Imagine you’re in your car. You’re going sideways, very sideways on a wet road.
But this isn’t the story leading up to an accident. You’ve put yourself in the slide. And you’re having fun doing it.
This is the skidpan. On the 25th of March, the Toyota Twin Cam Club of South Africa hosted its first Skidpan Day for 2012 on Zwartkops Raceway’s own skidpan. The Twin Cams were sliding and the drivers were smiling. More than twenty Twin Cams were at Zwartkops on that Sunday, and some took to the ‘pan while others sat looking pretty. But there weren’t only Twin Cams at the event… We had a few Subaru’s, a Ford Fiesta, an automatic Mercedes-Benz C-Class, a Fiat Palio station-wagon (which was very bravely driven) and even a Nissan Hardbody (rear-wheel-drive fun!) taking part in the event.
All-in-all, more than 40 people attended the event, which is a good turnout. The day ran smoothly with the committee members once again introducing themselves to the crowd, and we were very pleased to announce that Keith Matthewson had re-joined the committee after a few years absence. We are very lucky to have Keith back on board, as he’s been involved with the club since its inception more than 20 years ago. He brings valuable knowledge and experience to the committee and we know that with his help, the club will continue to go from strength to strength.
After introducing the instructors from Toyota Advanced Driving, who would oversee the day and help each of the drivers to develop their wet driving skills, things got underway. All of the drivers were split into categories based on their previous skidpan experience. The TAD guys had set up a course to test the ability of the drivers to avoid accidents by quickly and safely changing lanes and some cars did attempt to eat the cones marking out the course. After this, a course was laid out to show the drivers how their cars understeer and oversteer in certain wet conditions. This was where some guys really had fun, while learning valuable skills that they could use every day. Even the TAD drivers took their diesel Hilux onto the skidpan to show that it is possible to do a controlled slide in even the most unlikely of vehicles.
At the end of the day, the TAD instructors laid out the final course – the gymkhana. Always the highlight of a skidpan event, the drivers once again took to the skidpan to set the best time they could. The competition was tough, with some very surprising driving from some of the entrants and a few very tough to beat times were set. At the end of the day, trophies were awarded to the three quickest drivers on the day – one from each class.
We’d like to thank everyone who made the journey to Zwartkops on the 25th. With support like that, there are only good things ahead for the Toyota Twin Cam Club. We hope that everyone had a great time on the day and we look forward to seeing even more Toyotas at our other events.
Check out the Gallery section for all the event pics.
Article by Steven Darge
Images by Stephan Potgieter