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12.10.2016

I can remember from a very young age dreaming of putting on a race overall, my helmet, gloves, shoes and hopping into a race car.

As I grew older though, the notion of being a racing driver was always there but as with everything in life, the older you get the more you learn and subsequently, I realised that my dream was simply too expensive.

Up until very recently, I thought this childhood fantasy of being a racing driver would remain just that, a dream still dreamt by an office-bound motoring writer. That was until I received one of the best phone calls of my relatively short life.

I was informed that Volkswagen, the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists, Cell C and Kyalami had put together an initiative where eight motoring scribes would battle it out at the new Kyalami circuit during the inaugural Kyalami Motorsport Festival.

The exciting part is that I am one of the lucky eight who will take to the circuit in a newly built Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TSI DSG race car. It therefore means that my dream of sliding through a roll cage in my overalls and piloting a proper race machine will finally come true.

The festival takes place from the 21st to the 23rd of October and will be quite different to all of the race meetings on the calendar. The first factor setting this event apart is the fact that there are over 400 confirmed entries for the event, a record for the hallowed ground.

The weekend will see motorsport of all grades, from the newbie’s such as me, all the way through to the experienced national racing competitors. Expect drivers representing national, regional and club level of competition on both four and two wheels to be present.

The programme starts on Friday and runs through until Saturday with on-track action taking place constantly. The main racing spectacle will take place on Sunday with the majority of competitors in action.

At lunch time on Sunday, spectators will be allowed in to the pit lane where they can meet the various drivers, heck you could even come and meet me if you’re in to that sort of thing.

The race meeting culminates on Sunday with the new Sasol Global Touring Cars making their long awaited debut at Kyalami. Eight new GTC cars (two Audis, two Volkswagens and four BMWs) will battle for race victory in an 18 car field.

I think the sheer effort that all of the sponsors and those involved with the festival have put in to the event shows that Motorsport in South Africa is most certainly alive and well.

There is some fantastic racing to be experienced within the local context. The SA scene is producing world class talent and I feel that events like this upcoming Motorsport Festival, is what the sport needs to draw in the crowds of yesteryear.

I just can’t believe that I will be part of a race programme, let alone a massive 28 race programme at a circuit as famous as Kyalami. All that I can say is that dreams do come true if you’re patient and work hard. Now wish me luck, I’d really like to have a clean race and not bin it.

Article written by Sean Nurse
12.10.2016
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