Nicky Dicks #37, Ferrari F430 Challenge, GT Challenge

Pro Tour Series: If we tolerate this...

For those who are unfamiliar with the music of the Manic Street Preachers, do yourself a favour and google the band—GREAT STUFF! According to Guinness World Records they hold the record for a number one single with the longest title without brackets. 'If you tolerate this then your children will next,' sounds the refrain. Future generations will reap what we sow today, and that is an undeniable fact.

After reading about the soaked and exciting time James Egan had the previous weekend, I for one thought we would get the same treatment on the opposite side of the world. At first I'd tried to brave the cold and windy weather but later decided to gear up. The almost typical English weather (except for the rainy part) was not what I had in mind for a Friday at the racetrack; I guess the weatherman's thumb-suck forecast on Thursday evening was wrong again.

With the wind pushing from behind I made my way to the Zwartkops raceway pit complex. At this early hour the race area was still far from fully operational. Vans and trailers were making their way in and out of the area, offloading the 'competitors'. The Red Dragon on the other hand was already occupying his space, with claws a few inches off the the cold garage floor on hydraulic lifters. Cold Pirelli claws on a even colder racetrack might just persuade the Dragon not to move an inch, brrrr.
Don't despair, all the fiery beast needed was a few encouraging words, 'the Sun might just be shinning after all, so buckle up Dorothy and look behind you!' I don't think Nicky Dicks will be that trilled to know I named his Dragon, Dorothy, but it needed a name. The vexed question still remains, is a Ferrari F430 Challenge (in its vivid red skin) a he or a she? Now you tell me...

The Kawasaki ZX10R demarcated area was an anthill of activity at this hour. These war dogs all work together like a Swiss watch, to get everything ready for the fierce practice sessions later in the day. In a blink of an eye they had set up camp and were ready to—FLY. If you have only nine provisional race dates a year, you make every one count. It was a full house for the jockeys. Unfortunately I couldn't say the same for the other more prominent classes—GT Challenge and Shelby Can-Ams.

I know I've used this analogy a couple of times before, but here it goes again: have you ever seen a child's face when he opens up a present and it is not what he wanted/expected? His mind conjured up something awesome, only to be destroyed by reality. Well, this is exactly what is happening to spectators. They spend honest money to come and see their favourite race drivers and scoot jockeys only to find them missing from the starting line-up. I for one aren’t really bothered by the low attendance record, but still... Nicky Dicks, Sun Moodley, the rest of the GTC2 rivals and the Kawasaki team, are my fix for the day. Still it is very disappointing to know that the GT starting-grid will not provide good, honest and fierce competition. It saddens me to say this, but this is not motorsport—it is a non-obligatory, self funded hobby day. With the Manic Street Preachers still playing in the background, the refrain makes even more sense to me now: If we tolerate this, then our children will have nothing to look forward to—nothing! •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Pro Tour Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/04/13, 122 images) Main Image: Nicky Dicks #37, Ferrari F430 Challenge, GT Challenge.

Pit complex images: GT Challenge, Kawasaki ZX10R Masters

Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, next page >