Jo’burg, South Africa

Well, I’m away on another work trip – this time it’s two weeks in Johannesburg, South Africa working with one of our customers.
Flew in on Monday – 1.5 hrs from Brisbane to Sydney, then a couple hour wait in Sydney before a 14 hr flight to Jo’burg. I normally don’t mind flying West… but this time it was daylight all the way, so didn’t really manage much sleep.
Jo’burg is an unusual place – very poor areas smack next to quite wealthy areas, like Sandton where the hotel is that I’m staying in… right across from Mandela Square which is about the fanciest shopping center you could imagine. Also an unusal mix on the road – late model Merc’s and Audi’s in traffic next to the oldest and most decrepid cars you can imagine. For the first day or two I was wondering what was with all the shiny 1970’s VW Golf’s on the road… a Golf MkI seems an odd car to restore… then I found out that Volkswagen South Africa still makes them as sort of an entry level car right beside the Golf V’s that they also make !!!
Tuesday was just a day in the office, then Wednesday out at the customer’s site, then Thursday back in the office… you get the idea.
Saturday I got to explore the shopping mall’s a bit – thinking I might do a bit of duty free shopping since most things seem so much cheaper here, but since electronics are all imported they’re no cheaper here than at home.
Today I signed up to go on a tour of Pilanesburg game park about 2 hrs out of Jo’burg, but there wasn’t enough interest to cover the costs so they cancelled that one, and I went on a tour of the closer by Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve instead.
It was one of those where you drive around inside the park with often no fences between the vehicle and the animals – a bit surreal really to be seeing Lions, Zebras and Rhinos just outside the van rather than on the other side of a cage. I got some reasonable photo’s – it’s not really the right time of year apparently – the grass is a bit long and green to be able to see everything, and the overcast and rain didn’t make for great lighting.
Oh well – maybe I’ll have to go again on my next trip here !!!

Tighe Cams Round 6

2nd December was the final hillclimb for the year at Mt Cotton, so there was a larger than normal field of cars running – up around 100 cars I think. This made the pit area pretty crowded, and with some of the drivers not having run on the track before there was also more incidents than usual – including an old 1964 EH Holden rolling it just after the finish line. Driver fine except for a bruised ego, but the car was a bit of a mess and needs more than a few new panels (including the roof).
Thankfully Jezebel ran like a charm for each of the 4 runs I had, getting progressively quicker from first 56.75s run on a cold wet track to a new personal best of 53.78. Just to be sure I followed it up with a 53.82 to prove that I’m definitely into the 53’s now. I of course am totally stoked – that time got me 2nd in class for the round as well as 2nd in class for the series.
Completing the round without incident was a pretty big milestone for Jezebel – she’s now completed a full season’s racing without any real incidents or breakages, and times at Mt Cotton have improved by over 8 seconds. Still 4 seconds back from Jeff’s Datto up in first place, but with Jezebel’s off-season development program about to start – including an upgrade  Porsche 944 Turbo brakes all round – I should be able to get a bit closer to him.
Next season’s target, get into the 50’s…