What do the fastest land animal in the world, Kurt Darren, Gugu Zulu, Mark Fish and me (a little sports journo from Benoni) all have in common?
Well, karting apparently.
On Sunday, September 14, I trekked out to Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria to participate in the annual Kiehl’s Cheetah Charity Kart Racing Day, organised by Benonian racer and drifter Clare Vale and fellow sports writer Dirk Vale.
Now in its seventh year, the 2015 event (my first on-track experience) was the best yet with 54 000 Madibas being raised for the beneficiary of the day the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre, a conservation centre just outside Hartbeespoort Dam with a mission to ensure the long term survival of the cheetah, African Wild Dog and other wild animals in general.
If you don’t know who they are, check them out at www.dewildt.co.za for all the information.
Now, back to the karting track.
I’ve said it before, but anything involving me, an engine and a steering wheel is pretty frightening – my mates can testify to that!
My only other experience on track was those snail-paced little go-karts they had at Carnival City back in the day.
I was teamed up with fellow Caxtonite and passionate petrolhead Sean Nurse (editor of the Autodealer), Aki Anastasiou (from 702), Nokuthula Llewellyn (Kiehl’s SA brand ambassador) and River Makings (South African gymnast) to name a few.
We took to the tar and placed seventh of 12 karts.
I didn’t do too poorly either, despite spinning out twice on a winding corner.
Overall it was a terrific experience for me to help to give the centre a bit of exposure and to rub shoulders with some well-known South Africans.
I also got to meet Yeats, the ambassador cheetah for the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre and Clare’s adopted cheetah.
We may not have gone around the track extremely quickly, but we all helped to do our bit for the fastest animal in the world.
Thank you to everyone who made the day a roaring success. Albums from the day Cheetah Karting.
* Check out more content from Logan Green at www.benonicitytimes.co.za