A NINE HOURS STORY
Last month over lunch with a group of motoring journalists, Toby Venter mentioned that he is working on bringing the Nine Hours of Kyalami endurance race back to Kyalami as early as next year. Reminiscing about the Nine Hours of old, he commented that everybody has a Nine Hours story, and if you’re old enough to have experienced the Nine Hours, I’m sure you too may have a story tell.
My first article ever published came as a result of the Nine Hours. As a big-eyed seven-year-old, I attended my first ever Nine Hours during the school holidays in 1969. It also happened to be my first experience of any form of motor racing, apart from listening to radio commentary of motor races that featured my boyhood hero, John Love. So, dressed in my racing overalls, which my mother had sewn for me, complete with John Love insignia, sponsor decals, and the Gunston logo emblazoned across the back of my overalls (yes, seven-year-olds were allowed to promote Tabaco products), I was off to the races for an experience that would change my life forever.
Back in class after the school holidays, we had to write the obligatory and usually very boring “What I did during my school holiday” essay. But boy, did I have a story. I got stuck into it, and after several rewrites and fact-checking (especially the foreign-sounding names of the drivers), I handed in my essay. To this day, I can’t remember what mark I received for my essay, but apparently, it was good enough to be selected for the school yearbook. And so, in 1969 at the age of seven, my first motoring article was published in print.
I trust that you will enjoy the stories we bring you in this month’s edition of Driven, and if you have a Nine Hours story (suited for all ages!), please feel free to share it with me. Who knows, you too may get your opportunity to have your story published in print.
Enjoy the read!