This could be described as the one event to date since I started competing in the Witzenberg Gymkhana series as the one to forget. If it wasn't for the fact that at the time I was building “Datto” 30km from the venue, I would've even made it to the starting line with “Lil Datto”, but more of that later. Arriving at the venue, the top 3 in class F (Anton, Kobus and Myself) knew very good that this would be the event that decides the championship standing for the year, being the last event of the year to score championship points did not make it any easier. Between the 3 off us, only 2 points separated us, Anton on 47, Me and Kobus tied on 45, today we were going to enjoy some serious racing.
While getting “Lil Datto” ready for the day’s action, I noticed that the rear left shock was missing a top spring retainer, that was it for the day. In a moment of clarity I remembered about big brother “Datto” and immediately phoned my father that was on his way to borrow a few needed parts from “Datto”, just maybe I could make the parts work and enjoy the rest of the day trouble free, damn was I in for a surprise. Once my father arrived it didn't take long to make a plan and I make the parts work, just as I thought things are looking up, the next disaster struck, this was not my day. I was looking so forward to it, as Mike and I decided to challenge each other in the different class cars, this being a decision we forced ourselves in late at night in Vredendal, seeing that the rest of the team was all dead tired after the Vredendal event, they went to bed earlier, forcing as to enjoy the remainder of the ice. As I was
tightening the one wheel nut, I felt the inevitable, the stud lifted thread, I must say, I properly sat next to the wheel for what seemed like an eternity, this was end, I was not even going to get a change to challenge for the class championship. Soon my father and brother heard the news and we quickly found a solution, strip the parts and remove, this would enable us to install a replacement, well, at the time it was the best idea, we quickly realised that we weren't going to get it out. I had to learn the track and thought walk it once or twice to at least have a sense of direction when going around it in the Fox. Once I returned my father made a quick die with a spare wheel nut. Damn I was impressed, he must have been filling the bloody thing for 30min. We managed to get a nut on the stud. This enabled me to enter, what a relief, but in the back of my mind I was already broken with all the setbacks.
Herman Mathee and Selina Botes in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 3rd in Class D and 21st Overall
Being a person that tries to avoid FWD vehicles as much as possible, driving the Fox for the first time around a gymkhana track only seemed like fun to end the season. As I went thru the first set of right handers I thought to myself, damn these FWD boys have it easy with this power steering and clever suspension setups, I was able to but the car on the desired line corner after corner, it felt as Selina and I was driving on a national road, until we entered a left hander and all off a sudden the bloody car’s rear started bouncing, it felt as if the car wanted to puke a few rear suspension parts out, being a fun entry and I did not know what to do, I did the normal RWD thing and just gave pedal and it seemed to work. We ended the round with not even a droplet off sweat forming, after the first rounds we were in first place in the class. Something we did not expect as I have never competed in a FWD car. On the next round Jan and Pietie started eating me for breakfast as I was just out having fun and tried to
drive the Fox like a RWD, it sure as hell is not the way to go about doing things, I must admit, it was fun to pilot the FWD machine, but I will never make a permanent swop. Personally it is too ease and not that involved like a RWD vehicle, it is just so much more fun in a RWD vehicle, we aren't getting paid to drive, we need to have fun and that is what the RWD provides. Selina and I managed to end the day 3rd in Class D.
Herman Mathee and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 3rd in Class D and 23rd Overall
This is actually quite a blur in my mind, seems that for the above reasons I want to forget about the activities in “Lil Datto”. We managed to complete the day without any more drama and luckily the wheels stuck to the car. We did have a huge communication issue on the 3rd and final round for the season, we exited a set of corners and Mike forgot to give the next call, I corrected the mistake and a a few corners the same happened and I decided to stop the round as I was just messing up. We ended 3rd in the class.
Selina Botes and Herman Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 6th in Class D and 43rd Overall
Selina came a long way this year, considering this whole Gymkhana thing is new to her. Luckily for me as her navigator she does not try to do the impossible, but rather taking the learning curve event by event.
Jan and Melissa vd Vyver in Class D VW Golf 1.4i – 1st in Class D and 16th Overall
Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 2nd in Class D and 18th Overall
Mike Mathee and Pietie Erasmus in Class D VW Fox 1.4i – 4th in Class D and 22nd Overall
Mike Mathee and Herman Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 6th in Class F and 33rd Overall
Ruan Reynders and Herman Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 7th in Class F and 35th Overall
Pietie Erasmus and Mike Mathee in Class F Datsun 1200 – 9th in Class F and 41st Overall
Ruan Reynders and Herman Mathee in Class G Ford Focus ST – 6th in Class G and 54th Overall
More Photos 4th Mountain Mill Mall Worcester Gymkhana