DEZZI IS KING OF THE HILL

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE -

HE does not like to be called KZN’s hum­ble king of mo­tor­sport, but af­ter his week­end win, Des­mond Gutzeit is now of­fi­cially the King of the Hill.

Gutzeit raced his 1 000 kW Nis­san GT-R fastest around the twisty 1,9-kilo­me­tre track, rid­ing on 16-inch Avon tyres which he de­scribed “as sticky as hell”.

The 61-year-old KZN busi­nessper­son pow­ered his ma­chine up the hill in just 40,14 sec­onds, to lower the Jaguar Si­mola Hill climb record by a full sec­ond. As in all rac­ing, tyre choice makes or breaks the podium. Gutzeit Se­nior had set the tone through­out the two days of in­tense com­pe­ti­tion in his ex­plo­sive 1 400 hp (over 1 000 kW) Nis­san Sky­line R32 GT-R, tus­sling dur­ing the prac­tice and qual­i­fy­ing ses­sions with son Jade in the newly built Mit­subishi Lancer Evo 7.

The Port Shep­stone-based duo dom­i­nated the six qual­i­fy­ing rounds spread over Satur­day and Sun­day, with Des lead­ing the charge on 40,210 sec­onds, blitz­ing Franco Scrib­ante’s ex­ist­ing 2014 record of 41,159 sec­onds by al­most a full sec­ond.

Jade was sec­ond over­all in the qual­i­fy­ing with a time of 41,366 sec­onds. Both fastest qual­i­fy­ing times were set on Satur­day af­ter­noon. More than 12 000 spec­ta­tors — a record to­tal — at­tended the three days of adren­a­line-fu­elled rac­ing, in­clud­ing Clas­sic Car Fri­day. Those that made it to the Jaguar Si­mola Hill climb on Sun­day in par­tic­u­lar were treated to plenty of thrills and even a cou­ple of spills.

Des con­tin­ued to set scin­til­lat­ing times, but un­for­tu­nately Jade only com­pleted one Sun­day qual­i­fier at full tilt be­fore the clutch packed up on his sec­ond run in the 800 hp (600 kW) Evo 7. He and the rest of the Dezzi crew worked fever­ishly to re­move the en­gine and gear­box in or­der to re­place the clutch, fin­ish­ing just in time for the class fi­nals af­ter a truly ex­cep­tional team ef­fort.

Toby Ven­ter had his best run of the week­end to cross the line on 42,098 sec­onds to qual­ify third in his Porsche 911 GT2RS Le Mans — a time matched by Darron Gud­manz in the Nis­san R35 GT-R. Reign­ing cham­pion Franco Scrib­ante (Chevron B19) took fifth on 42,215 sec­onds, ahead of Sav Gualtieri (BMW 335i) a tenth slower and Jacki Scheck­ter (Nis­san R35 GT-R) on 42,699 sec­onds. Duane Gal­loway (R32 Nis­san Sky­line GT-R) qual­i­fied eighth on 44,181 sec­onds, just ahead of Craig Czank (Nis­san R35 GT-R) on 44,237 sec­onds, while an­other Gutzeit, Jade’s younger brother Shane, rounded out the top 10 in his R32 GT-R with 44,244 sec­onds. What next for the king? “I’m not sure if I can go any faster, but next year we’ll def­i­nitely try to break the 40-sec­ond bar­rier,” Gutzeit said. — WR.

PHOTO: ROB TILL/MOTORPRESS

Sec­ond time lucky, Dezzi Gutzeit is a happy man af­ter he took a whole sec­ond off the Si­mola Hill climb record.

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