Race report for the Execuline Springbok series
retro race meeting on Saturday 5 Th December 2009
Car Martini Porsche 917 race # 23
Drivers Peter Gough & Ferdi van Niekerk (Jnr)
Dave Hawkins Crew chief and main strategist
Ferdi van Niekerk (Snr) owner and wheel mechanic and refuelling
Inus Kruger catering and logistics wheel mechanic and refuelling
Gary Swan chief time keeper and lollipop man
Ryan Slade mechanic and window demister /drive shaft specialist
Peter Gough laid the platform, lapping at 1, 57,757 and being the quickest
in the session. We used the time to experiment with suspension setting,
and decided the car was ok, Junior also had a run on full tanks and did
a slow 2.15, but used the time on the track to get to grips with a heavy car
on full tanks. On the second run a CV boot came of, and destroyed the inner
right CV. This was replaced and mods done by Peter Gough allowed
the CV to breathe better and the ducting to the CV help keep the
The third run was done by Peter Gough on full tanks to help with the
fuel calculations, and the results were that we used 2 litre /lap.
Ferdi Junior was nominated to do the qualifying run and did a fantastic
1. 55,805, putting the car fourth on the grid, behind Chris Clark’s (BEC GT40)
and Peter Lindenberg ‘s (hi tech GT40)and George Fouche (hi tech GT40)
with the likes of Tony Martin behind us.
Junior was going to do the first hour with Peter doing the middle stint and
Junior the third and last leg, as we felt we could only run 1 hour on a tank.
The refuelling rig was scrapped as it was unstable, and we decided to use the
refuelling cans individually. Two refuelling stops were planned putting in
80 litres per stop.
The race started for the leading group but a huge concern was the number
of cars, with the cars starting from pit lane almost being lapped before
their start. Junior was in second position behind the Fouche GT40 lapping
consistently at 1. 57’s keeping the Peter Lindenberg GT40 and the Cobra of
Tony Martin at bay behind him. We pitted on the hour and could not get
all the fuel in the car because of an airlock and decided to send Peter out
with 35 litres short. He pitted 5 laps later, complaining that his arm was
going numb. We adjusted the seat and he starting lapping also in the
1.57 range. By this time the cloud build up was heavy and rain was
expected at any time. Peter did an excellent job staying out in very difficult
circumstances to get us to the next pits stop window. Then all hell broke loose,
as the heavens open up, and rain came down like us Cape Town guys have
not seen for a while.
Peter pitted and we decided to change to rain tyres.
The team did a fantastic job refuelling and doing a tyre change in less than
5 minutes. Junior went out again and conditions become more dangerous,
with cars racing circulating without tail light and no proper head lights.
Three laps later the safety car was deployed and the race was stopped
2 hour 12 minutes into the three hours. This cost us the race,
as we could have been ahead if the 5 minutes were taken off that it took
for us to do the wheel change. We finished in 11th place, 2 minutes behind
the winning Porsche of John Greve.
Some development work must happen before the next race at Zwartkops.
The front oil cooler needs to be insulated as the driver’s feet were cooking
Modification need to be done to the fuel tank breather to allow a bigger
volume of fuel to be added in a quicker time
Better fresh air in the car needs to installed.
A modified drinking canister must be fitted for the drivers.
Demister must be fitted to stop the windscreen from misting up.
Cooling to be done on the inner CV joint as well
A great deal of fun was had and a lot was learned from the race by this
relative inexperienced team.