3 August 2017, Annalie and me head south on an unknown adventure, leaving home at around 16h30. First the slow and tedious traffic to exit “civilization”. The GPS says seven hours to Dezzi Raceway …..
More like nine hours later with few pit stops and one stop due to a blown fuse and the second to apply some fuse blowing preventative measures we arrive rather tired at “a” gate at Dezzi …. and it is closed, bordering that another gate, also closed ….. We never saw the road fork to the track …. A challenging reverse and turning around. We have to find a place to rest and head to the one place we know there should be peaceful parking, the Shelley Beach boat launch and NSRI station around 02h30am.
Fossa Ford Anglia is at the sea. Shortly before the normal work alarm triggers at 04h30 we start waking up. After some communications with my brother we have a brief meet with him and Yolanda, a coffee before heading track side. Fossa is off loaded and everything checked. Another first, we fit a rear view camera. The plan is to to take one practice stint to get a feel for the track, I however do not feel fit after the long travel. Shortly after 12 we head for our accommodation, unload the needed goodies, catch a shower and a bed ….
Raceday, 5 August, 3:30 – 4:00 we are “slept out”. Oh well, peaceful shower and a small breakfast. On our way to Dezzi Raceway, final preps and first engine warm up.
Qualifying starts at 08h15. We complete seven laps and attempt to learn the track. Our final lap proves to be our best at 1:43.945, a few seconds below what I hoped for.
Race one: 11:35, We achieve a best lap on lap five of 1:43.997 out a completed nine laps when Fossa start sound really sick. On some of the corners her engine is at zero bar oil pressure and the bearings have taken a knock. Not much we can do but coast in, at least her body is in one piece and she will still be able to drive onto and off her trailer!
We return the transponder … All that is left, enjoy the rest of the day and rest, right? My brother and the balance of the pit crew dessert us and we go and take a seat on corner two. Barely got seated when something like my phone’s ring tone fills the air, it is my phone. On the other end, Mr John Ten Doeschate.
The short and the sweet, is your car broken, yes, we brought a spare Dart do you want to race it? First answer, no, I do not like the risk endangering .. have a chat with Annalie, she says and I reply to John, see you now. we rise as one and head down,
Race suit back on, go and collect our previous transponder, do car change forms etc. Head back to the Dart. There Chad Ten Doeschate and Ishmael Baloyi run me through the car characteristics. Getting into the Dart I find myself in another world, first “cabriolet” and me with my short legs …. I can’t sit on my …., I have to almost lie down, the tips of my shoulders touching the seat and can then only press the accelerator to the floor if I slip down a little further. I take the Dart uphill and back down. Chad fits our GoPro with a suction cup and a roll of duct tape.
Race two: 15:00, As we pull out of the pits it is clear that this is a different car, AND THAT I WILL HAVE TO CLOSE THE VISOR ON MY HELMET! Or else decide on which bugs to swallow … Lap times not to good, but I seem to learn the car and some of the quali and race one track knowledge start to form. On lap six the lapping by the two liters start. I keep to the side but am tagged with the sound of plastic, glass and what sounded like thin steel plating … we end on the side of the track, luckily with the engine idling. Back out, seriously concerned as I have no idea on the damage to the Dart head for the pits. Apparently the damage is not too bad and I am told go, go, go.
Well I GO, and we get a best lap on our final lap of 1:39.254. As soon as the experience started, it ends. It is truly an amazing little car, would have been a serious break out with some seat time.
The opportunity offered lands us with a first in class. Can only say thank you very much!!!
Annalie and me spend two days on the beach like Vaalies, sun, wind, rain …. taking snap shots of whales before we head back ……
Will probably fit the back up engine coming weekend and strip this engine to access the damage. Next race, Historic Tour, 16 September, Zwartkops Raceway, see you there, cheers!!