31-year old Gary Bertholdt, younger brother of Bevan, has a will to win in any form of sport in which he chooses to participate.
He raced enduro motorcycles for some years and then moved on to karting for three years before sharing the cockpit of an off road car with his father Bodo, who started racing in the early 1970’s.
Unlike his brother Bevan, who is more like his father Bodo, Gary is always cool, calm and collected like his mother and played second fiddle to Bevan for many years when it came to competitive sport.
“As boys we raced soap box cars and I always came second to Bevan,” said Gary. “We played league squash and he always beat me but that all changed at the end of my enduro motorcycle career where I started giving him a run for his money.”
“I regard Bevan as the best Special Vehicle driver in the Absa Off Road Championship and he is the one I fear most of all in a race but he needs to get it together and he’ll bring the iBurst BAT to the finish in first place.”
Gary is fastidious about vehicle preparation and values the input he receives from multiple SA Off Road Special Vehicle Champion Franz Czepek Sr.
“I am totally focussed on winning and never even consider the prospect of losing a race,” added Gary. “I can deal with losing to someone else in a straight fight but cannot bear the thought of losing because of mechanical failure.”
“The Toyota 1000 was an example where I had the measure of the competition until a left front lower suspension arm failed, which was something I had great difficulty accepting.”
Gary teamed up with rookie Siegfried Rousseau in 2004 with the pair initially racing the Advansoft Nissan Hardbody in Class D before switching to a BAT in the latter part of the season. They worked very well together in the cockpit and scored their second overall win in this year’s Nissan Sugarbelt 400.
“Siegfried comes from a competitive windsurfing background where good preparation, attention to detail and skill are paramount to success,” said Gary. “He has transferred these valuable traits to off road racing and having him in the cockpit with me is a great confidence booster.”
There is no doubt that every off roader has ambitions to race in the Dakar and none more so than Gary and Siegfried.
“We have two ambitions when it comes to off road racing,” said Gary. “The one is to secure a factory drive in a top class Production Vehicle and the other is to compete in Dakar within the next three years.”
“For decades Dakar has been the domain of foreign teams until the locally built Nissans took them on and beat the best of them. We have the technical expertise and the drivers in South Africa who have the will to win and can succeed internationally.”
The iBurst Team has entered two BAT special vehicles in the Sun City 400, which takes place on July 1 and 2. Gary Bertholdt and Siegfried Rousseau will be in action in the 3,5 litre Nissan powered BAT while Bevan Bertholdt and Nick Selamolela will be in the cockpit of a Chevy LS1 V8 powered BAT Spec-1.
Original article from Car