to navigate his way onto the luxury golf estate at Pinnacle Point near Mossel Bay. Unfortunately that project also failed to reach its anticipated pinnacle.

More recently the Gauteng government somehow became involved in a variety of motorsport projects – all of them at Kyalami. These were slammed by the DA’s Jack Bloom who referred to them as a R600 million rip off.

Although large amounts of money had already been paid out, all the events — including R39 million for the Super Stars sports cars (ever heard of them?) – were then summarily cancelled. Left unattended and with no apparent control, the once proud circuit was regularly vandalized as it slid into a state of disrepair.

However the 72 hectare property remains valuable and while bids of around R120 million were originally mentioned, a reserve of R200 million was finally set in place before Venter put down his company’s R205m. Of course the millions still required to restore it to its former glory, will have to be tacked on.

At the other end of the scale, if any proof about the viability of the area is needed, the nearby Zwartkops provides an excellent example. Originally a drive-in theatre, Zwartkops is shorter and a less than ideal drivers circuit. However it is well managed by a dedicated team of enthusiasts and as a result has been extremely successful.

Blips ‘n Pieces.

Then there was Andrea Bate in Potters Pass last month. Now we all know the Eau Rouge at Spa is probably still the world’s most testing F1 corner (despite not being as menacing now as it used to be). And we also know that Potters tops the toughies in South Africa. As she described it to us – with the aid of a tail wind down the main straight during qualifying, managing to hold it flat through Potters in her Monroe Polo, was a truly awesome experience.

The story about Pollsmoor coming up for sale, got us thinking about the incredible public apathy during the first Grosvenor Grand Prix on the new Pollsmoor track in 1937. Remember the entries included two supercharged V16, six litre Grand Prix Auto Unions, the likes of which had never been seen in South Africa before. What’s more, one of them was being driven by the great Berndt Rosemeyer, who as the European titleholder, was also effectively the world champion. Those cars were way more impressive in 1937 that any contemporary F1 Mercedes today. OK, it was a handicap event taken to extremes, with the first 750cc Noddy Car being sent away 40 minutes before the German ace, on what was a pretty poor circuit. There was also a gale force south east wind blowing and the police had issued warnings about horrendous traffic congestion. The result was many stayed at home where they didn’t even have TV coverage for consolation. While it still attracted a reasonable crowd, the race was a financial flop. That was just crazy! Two equivalent F1 cars at Killarney today would have queues stretching from Melkbosch to Milnerton. No it will never happen, but we can dream can’t we.

Francois Pretorius, the former MSA chief, who used to modestly display MSA 1 on his bakkie’s customized number plates, has been ordered by the court, to pay back more than R1.7 million (a surprisingly small amount we think), to eight complainants. According to Leon Botha, the big guy got behind the 8-ball when he sold their Porsches but somehow neglected to reimburse their former owners for them. This is also one we’ve commented on before, while Pretorius has become a favorite in Noseweek over the years, where he provided them with pages of controversial copy. He is due to be sentenced on September 22.

Further back in history, Killarney’s first wrongdoer was uncovered by the Mets committee during the 1950’s. She was a popular motherly lady who served as the part-time club secretary, an honorary unpaid position – or so we thought. And this during the time we were counting the pennies as we battled for funds to complete our original circuit.

Congrats to Yvette, our Trackside Pub and Grill majordomo. We all thought she looked swell — not too swell mind you, just reasonably swell — at a recent management meeting. So we were surprised to hear she was going on maternity leave. Well it seemed as though she had hardly left when out popped a (very), young David James. He wasn’t wearing a transponder so we couldn’t get an elapsed time, but we’re convinced it was a record of some sort. Well done Yvette.

Monica Swartz (Monica 1), was first employed by architects — Louw, Geldenhuys, Joubert and Lighton, whose premises in the CBD also housed the business end of the WPMC. She then graduated to Killarney with the club and has now finally retired after 39 years of unbroken service. She has been conveniently replaced by another Monica, who becomes Monica 2. However numbers 1 & 2 will both assist with the VIP catering on race days.

Memorabilia back in stock. New blue and black, short sleeved pit shirts with “Killarney International Raceway” and the WPMC logo embossed, are now available at the club office. Power Series stickers (at R20), are also in stock. Contact the ladies for more info.

And as we go to press comes the news that the FIM Superbike World Championship event that Gas Sport was promoting at the Phakisa Freeway in October, has been cancelled. Gas is now hoping to be able to run a round of the title chase at the same venue in March next year. However they have nailed down a national bike meeting on the old Durban International Airport on August 24.

And finally we have just heard that Toby Venter has unfortunately had to withdraw from Saturdays Power Series meeting.

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ENDS

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