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Getting racey at Kyalami with celebs

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One adrenaline rush adventure that should be added to experiences that you should endure during your life – is to put your foot down in a supercharged Reynard single seater race car and race around Kyalami F1 race track.

Elana Afrika, Miss SA 2011 Melinda Bam, fashion designer Paledi and former racing car driver Bob Mabena were amongst the guests who were invited to do just that by DSTV as they promoted their latest channels and new programing.

Times LIVE caught up with a few guests to find out how they were feeling about hitting the tar.   “I am ready for the challenge if you want to race,” declared Elana Afrika, adding “I am not worried because I have already spent time on this track.”

Afrika may have been boasting about being a winner but seemed a bit nervous as she was being strapped into the vehicle asking how she was going to get after the race.

Getting in a bit of practice time at the PlayStation virtual racing center fashion designer Paledi Segapo said that he is looking forward to the rush.  “I don’t want to be sitting here. I want to be behind the wheel.  My juices (adrenaline) are starting to flow as I am getting all excited and am seriously nervous and ecstatic.  I can’t wait.”

Miss SA Melinda Bam seemed a bit flustered when we spoke to her:  “I have just been told to take off my high heels and my heart is in my throat.

“I am excited though as I now have an excuse to drive a bit faster without getting a speeding ticket.”

Various teams of colour coded drivers took to the 4.2km world-class race track. Some stalled (including reporter) to begin with and others took to the track like a duck to water.

Most made it around the track without incident – however there was a slight bumper bashing which sent someone spinning off the track.  Thankfully no one was hurt.

All agreed that six laps around the track was just not enough as they returned to the pit with adrenaline pumping after the exhilarating drive.

Bob Mabena who is no stranger to racing professionally told us:   “I conquered all my evils.

“Kyalami has always been my Achilles heel – especially going down the stretch of track called the mineshaft.

“Those cars are so powerful. I just wanted to go again.”

Climbing out of the vehicle after her six laps (she overtook our Sowetan reporter) Afrika said that she has already done advanced driving and go-karting – now she has done racing.

“Starting to drive I realised that it was a lot more difficult to do than I thought because the gears where on the right side.

“The pedals are also a lot harder to deal with than a regular car.”

Despite this Afrika admitted that it was an adrenaline pumping experience.

“After going around the track the first time you just want to go faster and faster and faster.”

Speaking about her experience Miss SA said:  “My nerves started to set in when they were strapping me into the car but at the end of the day it was like driving a normal car if you skip corners and things like that.

“It was amazing even though at one stage the car seemed to be hopping across the road and I said to myself that maybe I was going a bit too fast.”

Segapo on record told us that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience but later said that he was nervous as all h*ll most of the time.

Reporters note:

Experiencing the adventure myself as a 45-year-old woman, I would have to say that I got claustrophobic and extremely hot and sweaty sitting in the car for 10 minutes before hitting the track.

I had to talk myself down and stop myself from jumping out and running away.

I drove around the first lap cautiously though did speed along the straights.

I followed the marshals instructions on how to approach corners and steer around them gracefully without incident.

All in all the experience was exhilarating.  Words cannot appropriately describe the rush you feel as the speed and a rush of air swirls around you as you fly around the track.

I cannot wait to go back and wonder if there is an age limit for people who want to be racing car drivers…

5 March 2012


You actually make it seem really easy together with your presentation however I to find this topic to be really something that I feel I would never understand. It seems too complicated and very large for me. I am having a look forward in your subsequent put up, I’ll try to get the cling of it!

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