Preparation 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
The 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
We 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.
Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.3 – 4th in Class D
More Pictures – 4th Lions Vredendal Gymkhana