Here at the Cafe of VAG, we love to support the Volkswagen Club of SA when they have events. They’re always put together just right, but when it comes to the racing events we always wondered why the field of cars is usually made up of non-club members as well as non-VAG cars, especially with so many hot and fast cars in the club – we know they’re there because we helped to make many of them fast. Well we’re happy to repot that we now know how to pack a VWCSA race-based event with VAG cars and fans. It’s simple really, all you need is a worldwide pandemic and a lockdown for a few months and then everyone and their dog (literally) will pull through to get out of the house, to see different faces other than family, and to have FUN. Yup, VAG Cafe is able to report that this event was just brilliant and the VAG stuff on track included a fair amount of new cars and faces.
Vereeniging Kart Track, A.K.A VKC, is a brilliant venue for club events. As the name suggests, it’s a track for go-karts, but it’s wide enough for cars to play on and technical enough that at least some level of skill is needed. The usual goal for a lap time is a minute dead, and if you’re able to come in under a minute, then you’re properly fast. Another bonus with VKC is that it has a smooth surface so it’s not too hard on road tyres, and the power you have on tap is really only for bragging rights – having 400kW doesn’t guarantee you a fast time, and having 80kW doesn’t mean you’ll post a slow lap either. Added to that the facilities are awesome and the food from the restaurant there can easily rival the best burger joints, no word of lie.
As said, there were new cars and faces in among the track day regulars of Wikus in the DRD Caddy, the Joseph family in their VAG and JDM fleet, the fast Van Der Schyff siblings in their BMW 135 and a few others. There’s also VKC event-only regulars from the club, guys who only seem to pop up when the club sets up this event, like Ashley Shamrock in his shark-toothed Mk2 Jetta and Tony “Porra” Garces in his monster 6R, who makes a 600km round trip to attend. Looking at the results, many of these regulars have improved on their times with most posting new personal best times. No less than fourteen of the forty two entries posted sub-1 minute times with three ending on a minute dead. That’s forty percent of the field kicking some ass!
Even though the track is mostly a 2nd or 3rd gear experience, you can get enough speed up to write things off if you mess up enough, and luckily while we were there, there weren’t any incidents to speak of. Well we did see Tony and Seb (who now pilots a BMW – traitor!) do a Honda imitation to cut some grass, luckily without and damage. Jude’s Evo did the same and suffered a wee bit of damage to the front bumper, but in true racer fashion it was simply removed and he carried on with his day. At the Vilaca Racing event at the track a few weeks back, a new lap record for a car was set by Derek Joseph in his Porsche Turbo S, and he again set the bar with a monstrous 55.433-second lap. It’s a VAG car, so we like that record. The fastest true Volkswagen on the day, and 4th overall, was Caddy #96 at the hands of Wikus Dippenaar with a mad fast time of 57.120-seconds. This is a normally aspirated setup too in one of the most amazing builds you’ll ever lay eyes on.
It was a brilliant day out for pretty much everyone, a salute to the VWCSA Comm for a well-organised and smoothly run event. This really is one of the best events to attend, it’s great for first-timers and those who race every weekend, we suggest you keep your eyes out for when cars are allowed on VKC and pay up and attend, it really is the most fun you can have in your car with your clothes on. You can catch the full album of pics over on the VAG Cafe Facebook page, but you knew that already. Scroll down for the full results – VAG Cafe, signing out.
One last thing on a personal note. I was asked to take a helmet along to be able to go for a drive with Wikus in Caddy #96, which was awesome for me because it’s my favourite VW racecar, and many people are aware of this. The thing is, Wikus and the VWCSA guys actually arranged it together as a surprise for me. After lunch and before the racing resumed, I had a private few laps on track, and if that wasn’t cool enough, I wasn’t passenger, I actually got to drive Caddy #96! The guys arranged this surprise for me to say thanks for all the events I’ve covered over the years and the little ways I’ve tried helping and promoting the aftermarket industry. So I can guarantee you that out of everyone at the track at this event, on this day, no one had a better time than I did, hands down.
I want to send a huge thanks to Wikus for trusting me with his racecar, and to the VWCSA Comm for their part in it – you guys all rock so damn hard. Actually, now I think you may all suck just a little – now I need a racecar! Oh, and how fast is a photographer around VKC? I posted a 1:00.266, but a good 95% of that is the Caddy. I’ve never felt such a powerful and responsive normally aspirated car – definitely something I’ll remember for a long, long time. Thanks guys, it was appreciated more than you know.
*These pics courtesy my man Dylan Shaw Photography and VWCSA