Having attended my High School 50 Year Matric Reunion, the previous month, the 3rd October 2015 saw me attending another significant reunion, together with about ninety people who have in one way or another, been involved in South African Formula Vee racing, during its 50 year existence in this country. A function to celebrate this unique achievement was held at Steve Koterba’s private Motorsport Museum, in Brakpan. Having been directly involved with the category in one way or another, for the past forty three years and as a spectator prior to that, I feel pretty confident that those who attended, where representative of all five decades of Formula Vee racing, in South Africa!
Many old acquaintances where renewed and many memories recalled, during the course of the day. Videos of some of the old Formula Vee races, where screened on the large TV screen in the bar area, as well. The one that I watched was run on the second version of Kyalami, before it was extended and the Grand Prix pit complex was added, for the 1992 and 1993 South African Grand Prix. The circuit is currently, once again undergoing a major rebuild, with the demolition of all the Bomas and the reintroduction of all the old corners names, to the existing corners of the original Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, along with most of the new corners, currently under construction.
The Formula Vee Association, are involved in negotiations with Kyalami, for a 50th Anniversary event on the new circuit, when it re-opens early next year. This event will be open, not only to current competitors and cars but also to any air cooled, or water cooled Vee, from whatever era and we are hoping to attract at least fifty entries, for the event. I know of a number of ex Formula Vee drivers, from around the country, who are currently rebuilding their old cars, for the event.
Alan Kernick brought his late father’s Capital Vee, to the function. This 1965 Capital Vee, still competes in Historic Formula Vee events today and was on display in the front garden. A number of people who had raced that particular car, in years gone by, together with Alan’s sons who have also raced their grandfather’s car, in recent years, reacquainted themselves with the car and posed for a group photo. Steve’s museum is a gem, for any true racing enthusiast. There are old driver’s crash helmets, overalls, trophies and pictures of years gone by, covering domestic racing categories, as well as the many Grand Prix, 9 Hour and other international sports car races, touring car races and motorcycle races, staged in South Africa. There is also a room full of old motor cycles and garages, of Ferraris, Lancias, Alfa Romeos, Fiats etc.
Such was the success of the event, that there is talk of making it an annual event. Steve has recently acquired the property next door, with plans to extend the museum, which will in future include much more Vee content, than there currently is. Some of the old Vee competitors, have also offered to place their old Vees on display in the museum, as well. If you missed out this year, be sure to make it the next time around. If you were ever involved in Formula Vee and we do not have your contact details, please e-mail me at email@example.com or Fred Daily at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will make sure that you are added to the mailing list.