Phakisa – Long distance race – camping weekend – and comrade

The Free State fun is all I can say about Phakisa this past weekend… [singlepic id=4139 w=320 h=240 float=center]
With this being the first time that the Extreme Festival has visited the Welkom circuit, it meant a lot of work for me, with regards to organising as well as racing and of course I still have to enjoy myself too. So Thursday we arrived at the track and set up our space – both pit and the stay over space (the back of the Vito) that is at the back of the pit, so that we are nice and close to the car…
And then some work for the event and ensuring all is in place.. a bite to eat at Mustangs in town a few beers and an early night. Friday was an early start work wise and the first practice was for us and G was going to go get his bum in the seat and set the pace for the weekend (this is what he does each time we share the drive at Phakisa and I have to catch the time).
So here I am up in the office/control tower/time keeping room carrying on with the tasks I have and G goes out and then a looong delay and he comes in eventually once we had both calmed down work wise we had a chat on the phone and he says the reason for his 11min 43 second lap (which I’m now confident I can beat) is that the guys who ensured the bolts and nuts were all tight after Midvaal had not been done and in fact one of the engine mounts had come lose and this causing him not to get gears and there was a huge amount of black liquid stuff coming out of a pipe which they had failed to tighten.
ADL Roofing
aka signage
ASAP New and Used Spares
AZOIC Panelbeaters
The Harness Company
Wealth Avenue
[singlepic id=4222 w=320 h=240 float=center] So he got it all fixed and missed the 2nd practice session, I managed to get in the car for the 3rd session but came in after 4 laps to say that I felt the mounting was still not tight as I was battling to get gears (this happens when the gearbox can move and things aren’t lined up 100%) – I was right, as usual ;-) and he changed the bolts and nuts and ensured they would stay tight and in place, so come the 4th session and I went out again, and the car felt great and I felt that I was setting good times and felt confident.. then into the final corner, I spun and had no drive… the right cv had broken…so when the session ended I got towed in and G had the spares cv’s there on the side shafts as supplied by Drivelines (but unfortunately this time they were the wrong size), so the car got jacked up put onto tressil’s and G would take the parts in and all fitted to the correct sizes in the morning when everything in town opened.
There was also a niggling issue with the oil breather, and that got given a fair amount of attention Friday evening… A nice quiet well behaved Friday evening at the track, with no fun scooter races or anything we actually had a nice braai with the other boys and girls and had another early night.
[singlepic id=4285 w=240 h=320 float=center] Saturday morning and a super early start, I was back up in the office by 6h15am and G was faffing on the car and by 8am when the shops opened he was there to have the cv fixed and fitted….back to the track, he went out at 10am for the practice and kept faffing with the niggling oil issue, but seemed to have everything under control as he does…
13h00 qualifying time and for a change we decided that I would go qualify (this is a first) I set a fair time, and put the car 15th overall on the grid and 5th in class…. Race time came around and I was going to start and G do the 2nd stint, this was a 200km race so essentially 1 hour and 35 minutes, so the plan … to bring me in at approx. 35 – 40 minutes, do the manual pit stop (yes manual, no power tools for the tyre change)
[singlepic id=4428 w=320 h=240 float=center] A rolling start and we were all well bunched up and I maintained my position into turn 1 (this is an endurance race you know, it’s not won in the first corner), I was behind the Lubbe twins and showing my nose, but not getting the gap, into turn 2 a few laps later and finally on the inside of them ready for the move and JP in the Run X spun, I then had a sympathy spin for him… and we both re-joined behind all the class A SuperHatch cars and behind a few B’s and C’s too, now I was on a mission and I got past JP 2 and a half laps later and started picking off some of the class B and C cars that had passed me, I was in the groove and on a mission, then I did it again! This time all on my own, same corner! I spun!!!! Argh… and I thought I had broken something of course as I wouldn’t just fall off on my own (yeah right)…. So I came into the pits asked G to check as I thought maybe I was leaving an oil trail.. there was nothing and he told me to go and drive, so I did, back out on track and mainting the gap with the other class A guys, Brett in Hiltons car and Mark in Geoff’s car (although a lap down) I was holding the gap and knew my pace was similar to theirs (this is good we are back at Phakisa in 3 weeks again for sprint races).
And there it was my signal to come in for the pit stop and time for G to take over and play catch up for us and get us back on the same lap (no pressure he’s done this plenty of times before). So the fuel got put in by Johan, the wheel got changed by Ducky and Appi, I washed the windscreen and got G strapped in…
And off he went, a man on a mission, doing the times and then Hilton went out after their pit stop and G was on the same piece of track as him and there is a very good reason that they say you need those things… that anatomy in racing…;-) as the grey matter gets outweighed by it… and so it did…. G was chasing hard, and even gave Hilton a nudge and a few lessons of not to look in your mirror and he had a moment and thankfully caught it and G got past, he was pushing the little black number to the limit and a little beyond…. The battle didn’t let up… BUT the little black number did and cried NO MORE – on the main straight right in front of us! KABOOOOOOOM – one conrod through one Opel engine block!
And one DNF for us…. But one hell of a battle, awesome racing and whole lot of fun…
AND the traditional G being almost 2 seconds a lap quicker than me at the Phakisa circuit… gone with the motor… he was only 0.187 quicker than me.
Either he is getting old, and not getting his bum in a racing seat often enough – or I am finally getting my act together in class A.. Either way YAY for me.

So the results then looked like this:

Phakisa 200 – DNF

Event as a whole – full marks

Party Saturday with our SuperHatch buddies and others…. 102%

And then the trip home having to fix and replace the wheel bearing on the trailer of G’s customers car – well just another 4 hours to the trip BUT a massive thanks to Gerhard and Linda Henning for not only stopping but making sure it was fixed and got us back on the road again, THANKS Henning’s, it’s so great to know that in racing no matter what there is help just around the corner.
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  • A huge thanks to Andre (ADL Roofing) and Jose & Celeste (JSRacing) for each giving us 2 new tyres for this event (now I have tyres for the next event too)
  • George (Wealth Avenue) for always (and I mean ALWAYS) ensuring I can get on track thanks to his financial support.
  • A.S.A.P. (Willem and Herman) for the assistance on parts (we really need it now after this weekend)
  • Johan Lubbe (Harness co) for the wiring harness (and Jagi)
  • Jason, Cindy and Brian (Drivelines) for the side shafts and cv’s
  • Nandi (Castrol) for the entire list of amazing products of which we use LOADS (hand cleaner, engine cleaner and oil mainly this weekend)
And G for the great car and all our friends who trekked to the Free State for a fun weekend, Johan, Johan and Dorette, Appi, and the other drivers and crew and friends within SuperHatch and other categories who joined us.


Spurr Racing