Nicolas Grobler #22 the Joker, BMW S1000RR, Superbikes

Wesbank Super Series: Nicolas Grobler goes Ballistic

Friday morning and I'm off to Zwartkops raceway for the first round of the prolific Wesbank Super Series. Practice sessions will start at around 8h00 with the South African Single Seaters and will curb the day with the V8 Supercars. For those of you that are still under the impression that the races happen only on a Saturday, think again. Friday is motorsport photography heaven, with a full free race/practice program. It is time to call in sick.

Summer is in the air; in the pits however it is a totally different story—it is spring. After the long and arduous 2011 season it was time to shed the old skins and be reborn into something more spectacular, more profound. Sponsorship metamorphosis happens to almost everybody at the start of the new season. Time to greet old faces, meet new ones and sometimes you'll just wonder, who is that?

After my usual car-boot-breakfast, I headed off to the pits.

Up and down the length and breadth of the pit complex people were hastily moving about in preparation of the upcoming practice sessions. Right in front of me was the home of the original motorcycle race Joker—Nicolas Grobler. I was greeted straight away by his always friendly father, Nic—the patient brains behind this domain. For most people it takes time to realize their true calling in life—after the swells of life moves us from starboard to port, we eventually find our bearing—but this was not the case for one young man. Nicolas found his true calling at the age of three.

A boisterous voice from the heavens: 'Down to earth we will send a bright star to be in control of the great two wheel machines. He will ride faster than the wind, command the racetracks to be kind and forgiving. He will be in control of this iron beasts and will gather a great many followers, in time...' Apologies, for a moment my thoughts played havoc. Joker (#22) has this unique ability to become one with his machine—BMW S1000RR—resembling a cheetah at high speed on the planes, twisting and bending its body in perfect balanced motion behind the prey.

On the pit floor stood the Joker's brand new BMW S1000RR race machine in its new skin, even his helmet and race suite dons a new shiny and vivid look—Ballistic.

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Wesbank Super Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/03/02, Practice Session, 94 images) Main Image: Nicolas Grobler #22 the Joker, BMW S1000RR, Superbikes.