Class D dominance @ 5th Fairbridge Mall Brackenfell Gymkhana

5th Fairbridge Mall RouteWeather indicated that this event could turn into a wet one, the possibility presented itself that it could be the same as last year’s event at Neelsie Stellenbosch gymkhana, an event that I really enjoyed since it was something completely new and a different challenge to drive on a drenched track. Friday night we as a team went down to the venue and helped to get all the fences

in place to ease the duties of the organiser for Saturday, this also allowed us the opportunity to have a look at the track and get our heads around it, which really helped at the end of the day. Back at home we packed every last bit of wet weather clothing we could as we were convinced it is going to be a wet one.

Saturday morning we got up and to our disappointment it was looking as if a wet track was out of the question, oh well, can’t get everything in life that you want. We moved down to the Fairbridge Mall and went thru the norm of setting up the Gazebo and prepping the vehicles for some fun before we started the usual walking and learning of the track, again I must add using a bicycle for this purpose is a real benefit.

Herman Mathee and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 5th in Class F and 24th Overall

23F Herman Mathee - Mike Mathee_0.jpgThis was a particular busy day as I had to navigate for 4 other vehicles, two of which is for Kobus Wilson Snr that sure as hell know how to drift a car in very confined spaces, I’ll even put money down that he will put many RSA drifters to shame when the space available is limited. On this particular day Mike and I decided to lend “Lil Datto” to Kobus Wilson Jnr as his bakkie wasn’t available for the particular event, we did this as good sportsman and provide him the opportunity to

gather points for his championship campaign. To date the organizers have decided not to allow him to keep the points that he earn on the day for 2nd place in class f, which left a particular nasty taste in our mouths. Gymkhana being an entry level category into motorsport where participants help each other and try to grow the sport, but the above actions is not the way in which good deeds should be awarded.

Throughout the day I struggled to get the times needed that the other participants was posting for the class, round 1 and 2 was off by about 2-3sec per round from the fastest times for the day, the front suspension felt spongy and i was just unable to drive around this. Kobus was actually able to post times 2sec faster with the Datsun. The last round of the day I was determined to post a time good enough to slot into 3rd place for the day in the class, on the start line my foot slipped on the clutch, for this error under pressure I was awarded with a 10sec penalty which ended my day, at least it provided Mike with the opportunity to really test the handbrake of the Datsun. At the end of the day I’m really disappointed with my results, but luckily I can look back on the day and learn from the mistakes.

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Golf 1.4i – 2nd in Class D and 12th Overall

Text to follow shortly

Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 1st in Class D and 11th Overall

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Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 3rd in Class D and 15th Overall

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Selina Botes and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 7th in Class D

649E4188_1.JPGThe route layout was what we called easy compared to the Vredenburg routes which was a pretty difficult and a nightmare for new competitors. Throughout the day Selina was nervous but full of confidence regarding the route and this started to show with her times. During the day she started to drive harder and harder which will turn into real competitive times as time goes on.

 

 

 

 

Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class F Mazda 1000 – 7th in Class F

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Rudolf Marais and Mike Mathee in Class F Mazda 616 – 8th in Class F

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Confusion @ 2nd Weskus Mall Gymkhana

 

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The week leading up to the event was spent under “Lil Datto” front suspension, having taken it completely apart, to widen the track more. Some interesting male/female extension pieces was machined to allow for further adjustment of the track. The original pieces was on their limits and didn’t allow for more adjustment, the steering arms, was adjusted to use only 10mm of thread, which isn’t considered to be very safe. But from time to time these extreme measure are needed to test a theory in the practical world in order to make the decision if it is worthwhile to spend money on the modification, luckily for me this proved to be a huge success and I went ahead. The end result was a front end which is +- 85mm wider per side.

Another early morning start at 04:00am, packed the cool bags, attached the race vehicles and off we were at 05:15. On arrival at Weskus Mall at 07:00 we immediately started with swapping tyres, adjusting the suspensions and getting everything in place ready for the action to start. Went thru documentation and scrutineering; then the mega task of learning the route started, the itself not that difficult, but the venue with all the little bushes making it very confusing. Once we started with the learning of the route we had absolutely no rest what so ever. Being the most intimidating venue that we have come across in Gymkhana to date, the rest of the season can only be easier. This venue is so bad, I bought myself a video camera, maybe some previewing of the venue would help in the future.

Mike Mathee and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 1st in Class D and 13th Overall

10D Mike and Herman Mathee - VW Fox (1)_0.jpgAt 10:30 the action started with the first car on the line. Having to

navigate for 6 different entries on the day, the first outing is always the most important, my nerves was shattered and in the back of my mind I was struggling to keep the doubt under control as I was very uncomfortable with the route. Mike was the poor soul that was first on my list, placing the VW Fox on the line, we set off and all of a sudden the doubt cleared and we navigated thru the route with no navigation errors. On his first run he had to select reverse as his incoming line to a hairpin corners was completely off, something that I think was a first for me. Selina found it very difficult to remember the route thru the 30+ identical looking bushes, hopefully being the last time we compete at the venue this year, we can only looking forward to the other venues with their own challenges. The day continued with a straight battle between Mike and Jan for Class D honours, at the end of the day, the battle was decided with a very quick time from Mike on his last run which secured the title for the day. Hopefully on the next event Mike’s regular navigator will be back and for filling his duties next to my brother, as I really do feel additional concern in navigating for my brother and Jan in the same class when they are this competitive.

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Golf 1.4i – 2nd in Class D and 14th Overall

33D Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee - VW Golf (1)_0.jpg33D Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee - VW Golf_0.jpg46D Jan and Melissa van der Vyver - VW Citi Golf_0.jpgText to follow

Herman Mathee and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 2nd in Class F and 12th Overall

23F Herman and Mike Mathee - Datsun GX Sedan (2)_0.jpg23F Herman and Mike Mathee - Datsun GX Sedan (3)_0.jpg23F Herman and Mike Mathee - Datsun GX Sedan (4)_0.jpgIMG_6955_0.JPG

Starting the first round in “Lil Datto” at 5000rpm was a complete nightmare, as the vehicle launched hard and then all of a sudden the revs fell and I had to sit there and wait for it to pick up again; SU’s your days are numbered, going thru the first few corners I could feel something isn’t 100% correct, but once we got to the very technical side of things these concerns was highlighted, the front end felt slow to accept input. We continued thru the route and was the only vehicle in class F to have a clean run thru the route after the first round. Still trying to figure out what was causing the lack of response and front end grip we launched again for the 2nd round, with the revs higher and a little longer on the clutch it was much better. Having decided that we should drive much tighter lines and not overdrive the vehicle we swept thru the corners to stop at the finish line a full 3sec faster than before. Very pleased with this time, we came to the conclusion that the car really does not like to be overdriven and forget about the front end. The 3rd round I was very confident and determined to finish the day with a sub 1min 21sec time, this over confidence soon became apparent as I skipped a part of the course and had to turn around to correct it. Not very pleased with this I set off to have a little fun and practising my handbrake cornering, going thru a ditch and losing 1 bar of air pressure in the one rear wheel was a result of this. After the event when torqueing the wheel nuts on the street wheels, we realised that the front wheels had allot of play on, after inspection it became apparent that the front track rod bushes wasn’t tightened enough, causing the spongy feeling and lack of response.

Never the less, a very fun filled and enjoyable outing and one that will be with me for a very long time seeing that a made a big driving error and need to concentrate on it to rectify it, Lesson of the day: Listen to your navigator, it is there role next to you to keep you on route.

Selina Botes and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 7th in Class D

40D Selina Botes - Herman Mathee - VW Fox (1)_0.jpg40D Selina Botes - Herman Mathee - VW Fox_0.jpg

Complete Podium @ 1st Weskus Mall Gymkhana

1st Weskus Mall Route.jpgDuring the weeks that passed since the last event all focus was on the preparation of the vehicles with many long nights clocking the hours in, in the garage. Mike decided that this would be the ideal time to fit the 2nd hand 1.4i VW Golf motor to the Fox, this was one of his best ideas to date, but also one of the worst, as this machine had a mind of its own.
To sum it up, after the fires was put out and everything working off it went to DynoTech for some seriously needed mapping on the Gotech side. The map that Jan and Mike developed on the road was quite good and very driveable, until the first power run on the dyno, it was very apparent that the motor had a lot more to offer, they start the process and Izak van Zyl quickly whipped it into shape. Before Izak got his hands on the car it had a sound of a sluggish rotor motor, which I particularly enjoyed, but Izak thought it good to get the motor to its full potential rather than letting it sounds as sweet as it did.

IMG_6699_0.jpgOn Thursday evening Mike and Bjorn took the car to our test area to put it thru its passes in order to give the go ahead for competition, and all of a sudden I was called upon to bring the recovery vehicle as there were a strange rattling sound coming from the motor, first thoughts turned to main or big end bearings, but the sound was not familiar. Once back home we hook all the gauges up and started it again, after some time the sounds was diagnosed to be coming from between the gearbox and motor. Jan being Jan and only needed about 4 hours sleep a night, he persuaded Mike to get the spanners and start stripping to get the box from the motor.
Many hours later, too much coffee further and the gearbox was back in its place, and the culprit in the bin and replaced with a new one. The culprit turning out to be a 8mm bolt about 9mm long holding the dust cover behind the pressure plate and motor that came loose. The poor replacement being fastened with enough super strong Loctite to never come loose again. Friday evening the last of the loose parts, fittings and hoses was replaced and the car started up with no strange sounds, all this drama for one bolt.

46H Jan van der Vyver - VW Golf Citi 1400_0.jpgIt was quite busy on the “Lil Datto” front, after some very hard thinking and analysing sessions, I decided to stretch the track on the front suspension to start matching the rear E30 parts, seeing as this could be the mayor factor in contributing to the bad front end grip. After a visit to “Datto” I decided in raiding the bigger brother of some custom made front suspension bits like, adjustable lower control arms and track rods. Armoured with the correct parts, poor “Lil” was stripped and the conversion started to get the new parts in. Unfortunately I could only stretch the track by 35mm per side as the steering arms between the inner and outer tie rods was too short to allow more. Deciding that this will be the best for the time allowed I went ahead with the transformation using my race cars parts. After making new stills and mounting points for the anti-roll bars “Lil” was put back on its wheels, poor thing had a tear of happiness in its eyes as it starter to look less like a Frankenstein car and more like a car which rear wheels will follow in the same track as the fronts. Not yet 100% in line with the rears, but as close as time would allow, fenders was cut to allow the wheels to turn as a result of the strut being moved out and to the front.

Saturday morning 04:00am, way too early for comfort, still feeling very unrested from the previous late nights, we packed the cool bags, washed our faces more than once to wake up. We preheated the tractors and got the 6 vehicle convoy going, all 3 of the tow vehicles being diesels. We arrived at Vredenburg just after 07:00 and started with the pre event preparations, I had some space available in the bakkie and decided the morning to load a mountain bike for some transport around the venue, this turned out to be one of my better ideas as I will never again attend an event without it. The track route that we were presented with at documentation, really messed with my head, after a few rounds on foot I decided it is time to tackle the route with the bicycle, man oh man, what a difference did it make.

At about 10 o’clock the event started off and more or less at the same time we realised that this was going to be one of that very special warm days down at the Weskus Mall Vredenburg just outside Saldanha.

Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 1st in Class D and 10th Overall

IMG_6647_0.jpgMike was the first Race-Tech member to navigate his VW Fox thru the route, he posted a very surprising good run, something we did not anticipate. He also entered the Fox in a non-scoring run to gain experience with the new engine combination, Selina was asked to navigate for Mike to gain some experience and get a feeling of grip. After the first run, Selina must have been in shocked as she was unable to stand on her own and had to press down on the car to keep her balance. Personally I think she was shell shocked at the speed Mike went thru the course, it is quite something to sit in the navigators seat with an fast driver, especially if his times is 15-30 seconds faster than your own, it is at that exact point that you get that feeling that in the next minute you will hit something/die/roll/pee yourself etc. The expression on her face was priceless after the run, just being exposed to the speed and commitment it takes to post fast times in Gymkhana. On Selina’s own runs se made very good progress thru the day, slashing a massive 15 seconds off her 1st run, with her last outing on the route. With a little more shell shocking and practise the team will get her very competitive one day, being motorsport and not a second nature, time will only reveal the true mystery.

Throughout the day Class D was rattled and shaken as Jan, Pietie and Mike battled it out to get to grips with the cars, the day ending in making history for Race-Tech. Pietie drove the Fox to 3rd place, Jan forced his Golf into 2nd spot and Mike literally trying to destroy the Fox into 1st, out of all the previous difficulties with the conversion, This result ended in being the 1st time that Race-tech managed to occupy the complete podium in Class D. This accomplishment was the Highlight for me personally.

Herman Mathee and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 2nd in Class F and 8th Overall

23F Herman and Mike Mathee - Datsun GX Sedan 1400 (2)_0.jpgAfter struggling with front end grip the 1st round of the Witzenberg Gymkhana championship at Flamingo’s, I was very positive in regards to the track changes made to the Datsun. I decided to

use the same front 13″ semi slicks as at Flamingo’s to truly see if the changes had any considerable effect on the grip, one option was to use wider more sticky rubber, but that idea was scrapped for the bigger picture as I’m using “Lil Datto” as my Ginny pig this year to learn the 1200’s handling characteristics and carry that info over to its bigger brother “Datto”. On my first run, entering the 2nd corner I immediately knew something was feeling familiar, but better, front end grip, a smile crept in and I was able to take corners as hard and fast as with the bakkie, a feeling that I really enjoyed in the past. Immediately I knew all the hard work was paying off. The 1st and 2nd round was rough on the car, my brother and myself, every corner was over braked, overdriven, sloppy lines, but boy was it fun to have a car with front end grip, a Limited Slip Differential, a Datsun motor that is very responsive and a overjoyed driver that was enjoying wagging the tail around. IMG_6543_0.jpgThe times was very good, but not good enough, I know this car has a lot more in it, it must just be found and that was exactly what I set as my next goal. This meant forget about the “lekker” and start concentrating on precise lines. Just before round 3 I told Mike that let’s try driving this round as tight as possible, and that is what he had to keep telling me. Somewhere deep very deep within me I just naturally found the ability to drive very precise lines, which resulted in a few scratch marks on “Lil” and a few leaves attacking Mike, this didn’t concern me once we heard the time, a full 2 seconds faster than our “lekker” runs. At the end of our 4 runs for the day, Mike and Myself managed to get the car to the finish 8th Overall and 2nd in Class F. My best Overall placing to date.

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Golf 1.4i – 2nd in Class D and 11th Overall

33D Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee - VW Golf Citi_0.jpgWhen we got to the Weskus Mall, it was very clear that is a course like no other. The surface was of very good nature, but there was a few bumps that was not the norm. We quickly got the cars prepared and then started to study the course. The study process was helped on my using a bicycle. It took me the better part of the first 3 runs to settle down, this could be contributed to the heat and confusing course. Luckily there was a 4 run added to the event, in which I had very good runs with very good times, but it was not enough to beat Mike, whom was very consistent and up to par on this event. It was great to take the full D class podium on the day as a Race-Tech team.

 

Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 3rd in Class D and 15th Overall

31D Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee - VW Fox 1400 (1)_0.jpg

Selina Botes and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 7th in Class D

I’m very proud of Selina, she is currently competing in the Mens class and managed to beat one of the seasoned competitors.
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Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class F Mazda 1000 – 4th in Class F

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Pietie almost came 3rd, I’m pretty sure he isn’t too happy that we had 4 runs on

this particular day, as he was 3rd in Class until the beginning of the 4th, Anton managed to complete his first error free run for the day, which costs Pietie his 1st, 3rd place. A feeling that I know all too well, having lost my 1st, 3rd place at Mountain Mill Gymkhana in 2009 with an error on braking at the finish.

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2011 Season Opener @ 9th Flamingos Langebaan Gymkhana

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This opening event for us as a team was very excited, due to a 2 new cars that was build and our outfits. The idea of the shirts started a last year, we wanted to stand out a little between the crowds and decided we need some branding as we are currently 9 members that drive and navigate under the www.race-tech.co.za name. This all started with only two friends that have managed to convince out friends to come and enjoy the sport. New members to the team is Selina Botes (driving Mike Mathee VW Fox) and Rudolf Marais, last year while we were standing in the sun waiting for our next run, Rudolf was busy slaving away on his restored Mazda 616. The car was completely stripped down, sprayed in a very nice blue, motor overhauled and assembled again, know the mammoth task start to get it in shape. Having a nice looking car only score points with the crowd, not with your peers racing against you. “Performance and handling does more for good track times than looks…”
During the off season, my brother, father and I sure as hell was not sitting around waiting for our older days to come closer. I decided that I needed to sell the Datsun bakkie, rust was taking over, this wasn’t a very hard decision to make, as I have been busy building a new race car for the last year. Mike bought himself a Datsun 1200 last year with big plans for, but since my car is still under manufacturing, I took over his big plans and decided that we will race with it until my car is done. The 1200 was stripped and the complete running gear was swapped with the bakkie and a few other bits like pedals, seats, front suspension and a completely new rear suspension was added to the 1200. This kept us busy for more or less 3 months. All this while I continued with building my new cars roll cage, but I have to admit, the race car was the one collecting dust half of the time.

We arrived at Langebaan the Friday evening, setup camp and went down to Flamingo’s to walk thru the route a few times, we had about an hour before it was dark, the route was new and would present a few challenges the next day, but at least we had a head start on learning the track. Once back at the camp site Pietie arrived with his Mazda F on the back of a trailer, we were so eager to help him offload it, that we forgot a few essentials, after utilizing a few jacks and ramps we got the trailer unstuck and could offload the F, “some say this was wasting time, we say this was an adventure”.

The next morning was pretty busy with getting our vehicles in order, going thru documentation and scrutinering. We had the normal first event issues like ground wires that came loose on engine rpm limiters, installing tyres in the wrong sequence etc. After a hour we were back in the groove and got every vehicle race prepped. We had another opportunity to walk thru the route before drivers briefing and the event started.

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Golf 1.4i – 1st in Class D and 6th Overall

IMG_9300-1_0.jpgThe day started off at 5:00 after the U2 concert. But looking at the skies we were going

to have a great day. Running at number 33 gave the nerves sometime to calm down. My first round was an 1:08 and I heard something from the commentators side, about me and wondering what I had for breakfast (a Whole lot of nothing at that time). After the first runs was completed, I realized that everything started to come together on the golf, her lifters was even “clapping hands”. The second runs in the D and H class was great fun. The little sleep and not drinking enough water caught up with me in the third run with a cramp in my left arm, but still a good time.

I was over the moon with the results of 6th overall, 1st class D and 3rd in class H. This was the most successful outing for me yet, and we can only hope that the rest of the season stays on par. Thank you to my wife for supporting me, and to all the people who helped with the car (Herman, Mike, Stephan, Leon, Marius, Lee, Bjorn)

Herman Mathee and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 3rd & 5th in Class F

IMG_9048-1_0.jpgAll

the hard work of the last 3 months was at a end to get “Lil Datto” to where it is today, know it was time to get it on the track and start getting the feeling how the car handled. We only packed one set of tyres for the car, 14″ Bridgestone semi’s for the rear and 13″ Dunlop semi’s for the front. As we drive in n number order, I was the first one to take “Lil Datto” thru the route, and boy was it nice and also just as frustrating. As this was my first time driving a RWD vehicle with a limited slip differential on a gymkhana route, it took some getting used to, I’m pretty sure it will take a few events to get used to this. Our biggest concern was the exit speed out of corners and starts due to a long duration cam, but at the end of the day this proved to be a very nicely balanced setup, the concerns was with the front suspension, front end grip disappeared somewhere down the road, either during swopping the parts from the old bakkie to the car or while fitting the new rear suspension.

56F Mike and Herman Mathee - Race-Tech Datsun 1200GX - 1400_0.jpgGetting the car thru slow speed corners was a complete frustration and allot of swear words were exchanged between driver and suspension, it was under steering allot, yes it has a LSD fitted in the rear that aids with under steer, but this isn’t just under steer, definitely a few other parameters also at work. Even thru the higher speed corners the front felt loose, this normally the being driven at full speed and total confidence. As the day went on, we stole the Fox 13″ slicks and Mike tried them out on his second run, this was even worse, at least this helped with the decision to scrap them as they were done. Afterwards Jan borrowed us a set of old 14″ semi’s for the front. This made a huge difference but was not the answer, we had to sit down and figure a way out to get front suspension working.

At the end of the day Mike was able to bring the car home a Class position of 5th and I 3rd. Never in my life have I seen my brother exit a route and smiling more than with this little car. Thanks Mike for providing me with the opportunity to use your car until “Datto” is done. We are very pleased with the car, for its first real event it did very good, personally I think the car has allot more to offer, you just get that feeling when moving thru the route, if time is on my side, I will rethink the front suspension and make the necessary changes.

Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – 4th in Class DIMG_9226_0.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37D Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee - Race-Tech VW Fox 1300_0.jpgPietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – 5th in Class D

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9052-1_0.jpgSelina Botes and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – 7th in Class D

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_8972_0.jpgPietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class F Mazda 1000 – 6th in Class F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_9265_0.jpgRudolf Marais and Mike Mathee in Class F Mazda 616 – 8th in Class F

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Pictures – 9th Flamingos Langebaan Gymkhana

Final Results for 2010

What a wonderful year it was to compete in the Witzenberg Motorclub Gymkhana series.

I would just like to say a few words:
Thanks to everyone involved with www.RACE-TECH.co.za, this was a very memorable year in the sport, from almost burning to death in Vredendal to nearly drowning in Stellenbosch, I can only look back and say how fortunate we are to be able to compete, all the challenges, struggles, late work, sweat and blood disappear with the thought that we as a group of friends is able to

enjoy this as a sport.

Thanks to Witzenberg Motorclub that made all of this happen, I know there is allot of work happening in the background that none of the competitors are aware off, to all, this is appreciated.

Thanks to the Marshalls, doesn’t matter if it is raining, or hell wants swallow you, these are the people that is always there to keep an eye on us.

Thanks to the Sponsors / Owners of venues – without your involvement all of this would have been a thought to us the competitors.

Last but not least: To the women in our lives, where do I start, words can’t really put it in perspective what you mean to us, I just want to say one

thing, thanks for allowing us to live our lives with you beside us.

Class Drivers			 Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 2nd	Herman Mathee	Datsun 1400	FClass Drivers			 Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 2nd	Jan van der Vyver	VW Golf 1.4i	D Class Navigators			 Position	Name	Vehicle	ClasClass Drivers			 Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 3rd	Bjorn Venter	VW Golf 1.4i	D  Class Navigators			 Position	Name	VehicleClass Navigators			 Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 1st	Jan van der Vyver	Datsun 1400	FClass Navigators			 Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 2nd	Herman Mathee	Nissan Skyline	GOverall Drivers Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 10th	Jan van der Vyver	VW Golf 1.4i	DOverall Navigators			 Position	Name	Vehicle	Class 8th	Jan van der Vyver	Datsun 1400	F

WBMK Gymkhana Championship

Overall Drivers
Position Name Vehicle Class
8th Herman Mathee Datsun 1400 F
10th Jan van der Vyver VW Golf 1.4i D
23rd Björn Venter VW Golf 1.4i D
28th Mike Mathee VW Fox 1300 D
31st Pietie Erasmus VW Fox 1300 D
Overall Navigators
Position Name Vehicle Class
8th Jan van der Vyver Datsun 1400 F
9th Herman Mathee VW Golf 1.4i D
21st Jan van der Vyver VW Golf 1.4i D
25th Mike Mathee VW Fox 1300 D
27th Pietie Erasmus VW Fox 1300 D
Class Drivers
Position Name Vehicle Class
2nd Jan van der Vyver VW Golf 1.4i D
3rd Björn Venter VW Golf 1.4i D
6th Mike Mathee VW Fox 1300 D
7th Pietie Erasmus VW Fox 1300 D
2nd Herman Mathee Datsun 1400 F
7th Pietie Erasmus Mazda F1000 F
Class Navigators
Position Name Vehicle Class
2nd Herman Mathee VW Golf 1.4i D
3rd Jan van der Vyver VW Golf 1.4i D
6th Pietie Erasmus VW Fox 1300 D
7th Mike Mathee VW Fox 1300 D
4th Herman Mathee BMW 535i E
1st Jan van der Vyver Datsun 1400 F
4th Herman Mathee Nissan 1400 F
8th Mike Mathee Mazda F1000 F
2nd Herman Mathee Nissan Skyline G

 

More Pictures – Final Results for 2010

Hot as Hell @ 4th Lions Vredendal Gymkhana

 Final RoutePreparation started very early for this event as it is so far from our home town, needless to say, everything did not go as planned. We realized with a shock that you are not able to tow a FWD car with a limited slip differential on a A-Frame. This did not go

down well in Jan’s eyes as hê now had to drive his very stiff suspension car up to Vredendal, a 350km/h odd drive with a very bad pièce of road between Citrusdal and Calvinia. Mike, Selina and I met each other at Piketberg, attached the A frame and we set off, at times I thought Pietman was driving a fire breathing monster, the way his diesel sniffing Renault was able to overtake trucks while towing a VW Fox. Once at Vredendal we setup camp and had a hour or two left to chat with the other competitors. UP early the next morning to get ready for the action, damn this place is properly satiated just above hell, not even at 9 o’clock and the sweat was already rolling down my forehead.

Herman Mathee and Jan van der Vyver in Class F Datsun 1400 – 2nd in Class F

23F Herman Mathee and Jan van der Vyver Nissan 1400 LDV 2nd_0.jpgThe 1st run went down with a good time to start the day of and no mistakes, but the dreaded white paint on the airstrip proved that they will be my biggest hurdle for the day, once I touched them my bakkie just went straight, if I’m over them the front end grip returns and I can continue in the direction that I was meant to.  Just before my 2nd run, i heard the time of my closest competitor, something I do not want to hear in the future again, the time hê posted was 6sec faster than my own, I decided that it is time to step UP and drive the bakkie to its limits, well, not everything is so easy when you have corners and cones, I totally lost the plot, made a few driving errors and incurred a penalty or two, not the way to drive fast times. The 3rd and final rounds was almost a carbon copy of themselves, on the last

round I managed to post a time only 3sec slower than my competition, most definitely the most competitive day so far this season, never before was I pushed so hard to post good times, by times I had Jan holding his breath thru the last set of corners, which I took at flat foot, the best part of the track for me. We managed to end the day with a 2nd place in the bag.

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D Golf 1.4i – 2nd in Class D

41H Jan van der Vyver VW Golf Chico 1.4i 4th_0.jpgWe broke a sweat early in the morning with the sun on our backs as we changed tyres and setup tyres.  It was expected to be a gear changing course, but after the first run we knew that you only had to change to 2nd on the last bit.  The weaving thru the cones again learnt us that to go slow is sometimes faster.  Pushing the whole day, but we could not brake the 1 minute 4 second barrier.  There is defiantly some suspension word before the next event.  On the last run we also learnt that braking on the black marks from all the other cars will only cause you to go over the line.
Pietman and MikeMike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – 4th in Class D

10D Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee VW Fox 1300 5th_0.jpgPietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – 5th in Class D

More Pictures – 4th Lions Vredendal Gymkhana

Wet to the Bone @ 1st Neelsie Stellenbosch Gymkhana

Bjorn and JanRuan was able to get his dates in order and secured himself a return ticket from Zambia to South Africa to come and enjoy his first race of the season. Just after arrival at the Neelsie Student Center in Stellenbosch, we set of with changing the street tires to some serious rubber in the form of slicks for the bakkie, Escort, Fox and a set of semi’s for the Golf. The usual small talk was made and just at the end of changing the tires around someone started mentioning that they are feeling some water, we obviously laughed this of, and figured it would be the 3mm of water predicted, o man was we in for a surprise. The 3mm predicted rainfall turned out to be 97mm of rain during the entire day of competing, something that we were not prepared for.

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D Golf 1.4i

JanThe morning started of with changing tires in rain, which was not any fun.
On the first class D run, we under estimated the amount of heat two bodies can produced, this ended up with fogged over windows and us not really able to see the track.  The golf had us running al over the place in the wet weather.  After the second run a few other D class vehicles changed to normal road tyres, for some more grip, but we new that the time lost on the second run was due to braking error on the driver side.  So the decision was made to stick to the semis on front and back, now it was time to see if it works on the last run.  With an spectacular run we ended up 3rd for the day in class D.

Jan van der Vyver in Class H

The class H run was used to learn to understand the wet weather driving a bit better, at the end of the day on the third run, the golf ended up to be the 5th fastest car on the day, which was al beautiful end of the day.

Herman Mathee and Jan van der Vyver in Class F Datsun 1400
Herman and JanAfter my first feel for the track next to Jan as his navigator, I realized that

it is very very wet and slippery out there, I made a decision to swop over to normal road tires on the front and rear. Slicks in my mind was just not really a option, front end grip is very important to my style of driving and with already so much wheel spin to keep under control Semi’s at the back was just not a option for the amount of water on the track.  The first run ended UP in being a crowd pleasure, we pulled off. From the start line and we had to

gain momentum with a huge amount of wheel spin, exciting the first corner the rear of the bakkie slipped out, at this particular point i decided it is time to play and started working on my drifting abilities. The second run went down much beter as I tried driving without the back stepping out or wheel spinning, the times also reflected that this is the style needed for the conditions. After the 3rd round we managed to finish 3rd in the Class.

Ruan Reynders and Herman Mathee in Class F Escort MKII
Ruan and HermanAs Ruan is a big believer in you use racing tires for racing and street tires for street use, I kept to his initial decision to compete with slicks, a decision I thought is crazy as the water was standing in puddles on the track. We went out the first round and had the usual wheel spin and confidence levels was low in the wet, something new to us, this car is built for dry condition, even my shoes was wet after the 1st run. Personally I think the biggest challenge for Ruan was to get his head into the game, driving in this sport is only a pièce of it, learning the track is môre important. During the course of the day Ruan got his confidence back behind the steering wheel after a absence to the sport for almost 9months, our times came down and manage to keep the car in one piece and place the car in 2nd place.

Bjorn Venter and Jan van der Vyver in Class D Golf 1.4i
Finished the day 1st in Class D

Mike and PietmanMike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – Finished the day in 10th place in Class D

Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – Pietman and MikeFinished the day in 6th place in Class D

Ruan Reynders in Class G Escort MKII
Finished the day in 5th place in Class G

Kobus Wilson Snr and Herman Mathee in Class E BMW 535i
Finished the day in 5th place in Class E

More Pictures – 1st Neelsie Stellenbosch Gymkhana

Busy day @ 4th Fairdridge Mall Gymkhana

52F Pietie Erasmus and Mike MatheeThis was one of the most busiest days for us as a team, not only on the day but even the week before. Björn joined Jan in die Class D Golf and they went out for a practice session on Thursday, all went good, Jan had to adopt his driving style with the new rear suspension and Björn had to get to grips with a totally new car to him.

On Friday Mike and Herman decided it is time to get the newly acquired 1974 Datsun B110 Sedan in competing shape. We knew this was a tall order, during initial testing it

felt if the rear shocks was done, front left suspension completely shot and the piece of wood under the alternator a complete mystery. We set off and created a list of things to do according to the Supplementary Regulations of things that gets checked by the scrutineers. First was the alternator, removed it and discovered both mounting points was broken, sourced one from a friend and installed it. Front suspension was checked and all fastened and the rear suspension we found the culprit, a broken shock mount, welded it in place, added some suspension stiffening rubbers to the front struts and took it for a test drive, the little car transformed from a rattling underdog to a entry level machine.

Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D Golf 1.4i

Jan van der Vyver’s view:
5D Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee 2ndThe golf had a very busy day, Jan on his normal class D and H entries and then Bjorn, our newest driver, also in class D.  Before this event Jan had did a lot of work on upgrades, which proofed to make the day very interesting.  The suspension was upgraded with Polyurethane Bushes and a stiffened rear axle.  This had Jan confused as he had to content with over steer and under steer in his first few runs, but as any good driver he will have to adapt to this.  It was already allot more under control by the end of the day.  The occupants of the golf, had a very nice upgrade to make use of as well as racing bucket seats and 6 point harnesses was fitted to the golf.  Jan ended 2nd in class D and a very good 4th in class H.

The golf took was up to his normal jokes on a new driver, and there was also a 3rd gear selected by Björn when he was intending to select 1st, but Björn proofed to have enough experience to quickly change back to first.  Björn had the best day for any class D car, it is clear that Jan and all other class D drivers will need to be ready for him on the next event.

Björn Venter and Jan van der Vyver in Class D Golf 1.4i

Björn Venter’s View:
20D Björn Venter and Jan den der VyverAfter being advised by Jan at Thursday night’s practice session to arrive at Fairbridge Mall at 7 o’ clock on Saturday morning, and only arriving at 9, I should probably have expected what happened later that day. Wrong slotting on the  first run of your “comeback” gymkhana career is not an ideal way to settle the nerves. But, after setting the quickest class D time of the day in my second run, I was brimming with confidence. Could I actually win my class on “debut” against formidable competition??? Sadly, I made exactly the same mistake during my final run as I made during the first, dropping me down from the lead in class D, to an eventual 7TH in class. But, I have learnt a valuable lesson, gymkhana is 50% about driving skill, and 50% about proper mental preparation. But, it was a massively enjoyable day with friends and family, and I am looking forward to the next round at the Neelsie, where I hope to build on a promising start to my “new” gymkhana career…, as a good friend of mine said: “Die wortel hang nou…”

Herman Mathee and Jan van der Vyver in Class F Datsun Bakkie

Herman Mathee’s View:

Jan van der Vyver klou vir doodThis picture is a good example what was waiting on us in the bakkie. The times posted by the other drivers in the class was very good and we had to drive balls to the wall to be competitive. All in all it was a good day for the bakkie, on the first run of the day I noticed a huge issue with front wheel tyre pressure and was sure to correct it before the next run. Besides finding it difficult to drive the correct tight line around the obstacles and keeping wheel spin under control we did good, our last run saw us posting our best time. I cannot wait for my new machine to be finished, concentrating on riding the correct lines and not worry about inner wheels spinning wil be such a joy.

Herman Mathee and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 Deluxe

Herman Mathee’s View:

51F Herman and Mike Mathee 6th“A picture is worth a thousand words sums up this car perfectly. Since my start in Gymkhana next to Ruan Reynders in his Ford Escort MKII I have not had so much fun in a vehicle than with this one called the “JellyBean”. This vehicles was designed for grandmother to drive to the Post Office to collect stamps, I’m pretty sure Datsun in the design stages never thought some nut cases would even consider the fact to do some advanced parking lot driving with it. Understeer was easy, that did not take a lot of effort, oversteering was simplified by me on the brakes and Mike on the handbrake lever, You may ask why I could not do both, well easy, this trick bit of Gymkhana machine has so much body roll, one hand is needed on the steering the other to hold on, hence the combined effort to facilitate oversteer. I can go on for days about this machine, hell forget about your STI, GTI and OPC, this is what fun in

a vehicle is all about, pushing the limits in something that was intended for transporting stamps.

Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox

Mike Mathee’s View:
28D Mike Mathee and Pietie ErasmusUpdate coming soon

Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class F Datsun 1200 Deluxe

Mike Mathee’s View:
Update coming soon38F Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus

Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox

Pietie Erasmus’s View:
10D Pietie Erasmus and Mike MatheeUpdate coming soon

Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 Deluxe

Pietie Erasmus’s View:
52F Pietie Erasmus and Mike MatheeUpdate coming soon

Thanks a lot for all the support from the friends and family that made this event so special.

Björn I hope this is the rebirth of a long relation with the sport. We wish you all of the best for the next events.

Sea Sickness @ 1st Cape Gate Gymkhana

39D Pietie Erasmus and Mike MatheeI was asked after the event what my feelings is regarding the venue, the only word that came out of my mouth was “Amazing”. By far the only venue that came close to the ever popular Mykonos Gymkhana, at the end of the if we never get the opportunity to use Mykonos Casino again for a gymkhana, I hope Gape Gate will still be with us. The most spectacular part of this venue was the ability for the organizers to setup a fast and flowing route, which enabled a lot of the competitors to once again open the taps and test the brakes.

We also want to welcome Mike Mathee (my Brother) and very good friend Pietie Erasmus to the sport of gymkhana. This event was their first, sharing Mike's 1300 VW Fox, normally his run about  and my parts transport if the bakkie is on the jack, they drove and navigated this stock standard vehicle in a way that the best of seamen would have been sea sick after the three rounds. The above picture would explain the statement 100%, the amount of body roll on such a standard vehicle is enormous.

Herman Mathee and Jan van der Vyver in Class F Datsun Bakkie

Herman Mathee's View:

23F Herman Mathee and Jan van der VyverWhat can I say more than just, what a pleasant day, driving conditions, organizing and overall speed of this track, great stuff. Never before have we had the little bakkie so sideways exiting one of the high speed corners. This was the first event since I started with this event that I did not monitor times of myself or other competitors in my class, only after the event that I looked at the official times I rea

lized that I have won the class, but my biggest shock was by how far. Almost 6sec between me and the 2nd class placement on 2 best combined times for the day. Not only a great venue, but also a venue that suites my driving style.

Also one of two events where I thought here are we on our way to hit a wall or something with me navigating for Jan in the Golf. On our last run of the day in the Golf, Jan exited the 360 just before the end, and I'm pretty

sure my eyes were so far out it was actually sitting on the fender looking at how close it was.

Jan van der Vyver and Herman Mathee in Class D Golf 1.4i

Jan van der Vyver's view:
53H Jan van der VyverUpdate coming soon

Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class

D VW Fox

Mike Mathee's View:
41D Mike Mathee and Pietie ErasmusUpdate coming soon

Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox

Pietie Erasmus's View:
39D Pietie Erasmus and Mike MatheeUpdate coming soon

More photos of the day: 1st Cape Gate Gymkhana

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