BMW April 2022

Toyota won four of the various COTY award classes that go from Budget up to Performance categories. Peugeot won three and Porsche won two, as did BMW. Mercedes-Benz an Audi each took a class. Interesting though a new Energy Category went to the Porsche Tacan, which of course is an electric powered motor car.

South Africa can be very proud of our motor sportsmen performing overseas in the toughest competition of all. We sent a three-man team over to the International Moto-X Des Nations held at Mantova in Italy. Guess who came out tops?  South Africa beat the Netherlands and the British team. Our team members were Camden McLellan, David Goosen and Tristan Purdon.

The Russian Formula 1 Grand Prix in Sotchi turned into one of the better Formula 1 races we have seen lately.

Lewis Hamilton won his 100th Grand Prix to make him the highest scoring F1 driver of all time. Max Verstappen from the back of the grid due to an engine change went right through the field and came through in second position ahead of Carlos Sainz. Then came Daniel Riccardo in the McLaren in fourth spot.  So we have had four different makes in the top four.   

Worst luck of all went to Lando Norris who was leading up to five laps from the end.  A heavy shower of rain came over and soaked the track. Hamilton went for rain tyres while Norris stayed out there on the slicks and spun off to lose the lead and came home in eighth spot.

The World Superbikes series recently saw the Turkish rider Razgatlioglu, take both wins from Jonathan Rae in the first sprint race, and Scott Redding on the longer event.  It means the Turk is leading the World Superbike Championship. The Supersport 600 class saw our South African flyer, Steven Odendaal take a win in Portugal. He rode brilliantly. 

The most capped South African motor sportsman is Alfie Cox who won on two and four wheels in off road competition. Now his son, Bradley, has wrapped up the South African Motorcycle Enduro Championship – riding a KTM of course.

The Hyundai Atos (used to be called the ATOZ) has now been fitted with an automatic gearbox.  It is now available in South Africa.

Rolls-Royce hadn’t been heard of very much lately. Anyway, the first quarter results came out and Rolls-Royce is up 2% compared to the same period in 2020. They sold 1 380 vehicles to customers.

Main market?  Believe it or not is China, the US and then the Asia Pacific area. Well done to Rolls-Royce – owned by BMW.

A shortage of rubber parts – plus of course the microchip shortage problem – is going to cost the industry internationally dearly in the months ahead. You can’t start building a vehicle unless you have got all the parts necessary!

Despite this, in South Africa automobile sales increased in September. Top runner-up with over 10 000 vehicles was Toyota who have been in the marketplace for 41 years now. The Hilux bakkie proved their top seller.

The Indian motor company, Mahindra, have now brought out an affordable go-anywhere PIK UP Ambulance. It sells for   R608 000.

Other specialised vehicles from this Indian Company – which is going places in South Africa – is the Pick-Up Game Viewer, which is ideal of course for Game Parks. The cost of this vehicle is R408 000 for the 4×2 and R447 000 for the 4×4 version.

From a racing family Ian Pepper (the Dad), has now taken to Enduro Motorcycles after winning championships in four wheelers. His daughter Tasmin, does well in all competitions she competes in. Latest on Jordan – he has won the World GT Championship in America having just won at the Watkins Glen in Sebring in a Lamborghini.

More news from specialised manufacturers, SVI in Cape Town. They are building armoured bakkies on either Toyota or Ford Ranger chassis. They look good and protect the driver and passengers from AK47 automatics and R1 rifles.

In Greece the Toyota Team Gazoo is starting to run the way of the World Rally Championship.  

If you have been watching TV and motorsport on telly a big cheer for Kelvin van der Linde who is fighting out the German Touring Car Championship in his Audi. He has seen five podiums in five starts.

Younger brother, Sheldon, had a tougher day at Zandvoort, a Dutch circuit in his BMW M6. Grandfather Hennie was unbeaten in his Skyline in South Africa in 72 races. His father, Shaun, and his uncle, Etienne have won championships in South Africa and overseas as well.

The Olympic Games Gold, Silver and Bronze medal winners each received          R100 000, R50 000, R25 000 cash from Toyota South Africa. The winners in the Paralympics Games also received similar prizes from Toyota. The motor industry certainly plays its part!

Volkswagen South Africa won two awards at the annual Expo in the Eastern Cape.  They won the Environmental Award for the eighth time as they do great things with the local community. They also won the Best Exporter in the Manufacturers’ category.

Ford Wildlife Foundation actively supports the Cape Leopard Trust. They have come to the party by providing a couple of Rangers for their use in the Leopard Trust game parks.

From Jaguar comes the news of a V8 supercharged, 5 litre 504kW petrol engine pushing it along.  Torque is 700 Nm. Price R1 835 700.

Shelby America have a 578kW Super Bakkie. In the meantime, Bugatti has come out with a V16 with 800hp. It never stops …

Volkswagen plant in Uitenhage has just celebrated the 400 000th unit of their current Volkswagen Polo range since they launched a few years ago. Incredible performance from these people down Uitenhage way who have been producing Polo’s since 2017.

Turbo Direct South Africa has its first ever affordable online store for all leading turbo brands. They also overhaul any make of turbo such as Garret, Mitsubishi, Borg Warner and IHI Turbos.

From Tool Craft comes a six-drawer roller tool cabinet packed with 184 quality tools.  A worthy introduction of equipment if you’ve recently started a workshop. There is an innovative brushless hammer drill which is cordless.   

A survey covering the first six months of the year shows that BMW in the second-hand car market is the most searched for brand gathering more than 13% of passenger cars. Toyota’s Hilux is the most searched for bakkie and the Volkswagen Golf GTi is the most searched for variant. 

 

Don’t forget to listen to Roger McCleery to hear more inside stories every Tuesday afternoon on his motoring programme Radio Today (1485 AM) or on DSTV Audio Channel 869; on social media and podcast broadcast around the world.

 

By Roger McCleery