There are increasing reports of butterflies lurking in tummies deep in motoring editorial offices around the country, as the eight SAGMJ scribes selected to drive in the Volkswagen Media Challenge powered by the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists start facing up to the reality of real racing at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit on Sunday 23 October 2016.
Meanwhile over in Uitenhage, the Volkswagen Motorsport team is racing to complete construction of the eight Polo 1.2 TSI DSGs that the journalists will drive in the Cell C-backed venture. “We understand that there is an unusual level of nerves in some media bureaus,” Matt Gennrich, General Manager Communications at Volkswagen Group South Africa confirmed. “Our Volkswagen Media Challenge drivers are ready to race and all eyes will be on these SAGMJ writers at Kyalami – it’s a thrilling prospect and we are already enjoying following their comments in the media.”
The eight drivers are meanwhile psyching themselves up for the weekend ahead, with the two ladies in the field hoping to be first on the track too. “My media rivals had better look sharp,” www.wheels24.co.za writer, Janine van der Post warned. “They might be a lot more experienced, and faster, but I have skills that put taxi drivers to shame and I’m not taking any nonsense from any of them!”
The second lady in the race, DStv Ignition Executive Producer, Lindsay Vine Smyth, is relying on her own race experience to eke out an advantage, but she’s also hoping for a little chivalry from her gentleman peers: “Remember guys – ladies first!” Lindsay is also squaring up to hubby, Business Day Motor News editor, Mark, in the Volkswagen Media Challenge. “There’s so much friendly rivalry between motoring hacks,” Mr Smyth quipped. “Let’s see how all that plays out on the track – this is a race to write a piece of history.”
Mark is one of four newspaper motoring supplement editors taking to the track at the historic Kyalami meeting, so there’s sure to be quite some rivalry among them. Star Motoring Editor, Denis Droppa leaned on his ancestors for courage, “Don’t poke the Slovak!” he smiled, while The Citizen’s Mark Jones warned, “I might be old, but I am not cold yet – I am coming for you guys down the inside!” Sean Nurse, who runs Caxton’s knock-and-drop Autodealer reminded his rivals, “Rubbing is racing – let’s have some fun!”
Another young gun, website www.sacarfan.co.za website editor, Andrew Leopold warned, “The old guys are rusty – I’ll cruise this!” but the senior driver in the field, Bakkie & Car magazine’s Michele Lupini promised: “This is the perfect way teach some of these media laaities a thing or two – I can’t wait!”
“It’s almost time to race and the guys can’t wait to get out there in what is a great new initiative that’s set to benefit all of local motorsport,” South African Guild of Motoring Journalists Chairman, Bernard Hellberg Jr, concluded. “Thanks to Volkswagen, Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, Cell C and various other contributors who have joined us in this, we look forward to being part of a great day’s racing at this historic meeting.”
The Volkswagen Media Challenge powered by the SAGMJ and backed by Cell C, is proudly hosted by the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and will see these eight top scribes competing in a field of Volkswagen Motorsport Polo 1.2 TSI DSGs at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit’s inaugural race meeting over the weekend of 21 to 23 October 2016. Race fans can keep abreast via the www.kyalamigrandprixcircuit.com website, where tickets for the historic race weekend are on sale via the Computicket link.
*The Volkswagen Media Challenge powered by the SAGMJ is made possible by Volkswagen South Africa building and making available eight race ready Polos, the South African Guild of Motoring Journalists, Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and Cell C, along with contingency sponsors: Volkswagen Financial Services, Volkswagen Genuine Parts, Engen, Dunlop, Sapphire Logistics, ATS Motorsport Supplies through OMP Race Wear, and Oracle Graphics.