Durban Nationals 2014
The circus came to town on a lovely Thursday morning with the DMCC track looking at it’s best after the hard work put in by the locals, in between the time spent putting a black line on the track from the weeks of practice beforehand. The guys got down to some practice and there were a few comments about Durban having grip, an unheard of saying in past years.something had to give and sure enough, along came Friday morning and the fickle weather. It hasn’t rained in Durban for ages, but put a National on and there comes the rain.The problem was that although it didn’t rain that hard, there was no wind or heat to dry the track, and after sitting around until lunchtime, Dave volunteered to give the youth a lesson in drifting. The challenge was taken up and eventually the guys got in some practice, but any grip the track did have was gone and the locals were smiling after spending most of their lives on a track with limited grip. The poor guys that arrived on Friday were going to have to hope for a miracle come Saturday.
Saturday morning, and just after drivers briefing, the last of the rain dropped, racing was going to be a complete lottery and was going to show the men from the boys.
This is when you don’t want to be a 235 driver, the drivers drove around, or tried to, for 5 minutes which must have felt like their Sunday main, with no grip.
The locals showed their pace here with Joseph Schauerte taking the win with 10 laps followed by Peter Plint and his son, Andrew, third.
Joseph didn’t start, so the field was opened up and this time Peter Plint took the win followed by Cathy Lester and Mike Meyers, with Andrew coming in 4th. The gap between 1st and 4th, 8 seconds, a rather tense round 2!
Cathy got mugged by the locals in this round as Joseph was back followed by Peter and Andrew keeping “Pop” honest. Traction was on the up as nearly all drivers improved their times.
Joseph again, this time chased by Mike and Cathy. Top three all putting in their best laps.
Tq to Joseph, followed by Mike, Peter, Cathy and Tony George. Andrew decided to sit out the 235 race to concentrate on his 200.
This is where the ringer locals hang out and poor Warrick Atmore cut a lonely figure stuck in amongst 7 dmcc members. His mood didn’t improve any after his personal transponder didn’t work during the first race.
Grip not too bad for the four wheel drive cars and the guys set about doing laps, Andrew Plint took the heat followed by Joseph Schauerte and myself getting a third, compliments of Warrick’s Transponder failure. Top four doing 11 lappers.
Warrick up and running with a good drive from the back of the grid to pummel the locals, Joseph 2nd, and myself 3rd. Top four,again running 11 laps.
The bun fight continued with Joseph winning, followed by Warrick, Riaz Khan 3rd and the oldest man in rc racing, Derek Noddings finishing 4th. Again top four running 11 laps.
Warrick punches a 12 lapper followed by Joseph and Derek.
How many locals could make the A main for Sunday? A question on a lot of the guys lips.
Only two locals in this race, could they keep the flag flying?
The Liebenberg brothers got into a race of their own and simply blew the opposition away, Jaques and Conrad straight out the gate, doing 12 laps with Pat Lester only managing 10. The B guys smiling.
Same again with Conrad at least keeping Jaques honest, Pat again 3rd, but Harold Van Eeden and Marius Stols putting in 11 lappers, starting to get tight at the top!
Jaques and Conrad still doing 12 laps, Marius 3rd, but running slower then the previous round.
And all to play for, stunningly Dave Wisey who has been peddling rc cars around longer then the Liebs boys have been around, wasn’t in the mix, could he come right in the final heat? Jaques from Conrad again, but the gap closer, Pat back to 3rd, but still not getting to grips with the track. Dave had the car go wrong and didn’t make the A main, must be a first time in over 10 years.
And so, once the dust had settled, 5 locals made it into the A main, but without our team leader, the task was going to be a big one.
Good turn out of these beautiful cars, could the racing be as good?
Wimpie Barnard, part of the Liebenberg circus, took a leaf out of Jaques and Conrad’s book and ran away with the race putting in the first 12 lapper in this class, Tony George was 2nd with a 10 lapper and Lourens Badenhorst, 3rd, also doing 10 laps.
Wimpie again, but this time he had company, as Gert Botha also punched a 12 lapper with Mike Meyers coming in 3rd only to be disqualified for a fuel infringement, Wayne Breytenbach inheriting 3rd.
Still Wimpie, but Gert keeping him honest and Mike, with legal fuel getting his 3rd back.
Wimpie just, Gert almost, 2 seconds splitting them, local lad, Andrew Plint finally getting a run on the board, finishing 3rd.
Some close racing, could these guys jump the B guys?
Some quick guys in this race, let the boxing begin.
Ayrton Vermaak was first out of the blocks and straight into the 13 lap bracket, Faizel Salie 2nd and Dave Wisey 3rd, but both a lap down on Ayrton.
Ayrton again, but Faizel going a lap faster and local, Warren May, 3rd.
Ayrton still, Dave also running a 13 lapper, Faizel, 3rd.
Ayrton pulls out all the stops and does a 14 lapper, Dave 2nd and Warren 3rd.
Ayrton drove well within himself at this venue, he’s improved radically from the little kid with only two speeds, flat out or dead stop, and it’s a pity to see him leaving the sport to go and play tennis next year, we wish him well.
All the talk was on whether Mike Wiseman, who hasn’t raced 1/8ths in 4 years could keep Wayne Joelson honest.
Wayne out to prove he was still the man to beat by punching in a 14 lapper with Darren Green 2nd and Johan Kirsten 3rd, Mikey had car trouble and finished 6th.
Wayne again winning, but Mikey coming through the field to claim 2nd followed by Darren in 3rd.Gap between 1st and 2nd, 7 seconds.
Down to the serious stuff, the old days were back as Mikey chased Wayne all the way, unfortunately though, the two came together down the back straight, spoiling a good race. Wayne again took the win followed by Mikey, only 4 seconds behind this time with ever improving Darren picking up the bronze.
The 3rd heat got the crowd fired up and it was good to see as the 4th heat started, people bringing chairs out to watch this titanic battle for top honours. Again Wayne and Mikey went at it, drawing oohs and aahs from the crowd as Wayne was quick in some places and Mikey was quick in others. The time was up and the two went down to the final hairpin together, now or never Mikey dived for the inside and Wayne was just too slow to cover the gap and Mikey was through and across the line a whopping 0.18 of a second ahead of Wayne. Darren again put in a good run to finish 3rd, being only 7 seconds behind the leaders.
Sunday was going to be a very interesting day in 1/8th and so it turned out to be.
Only 5 cars made the grid, but some really good racing for a while.Joseph Schauerte took off only to be seen at the finish line, his car ran faultlessly for the 30 minute final, maybe because of dad, Dieter’s, cautious approach with the mixture screw. Behind Joseph, the other drivers were trying to stay on the track and out of each others way. Pit stop time and Pat Lester was attempting to get wife, Cathy’s, car on a 6 minute strategy, it all went well until Pat managed to pull the fuel cap right out of the car ending Cathy’s race with only 11 laps done. Local man Peter Plint was 2nd, 4 laps behind Joseph with Mike Meyers 3rd a further 3 laps down.
Now here was a close race, Marius Stols got away from the bunch after Riaz Khan, who volunteered to drop out of the A main, had car trouble, but behind Marius the battle was on between Kyle Munslow, yes son of the legend, Steve, Peter Plint and local boy Byron Oliver. These guys went at it hammer and tong for 30 minutes with Kyle finishing 2nd, Peter 3rd and Byron, running out of fuel on the penultimate lap, finishing 4th.
Could anyone catch the Liebenberg brothers? The answer, no. Jaques cleared off with Conrad riding shotgun and Warrick Atmore taking 3rd. Interestingly, 1st to 7th after 30 minutes was only 6 laps difference, racing is getting tighter in this class again.
Some good racing in 200′s, it’s a pity the numbers are down, maybe the club reps need to spoon feed a few old drivers and rebuild this class.
Nobody wanted to win this race, anybody who led for a couple of laps broke down and it really was a race of attrition. Andrew Plint managed 3 laps and was out, Tony George 27 laps, the guys steadied for a bit and then wham, Lieb Liebenberg crashed out. Joseph Schauerte in his 3rd final of the day inherited the lead and looked a certain winner until the second last lap where he managed to lose drive to the back of the car. Joseph persevered with the car, but having a steady race, Ryan Dalton picked up all the pieces and finished a lap ahead, delighting his pitcrew no end. Wayne Breytenbach finished a distant 3rd.
And another good race.Arnie Vermaak taking a leaf out of son’s book first off the line, but being kept honest by Wimpie Barnard. Warren May very slow out of the blocks losing 8 laps at the start.All went well until lap 57 when Arnie had trouble at a tyre change and Wimpie took the lead. Arnie got going again and the race was on to hunt Wimpie down. Arnie was taking a second a lap out of Wimpie and Wimpie’s pitcrew had some worried faces. Wimpie just couldn’t push as he had opted for no tyre change and ran the last couple of laps on the chassis.Warren May had been on and off the track, but managed to get up to 3rd at the end. A good race though for 1st and 2nd.
What everyone had come to watch, could Mikey end Wayne’s dominance? Off the line and Wayne too hard on the gas into the first corner, drifted wide and Darren got inside him and through to 2nd. Darren was all over Mikey and eventually got past and started to pull away. Mikey found some rhythm and started to close the gap on Darren only to slow on lap 9 with a broken back belt. Darren drove a faultless race to take home top honours with Wayne staying in touch,but almost coming to grief when he and third placed man, Johan Kirsten came together, luckily for both of them, being able to finish.
All in all a good weekend for the 1/8th guys, some of the older guys are going to have to watch their backs with some good youngsters coming through.
That about does it for another year, except to once again thank all the local people that were involved in putting this meeting on, especially the Camperdown electric fraternity for their help painting the track and helping with refereeing etc.
Until next year………!