It has been a long while since the BMW Car Club Gauteng went to Tarlton, and even more so to do the legendary SA’s Fastest Street Car Gymkhana route. Traditionally it was BMW CCG versus The Cobra Club, but this year we decided to invite all makes and models to come and challenge one another and see if there was still some interest in this event.
We had fifty eager contenders lined up early on Sunday morning with some seriously impressive looking and sounding machinery to test their skill on the traditional and tight gymkhana route which also allowed us to stretch our cars legs down the ¼ mile strip and show some horsepower off at the same time.
As always with BMW CCG safety is the main priority and each car was scrutinised by an MSA official and an assistant along with the drivers all wearing the correct gear and helmets. Driver’s briefing was held and all participants were given a rundown on how the day would proceed.
No one hit wonders here today; the average time of your three official runs would count towards places in the six established classes for the day. So only concentration and smooth driving for the entire time would see you go home with a Speed and Sound Magazine trophy.
We got underway with Paul Munro breaking the ice and showing us all how it is done in his grumpy sounding Porsche 911 GT3 and posting a very competitive time of 41.599 seconds. Thouca Mechanicos had a touch of bad luck when he clipped the barrier on the second run of the day in his Ferrari F430 which left us all feeling a little nervous and with a new respect for turn two in the gymkhana.
From there on out the day ran smoothly with only one or two small hiccups with the timing equipment but that was soon sorted out by the officials from Tarlton and racing could get underway again.
As said there were a number of special cars to see. One of them being Anton Cronje in his super fast Subaru WRX STI Track Car that took top honours in the Subaru Class with an unbeatable average time of 37.140 seconds. And yes we decided that a Subaru Class was warranted as we invited them at the last minute and as you can see from the results they pitched up in numbers.
Second to fourth placed men all ran times under 40 seconds in this class and it was cool to see them rip and snort around the circuit at seriously impressive times for full road going cars. And we will certainly have them back when we tackle Tarlton again sometime in 2014.
What was also awesome to see was Cronje again rip the track up in his Lamborghini Gallardo LP560 and win the Naturally Aspirated Non BMW Class in his green machine, piping Mark Jones to the post in a Audi R8 V10 Plus by 0.633 seconds on average.
The drive of the day though went to Willie de Beer who did extremely well to place third in this class with a Porsche Cayman S in a time of 40.612 seconds. This achieved in a car with substantially less power than most cars on the day!!!
Andrew Strike was first in the Forced Induction Non BMW Class in his monster Porsche 997 GT2 with a time of 40.027 seconds, leading home a trio of Nissan Skyline GT-Rs in the hands of Marius Knoesen, Ricky Giannoccaro and Leon Loubser.
Gymkhana specialist, Andre Hartman led the pack of BMW M cars winning this class in his BMW Z4 M Coupe in a time of 43.887 seconds. Second was Morne Maritz in an E92 M3 at 44.313 and third was Copley Sutton in his E46 M3 Coupe in 44.651, proving that consistency was the key on the day.
Old gymkhana and club faithfulls, Marco and Shantell van der Schyff were on top form as always, placing first and third respectively in the BMW 3.0 litre and Below Class their E36 328i E36 with times of 44.269 and 46.819 secinds respectively. Michal Kowalik was sandwiched between the siblings in his E36 328i with a time of 45.999 seconds.
The BMW Turbo Class was won by Mike Salt in a BMW M135i at a time of 43.214, which was also the quickest BMW of the day, followed closely by Morne Jonker in his BMW 1 Series M Coupe coming in at 43.525 seconds. The boost brothers, Farhaad and Feroz Ebrahim, in their turbocharged E36 328i and M3 came in third and fourth in a tyre smoking time of 43.649 and 43.774 seconds.
At the end of the day, fun was had by all and we look forward to running this event next year!