Racing to success

ROB KNOWLES

FOLLOWING months of hard work and dedication the Spannerworx Coastal Spares racing team from Port Alfred completed its first ever event in Port Elizabeth recently.

Greg Oosthuizen and Chris Nell competed in two sprint races and a three-hour endurance race at the Aldo Scribante race track in their souped-up Volkswagen 2l Polo which the team had been preparing since March.

They completed the eight-lap sprints in good time and, in the endurance race, finished fourth in their class and sixth overall out of the 17 teams that started the race.

TEAMWORK: Greg Oosthuizen (right) owner and driver of Team Spannerworx/Coastal Spares with his father, Brian (centre) and chief mechanic Chris Nell were very pleased with their first circuit race at Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth on November 17 Picture: ROB KNOWLES

“That was a great start, and we had the other experienced drivers say what we managed to accomplish was a phenomenal achievement,” said a proud Oosthuizen.

“The most important task was to get the car safe and reliable,” said Nell, owner of Spannerworx.

“The car was bought in March ‘race ready’ but, on our first test around town the engine blew. We had to purchase another, break it down to nuts and bolts and then rebuild it to racing tolerances. After that we found lots of things that need to be fixed and we spent the next eight months rebuilding and fine tuning the car to get it up to racing standards.

“It was like opening a can of worms,” he said. “Every time we thought we fixed something, something else broke. But it was really a labour of love.”

Owner and driver of the vehicle, Oosthuizen, said racing was something he had always wanted to do since he was a boy.

“It was fantastic racing the car for the first time around the track,” he said. “Aside from a couple of laps during the practice session the day before, our first race was the first time the car had been raced.”

After purchasing the car, Oosthuizen and his father, Coastal Spares’ owner Brian Oosthuizen, and Nell along with his son Jason, worked late at night and over weekends to get the car ready. Together with many other volunteers providing labour and other forms of support, the team managed to get the car ready for race day.

Kenrich Motors supplied the auto electrician, Lyndon Lemmer, and Dirk de Vos of Kowie Towing provided a trailer to transport the vehicle to and from the racetrack.

“There are so many people to thank, and we had a lot of volunteers who helped us get the car ready,” explained Nell.

There is no prize money associated with this form of track racing. Teams compete for the love of the sport and a chance to advertise their products and services on the vehicles on display. However, track racing is a popular spectator sport and draws a lot of attention from the general public.

“We would like to speak with people who would like to sponsor the team, on a race-by-race basis, if possible,” said Nell. “It doesn’t have to be cash; it could be services, a tank of petrol or something else. And for that sponsors get their name advertised on the car with potentially thousands of people seeing it.”

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