Gavin Cronje #T52, Mini Cooper S, Bridgestone Production Cars

Wesbank Super Series: A different view on slacker Friday

If this write-up sounds different than the rest it is because this is a solo effort from me, Martine. Lacking Adriaan’s creative spunk and being much more comfortable with writing corporate reports I will try to keep this as entertaining as possible, but I just thought I had to share the green monster in me with all you Friday slackers.

The worst part of pre-race day Friday is seeing Adriaan enthusiastically preparing for his great trek to the track, so pre-occupied that he doesn’t even notice my sulking face while I prepare for another gruelling day at the office. Don’t get me wrong I love the bustle of corporate life, except on pre-race day Fridays.

As I sat in my office I imagined Adriaan enjoying his car-boot-breakfast, listening to the noise emerging from the Zwartkops pit complex, itching to grab his Nikon, making his way down to the pits for his early morning chat with whoever is available, before he takes up position at turn two. His way to acclimatise.

My thoughts were abruptly disrupted by a colleague informing me that I’m late for the first of three meetings I had lined up for the day. Well, I’ll just have to wait for my favourite part of the day then, meeting Aven over a mega coffee, hungrily taking in the titbits he had to offer.

One of the stories that made me laugh was when he told me about Hennie Groenewald looking under his Subaru’s seat for what Adriaan thought was small change for a Big M burger, only to be told that stranger things than small change can be found under a racing car’s seat, like the spanner that came sliding out from underneath Hennie’s seat during a previous race.
Or how, Larry (never quits) Wilford asked Adriaan to wave when he passes him in the Ford Falcon so that he will knows where on the track Adriaan is taking photos.
And who would have thought that the Joker would buy a piece of property at Zwartkops, marking it with the paint from his silver dream machine—not me!
Then there was the story of how Stoof Rhyno Stander got his nickname – this is a story only Stoof should tell.
Oh and not forgetting Richard Carmody’s funky new pink hairdo—can’t wait to see it.
But the high point of Adriaan’s day must have been meeting Gavin Cronje, Mini Cooper S driver’s father Henry who has a passion for Alfas. Adriaan was so enthralled by the red Alfa 156 GTA Henry showed him, that he forgot to make his usual lunchtime call to me. Who can blame a man for forgetting about his wife when he’s looking at an Italian beauty?

Strangely on this Friday afternoon it was not the obvious practice day stuff that he shared with me, no, it was small things that made you realise that people at the track are exactly that—people.

Pumped up (maybe it was caffeine rush) and ready for race day action, I packed my camera gear with the same enthusiasm Adriaan did this morning, impatiently awaiting Saturday! •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Wesbank Super Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/08/24, Practice Session, 255 images) Main Image: Gavin Cronje #T52, Mini Cooper S, Bridgestone SA Production Cars.

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