Three locals hope to rejuvenate motorsport in the province

Dane Thompson, Ronald van Rensburg and Terence Ehlers are three locals who share a passion for track racing.

THREE north Durbanites are a part of the resurgent motorsport of track racing in KwaZulu-Natal. Dane Thompson, Ronald van Rensburg and Terence Ehlers all share a passion for cars and racing.

In 2007, Ronald van Rensburg had just returned from the United Kingdom and was working with his friend Terence Ehlers when they had the idea of building a track car from a little VW Golf they bought off the internet.

At the same time Dane Thompson had a similar idea and built his own car. The three local residents met at a bunker racing track day at the Roy Hesketh Circuit in Pietermaritzburg. Ehlers and van Rensburg worked all night everyday for a week, to build the car for the race. “I used to go to the garage after work and leave in the morning to go straight back to work,” van Rensburg added.

They continued racing occasionally at track days in Johannesburg following the closure of the legendary Pietermaritzburg circuit. Since 2016 they said they have once again started ‘last minute racing’. Last year was the first season of the KZN Road Racing Championship held at Dezzi Raceway, a circuit in Port Shepstone.

“It all started when the KZN Road Racing Club invited all us car guys to a track day. The number of participants since the first race rose from about 30 drivers to around 140 at the previous race held on February 4 this year,” van Rensburg said.

Van Rensburg came second in the inaugural provincial championship season for the modified saloons category. The petrol heads, van Rensburg and Ehlers, also won their class of the SA Endurance Series in 2015 with another driver, Deon Crous. The KZN Road Racing Championship is short circuit sprint racing of 10 laps round the track per race, with two races per day. There’s eight races per season, with the second race this year coming up on March 4.

“There’s been no motorsport for 20  years in the province, so we don’t really know what getting colours means. Everyone’s been crying for something like this though,” van Rensburg added. He went on to say, “We know that the track day is far to drive to but we really trying to get spectators to come and watch.”

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