VW enthusiasts invited to Phakisa

2015-04-29 14:10

TRENDY Volkswagen models will be on display for public viewing during a one-day Extreme Festival scheduled for Saturday (02/05) at the Phakisa Raceway.

The event marks this year’s 80th anniversary of the Volkswagen Beetle, the 60th anniversary of the Karmann Ghia, and the 60th anniversary of the Volkswagen Kombi, in South Africa, along with the 50th anniversary of Formula Vee racing in this country.

If you are the owner of a Volkswagen Beetle, a Karmann Ghia, or the original Volkswagen Kombi, bring your car and family to the Extreme Festival race meeting at the Phakisa Raceway on Saturday.

There will be a special parking area designated for members of the public who bring their Volkswagen to show off and share experiences with other Volkswagen enthusiasts. The participants will also have the opportunity to see the Formula Vees in action and meet and chat to the drivers.

A Formula Vee is a single-seater racing car, originally based almost entirely on Volkswagen Beetle components. The first Formula Vees in South Africa ran a 1 200 cc air-cooled Beetle motor in a tubular space frame chassis with either fibre glass or aluminium body panels.

Other Beetle components included the beam front suspension with the shock absorbers mounted on the shock towers in the standard Beetle configuration, the Beetle drum brakes, standard Beetle 15 inch “Marie Biscuit” wheel rims and the Beetle steering box and gearbox. In order to create a mid-engine single-seater racing car, the engine and gearbox had to be turned around and the crown wheel and pinion mounted on the other side, in order not to end up with four reverse gears and only one forward gear.

Over the years, the category has evolved. In 1968 the 1 200 cc air-cooled Beetle motor was replaced with the 1 300 cc air-cooled Beetle motor.

Then in 1990, that was replaced with the 1 300 cc water-cooled Citi Golf motor, using an adaptor plate to mate it to the old Beetle gearbox, which was retained and is still in use today, along with the Beetle front beam.

The Beetle steering box has, however, been replaced by rack and pinion steering, the shock absorber towers have been removed from the front beam and the shock absorbers mounted internally with push and pull rods in front and a mono shock at the rear. The drum brakes have been replaced with disc brakes and mag wheel rims are now in use, fitted with Hankook semi-slick tyres.

The most recent engine upgrade took place in 2004, when the 1 300 cc water-cooled motor was replaced by the 1 400 cc Citi Golf motor, which is fitted with a regulated performance cam shaft and twin carburettors.

Saturday’s meeting offers the public a chance to meet the drivers and to get a close-up look at these amazing little single-seater racing cars, especially if you drive any of the Volkswagen products whose components have been used by the category over the years. A number of Formula Vee racing cars have also been built in Welkom and raced around the country and at the old Welkom, Goldfields circuit, over the years and if you still have one, dust it off, give it a bit of a spit and polish, bring it to Phakisa and put it on display, along with the Beetles, Karmann Ghias and Kombis. Enthusiasts are sure to love seeing it again.

In addition to the South African Natio-nal Championship Formula Vee races, the programme also includes races for G andamp; H Transport Extreme Super Cars, Consol VW Challenge, Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters Cup, Thunderbikes/Sub 10 Superbikes, Silverton Bolt and Nut Challenge, National Sports Car Challenge and the Phakisa 200, to be contested by a full field of speed and Sound 111 Sports and Saloons, together with the Leisuregrass/Northern Bolt and Tool Superhatch category

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