Dizzy’s need for speed

2018-07-02 10:30
Pietermaritzburg motorsports enthusiast and owner of DY Performance Desmond Govenden.

Pietermaritzburg motorsports enthusiast and owner of DY Performance Desmond Govenden. (Nhlanhla Nkosi)

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A city motorsports enthusiast lives for speed.

During the week, Desmond “Dizzy O” Govenden runs DY Performance, a company that supplies performance parts for all facets of racing, but on weekends he indulges his need for speed.

His passion is motorsport — where a fast set of wheels, a helmet and a need for speed are all that are required.

Govenden, a self-confessed adrenaline junkie, has been passionate about driving cars since he was a little boy.

He bought his first car, a VW Beetle when he was in Standard 8 (Grade 10) and soon began attending mainstream racing events.

“I started racing cars in 1995 and I’ve been doing so ever since,” he told Weekend Witness.

Govenden has entered many drags in and around the province, including the Drift and Gymkhana racing events, and was competitive each time.

His biggest achievements, he said have been when he was on his Mark II Toyota Supra doing in excess of 250km/h

“It runs a 2JZGTE engine. I’ve ripped out the twin turbos and put in a single big turbo. It makes loads of power.”

“It’s a very enjoyable car but I don’t get to drive it as often as I would like to because I don’t want to hinder innocent people’s lives. It’s geared for 300 kilometres per hour,” he added.

Racing is what he lives for, he said.

“It runs in my veins, it always has been. It’s adrenalin that gets you going. It lets you let off steam when you are stressed.

“The hype of the crowd, cheering me on, gets me going every single time,” he added.

Although passionate about the sport, Govenden said it was sad to see the sport not getting any recognition in the city.

“We do not have any recognition.”

“You get sponsors that would want to jump on board with any other code of sports but racing is always ousted.

“People don’t realise that street racing has huge potential in this country and can bring loads of revenue to our city.”

He said the crashes were happening because the street racing was taking place in an uncontrolled environment.

“Msunduzi municipality and the Msunduzi traffic should at least afford us a meeting so we can present our proposal.

“We’ll put rules in place so that people won’t get hurt, like we did in the past at the Roy Hesketh track,” he added.

However, he agreed that street racing in Pietermaritzburg, was very dangerous. “It is uncontrolled. People are getting hurt often and people are going to get hurt even more if they continue.”

“I don’t support it because of the safety factor; even innocent bystanders watching are likely to get hurt badly,” he added.

He pleaded with authorities to help street racers to introduce safety.

Roy Hesketh glory days

The world famous and historic Roy Hesketh Motor Racing Circuit was a racing circuit located in Pietermaritzburg.

It was named after South African racing driver Roy Hesketh, who died in the Second World War. Doug Aldridge, Colin Dove, Ossie Fisher, George Finch and George Shrives got together as a Consortium from Pietermaritzburg in the early 1950s to first build and then maintain and improve the circuit.

Older motor racers, fans and nostalgics know the Pietermaritzburg Roy Hesketh track well.

In its heyday, the 1960s and 1970s, it counted among its visitors many world champion drivers and riders. Sports cars, long-distance racers, bikes and even Formula 1 machines competed there.

In 1973 when the South African government banned all motorsport due to the world oil crisis, the circuit went into decline and finally closed in 1981 after only 28 years

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  motorsport

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