Hennie Groenewald #A8, Subaru WRX STI, Bridgestone Production Cars

Wesbank Super Series: Beautiful plumbing and Frank Sinatra

It is not only the Superbikes and Supersport 600 bike classes that undergo sponsorship metamorphosis. No, the Bridgestone Production cars and the V8 Supercars also get the same treatment. Just follow the smell of race fuel and loud revving noise and you will notice what I'm talking about. Like the springbok pronking after a summer rain shower, so too are these big guns with their new skins, primed, to blow holes in our eardrums.

At the far end of the pit complex you will find the home of the smooth running Subaru WRX STI team, of Hennie Groenewald and Richard Pinard. These great race cars wait patiently for their turn on the track, their drivers most probably too. At their demarcated spot you really get to appreciate these fine machines. Like a new pair of spectacles complimenting a face, or a new pair of shoes the man on top, so too does these two drivers and their supporting staff compliment these great all wheel drive cars.

What really caught my eye was the meticulous plumbing feat that the team created in the engine compartment. The colour coded pipe work is 'nice and tight' (like the Van Halen song, Poundcake). I have not seen anything like this in my life. Hennie and Richard might not be getting a golden star on their foreheads for this ostentatious display, but they will surely get the supporters' respect. To the novice, expert or ignorant eye this will remain absolutely awesome: A sign of respect, a sign of true dedication. 'Loud applause to the Subaru Team!'

On my way back to the opposite side of the pits, I sort of bumped into Larry Wilford (the Frank Sinatra of V8s). He has been involved in motorsport since Noah marooned on Mount Ararat in 1978, saying this with the utmost respect. It is very rare that people stick to something so awesome without regretting a moment. Motorsport photography is my passion and I sincerely hope that I will still be enjoying it in years to come, in the same way as the friendly heavy fueller after all these years. I had only one question to ask Larry, 'Larry, when are you retiring from motorsport?' His answer was quick and simple, 'Never, retirement is for old people.' With that satisfying answer I returned to my spot in the hot sun, braving another day at the races. •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter (Wesbank Super Series, Zwartkops Raceway, South African Motorsport, 2012/03/02, Practice Session, 101 images) Main Image: Hennie Groenewald #A8, Subaru WRX STI, Bridgestone SA Production Cars.

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