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The E-BLOWER Vol 4.
Managing editor: IM Nobody
Art director: J Colin Brown
CAR-toon director: Rufus P
Chief investigative reporter: PK Nelson
International director: CM Selzer
Let the good times roll.
Yes, time is the operative word in this instance. But it’s not a time bomb or crunch time. It’s something that has happened time and time again. And now it’s that time again – election time!
As you are aware, nominations for our new chairman closed on May 20, by which time Ian Long and Brian Hoskins had indicated they were prepared to stand.
Members are urged to give the matter their serious consideration before the AGM on June 20. Regardless of his other attributes, the person you elect will occupy an honorary (unpaid), position that is going to require a whole heap of time and dedication. He will have to lead the club for at least the next year. There is important work to be done and we need the best man for the job.
For that reason we have compiled a short identikit of both candidates, for those who may not be familiar with them.
So may we introduce:
The man from north of the Hex River.
Ian Long hails from Mine Dump Country, where he used to compete at venues like Kyalami, Zwartkops, Lichtenberg and Midvaal.
A long time motorsport supporter he was awarded his Western Province colours after his migration to the Cape.
In his application for the post of chairman Ian says he has been an avid motorsport competitor for many years. He has also been actively involved in the running of circuit activities and believes his sound knowledge of motorsport and motor business will offer a huge input and help achieve the goals and objectives that will work in the best interests of club members.
He says he has been actively involved in various facets of motorsport since his arrival at Killarney. He served as vice chairman of the club and subsequently as a member of the Exco / Sportcom committees.
He believes our biggest challenge will be getting the council agreement for the next step of growing our facility to endure the future prospects of the ever demanding motorsport family.
In daily business he manages a motor dealership and has extensive knowledge of growing the brand and company he represents by being profitable and sustainable. Dealing with all staff and motor queries, as well as the ever demanding clients is a daily challenge, as is the ever threatening consumer act.
He ends by saying he believes he can be a valuable benefit to the future of the club and its members.
And then there’s:
Sadly, the law west of the Pecos…
did not have a Brian Hoskins to administer it.
As every historian knows, the infamous Judge Roy Bean was feared by all the cowboys (and crooks), in the Wild West during the late 1800’s. But despite a chilling reputation that led to him becoming known as the Hanging Judge, he was actually a saloonkeeper who upheld (as he always described it), “the law west of the Pecos,” in his own outrageous fashion.
The cowboys here at Killarney receive much fairer treatment. In addition to the MSA court they are fortunately also able to rely on Brian Hoskins for legal jurisprudence. Although officially the club’s chief Clerk of the Course (CoC), we doubt whether there is anyone in the MSA’s sphere of influence who knows more about motorsport’s many rules and legalities than Brian does – or is more willing to council those in need.
A founder member of the WPMC, Brian’s competitive career began on two wheels. He then soon graduated from rookie status, to become a member of the Honda racing team and eventually the winner of the Castrol Endurance title in 1969.
Turning to the essential administrative and control side of the sport, he began as the motocross CoC, followed by three years as a main circuit scrutineer. He was chairman of the motorcycle section in 1975 before becoming a member of the MSA regional committee a year later. This preceded his appointment as chairman of that body, which included a position on the national board.
The assistant CoC job on the main circuit in 1979 led to the senior post in 1980. From 1985 he also began a 15 year stint as vice chairman of the club.
When Group N racing was launched in 1985, it signaled the start of 10 years of CoC duty at the coastal circuits.
Despite all this, Brian still managed to find time to participate as a rally navigator over the years, a skill that rewarded him with the WP Navigators title in 2008. He also received the club’s highest honour, the Edgar Hoal Memorial Trophy in 1988 and was made a life member in 2011.
He believes he has the background, as well as the local knowledge and skill to handle the position of club chairman.
The Pro-Tour was a day to remember.
While the new E-Blower is essentially a folksy, lifestyle club magazine devoid of salacious observations or specific race reports, we feel some of the off-beat action at the recent Pro-Tour meeting warrants comment.
Topping the bill was the hugely spectacular start line accident slap in front of the control tower that was photographically reported by the E-Blower’s Art Director in all its gory detail in the Cape Argus and the Table Talk. And although there were several other encounters of the metallic kind, including a get-together on the back straight that had one of the drivers ready to blow his (crash) hat, the one that drew easily the most blood (and a broken nose), was a physical, bare knuckle disagreement that had nothing whatsoever to do with the racing.
Then a visiting lady competitor destroyed one of the uprights supporting the roof on the open pit block (it almost came down on her), when she reversed her Goldwagen into it. And finally, there was this guy (eventually) on his way home, who did the same to his Audi against the concrete wall in the subway.
Like that old Johnny Ray belter: “Ooh, what a day it was – it really was.”
Sorry, it’s not all good news.
No jokes this time. Founder member Peter Gough has been released from hospital and is recuperating at home after suffering a stroke earlier this month that has unfortunately affected his eyesight.
This is yet another setback for a driver who has possibly had to endure more pain and distress than anyone else in the history of South African motorsport. Peter was at the peak of a potentially brilliant racing career when he sustained 65 per cent third degree burns after he was trapped inside his Mazda that became an incendiary device during an endurance race in Bulawayo in 1971. The injuries were so severe that SAA refused to accept him as a passenger and it was left to his friend Robin Thompson to fly him home in his private plane.
The years of suffering and surgery that followed included close to 100 operations and skin grafts, as well as the rebuilding of a hand that had lost almost all movement and been reduced to little more than a claw.
Recovering slowly he gradually kickstarted a business and sporting career that had included motorsport, flying and cycling. And all went well until disaster struck again when he crashed his pedal racer on a fast downhill section near Melkbos, while training for his 13th Argus cycle race. After being rescued by a passing motorist he woke up in hospital (again), this time with severe facial and head injuries that included a fractured eye socket and cheekbone as well as possible minor brain damage.
At present, while it seems as though the former double South African champion’s long and distinguished track career has finally come to an end, we are certain he will not be lost to the sport.
Incredibly, Peter was his usual cheerful self when we spoke to him. Told us he was still having his daily walk on the nearby golf course. Only he makes sure to always take his dog with, mainly because it’s a Golden Retriever that knows the way home.
Now let’s talk crap.
Searching for ways to improve our show, the nuuskierige PK Nelson has been wandering around during recent meetings -- away from authority and closer to the okes who help keep us in business.
And because he always remembers an important cricket test match he attended many years ago at the old Newlands ground, where he saw ladies queuing up outside their pathetic little toilet block, some with legs crossed and in obvious distress, he zeroed in on the toilets in Killarney’s faraway spectator areas. And he was pleasantly surprised, found they were clean, with no shortage of paper and generally in a much better condition than he had expected.
Not like the old days when the first calls we received on Monday after a race meeting were always complaints about the toilets.
Kaapenaars earn their place on the world stage
The Cape’s Andrea Bate and Ashley Haigh Smith were the two South Africans selected to join a distinguished group from around the world, who were competing for a place in the FIA’s Young Drivers Excellence Academy in Austria, towards the end of last year.
Having made the grade and completed her course, Andrea is back in action on home turf. However the highly rated, 19 year old Ashley is not finished yet. He is contesting the Academy category in the WRC world rally championship and was in ninth place in his Fiesta R2 in the recent Acropolis Rally in Greece when he was forced to retire with driveshaft problems.
Then there’s the sensational Calvin Vlaanderen. This 16 year old Table View motocrosser whose earlier national titles include the 50cc, 85cc SW, and Pro Mini classes, followed up by winning the South African High School Championship in 2011.
Moving overseas where he is currently campaigning against the mature heavy metal in the northern hemisphere, he continues to impress. So much so that his recent third place finish in the Italian leg of the prestige European 125cc championship has elevated him to fourth overall in that title chase.
A very worthy plea.
Its congratulations to Dave “Mc Flash” Mc Fadden who has secured a factory FIM Superstock 1000 “wild card” ride at Misano in Italy on June 10.
Hard work by local supporters combined with an opportunity at Team Pedercini, is enabling David to test a week prior to the race and to participate on the official factory entry in the Superstock event there.
The team was also anxious to sign him for the balance of 2012 but unfortunately budgetary constraints and his SA Superbike commitments prohibited this. The idea now is to showcase Dave’s talent to Kawasaki Europe and Team Pedercini among others, to use as a launch platform for the 2013 season.
Acc. details: McFadden 69, FNB, Table View. Acc No: 62215280900. Branch code: 203809. Business cheque account.
From “Streepie” to Winnie.
Isn’t it amazing how dedicated racing enthusiasts sometimes stray when they leave the track. The Cape Town born Pieterse brothers Andre and Ernest for example, initially achieved fame with “Streepie,” their legendary Alfa Guilietta that was the fastest saloon of its kind in South Africa in the late 50’s. Ernest eventually graduated to F1 single seaters and went on to win the SA national drivers championship.
Andre was different. He joined the movie world where his business and artistic acumen led to him eventually becoming a senior vice-president at MGM in Hollywood. He returned years later to buy the Fancourt manor in George that he developed into the five star Fancourt Hotel and Golf Estate (there we go with another motor racing and golf tie-up).
He then launched his own movie business in South Africa where he produced the famous e’lollipop and several other classics. These included A Million Colours, that is still on circuit. His latest is “Winnie,” the big budget life story of Winnie Madikizela Mandela that has yet to be released.
Unfortunately the lady concerned is extremely unhappy – says the movie’s finished and she wasn’t consulted about its production.
E-Blower could have warned her. We have vivid recollections of Andre doing it his way and how difficult he was to pass once he got Streepie’s nose in front.
The son also rises.*
Then there are also the sons of the fathers -- and even grandfathers – who reach the top in different fields of endeavor.
Take the Turner’s for instance. Roddy Snr was a technical expert and works driver for Austin and BMC during the fabulous 50’s. His son, Roddy Jnr fared even better and became a national kart champion before distinguishing himself on the Killarney main circuit.
Now we have Matt, a third generation Turner who plays Seven’s rugby for England. He scored two tries against South Africa recently and has twice been voted England’s Player of the Year
Here’s another one. Back in Roddy Snr’s time, when many of the other leading drivers competed in home built single seaters, Dr Les Vickerman was one of the best. A local veterinary surgeon, he used to be a regular at Killarney in his side valve Studebaker Special. However his son Dan preferred to spend his time on the rugby field and was seldom seen at the track.
The family eventually emigrated to Australia where Dan grew into a giant lock forward, so good that he was eventually selected to represent his new country.
While it may not be our preferred sport, the E-Blower would still like to congratulate both families.
*with apologies to Ernest Hemingway – except he spelt it “sun.”
The club has received a thank you message from Lizelle van Rensburg on behalf of the GTi Challenge guys. This was for the support they received for their project on behalf of the Helping Hand, at the May 5 race meeting. We are assured that the bakkie load of clothing and food that was donated is going to make a huge difference to the lives of the less fortunate folk who benefitted from it.
A Honda bonanza.
Lance Jonas tells us that the club is in line for 18 Honda 100’s from Honda SA that will be used to help kids aged from seven to 13 to make a start in our sport. That’s great news and we look forward to hearing more.