The skidpan day held at the beginning of the year was so successful that SOCSA decided to hold a much bigger one; along the lines of a full day of fun for 65 cars!
Our members were more than up to the task, we had a full field of Subarus and friends of the club on the pan for the day. Foresters from the Foresters Forum (including one with launch control that gave me a hiding on the pan), some sideways 86's, a well-driven Focus ST and some lovely German metal from the boys at Blessed Wheels to add to the BMW's and the S3 already present! The record for the oldest passenger on the skidpan was 87 years old, she loved the experience although the vicious acceleration of Scooby AWD on a wet surface made sure it was only one trip for the day!
Cat in Hat laid out two routes which were exceptionally enjoyable, as they were easier to remember than most, and made for great entertainment. We had three groups of cars, with only one group in the skidpan queue at any given time, there was minimal waiting for participants. Throughout the day we had a photographer from 'Speed and Sound' magazine, who kindly provided the photos below. At least there was more than enough material for a Subaru album for the journalist, everything from classic two door STI's to Foresters and wagons, with everything in between!
There were a few cones murdered by some drivers, and a couple of wrong routes, but all participants were considerate and said a few words for the dead cone, or did some long slides to entertain the crowd if they got lost on the skidpan during their run.
A fun diversion was also brought by a confused SOCSA member who left his WRX at home and brought his turbocharged Honda Jazz instead. Clearly a man with a sense of humour, and a passion for scaring hot hatches! While on the subject of passion, SOCSA as a club is lucky to have the special members we have; there were a number who came along to help out, spectate, and generally just be there for the day although they weren't driving.
Subaru South Africa attended, and were kind enough to provide a new shape Subaru STI and two WRX's for both journalists and members to enjoy on the skidpan. The benefits of SOCSA's close relationship with SSA were clear to me when I was thrown the keys to the STI for two runs. Torque vectoring is a revelation, and everything from the D shaped steering wheel to the updated exterior is massively appealing... One day!
The two WRX's, one in manual guise and the other with CVT, were eventually used for a rather unique competition. The top ten drivers from the two routes were given a chance to drive each WRX on a route around the pan, with the winning driver receiving a trophy and Noddy badge. This superb concept was a crowd favourite, that we will try to have at more of our events!
Finally, thanks to the Committee for another great event, and especially our timekeepers for their hard work throughout the day!
Article by Craig Watson
SOCSA's most popular family event (besides the illustrious Scoobyfest) is without a doubt the Treasure Hunt. However, it does appear that the creators of the route enjoy themselves more than the participants - Sean and Nadia had particularly evil grins on their faces throughout the day as they watched us struggle through the effects of their twisted minds.
This was the longest, or at least it felt like the longest, treasure hunt yet, and was thoroughly enjoyed by all the participants, though the occasional four letter words cursing the day Sean was spawned may have tempered the happy mood!
First off, there needs to be some congratulations and appreciation for the excellent hosts of the start of the event, Subaru Bryanston. They were more than happy to open on a Sunday for a 7am start, and were even happier to pay for ALL participants entries, all of which would go to Pet Welfare SA! Dealer support has been increasing for SOCSA, and we are grateful that Subaru Bryanston chose to partner with us for this initiative. Perhaps the nicest part of being at the dealer was Tim Colvin adopting a puppy on the spot… small children are very hard to defy when a puppy is involved! Despite the fact that participants were told beforehand that there would be no entry fee, there were still many blankets and cans of pet food donated to the Pet Welfare centre by the drivers and their families.
There was a wide variety of cars at the event, from Wayne's race-prepped STI to a Prado, a Honda Jazz and many different kinds of AWD Subaru goodness. This was a general invite to any and all participants, not necessarily SOCSA members, all in the name of supporting a good charity at a family-friendly event. We even had a member drive all the way back to the Northern Cape after enjoying the day with us, this kind of support is only given by Scooby fanatics!
The day started off with some clues given around the Subaru Bryanston dealership, from car facts, to BRZ advertisements, to a very tricky section where some rather obscure parts on a table had to be identified, including a boot release switch!
The hunt was filled with many u turns, many confused looks exchanged between participants and most of all, a lot of laughter and banter. We had some fantastic stops along the way, including the Rhino and Lion Park, and the infamous Pit Stop Diner.
At the end of a (very) long and very enjoyable day, we all enjoyed a lunch and prize giving at Doppio Zero in Cradlestone Mall, despite starting out in Bryanston. Was the route a bit longer than driving directly between the two venues?
I guess you will have to find out what Sean and Nadia's creative navigation skills are like next year...
1st Brent Ellis - Cheated by having 3 co drivers 2nd Mike and Leigh - Reigning champs (best at cheating) 3rd Antony and Kersha - Too new to the club to be judged as yet
A great big thanks must go to all the helpers for this event, but mainly to Sean and Nadia for their tireless work in ensuring another enjoyable event!
Scoobyfest 2014 was, without a doubt, the most well-supported, well-organised and enjoyable event that SOCSA has held so far.
Let me explain why this is so, and show you the pictures.
Due to a booking error on the part of Zwartkops we had to move our annual festival to February instead of December. This proved to be a blessing as there weren't any holidays o budget for in February, and everyone has recovered from the inevitable December habit of wasting money on things other than Subarus.
A lot of hype built up around this event, and justifiably so. Subaru South Africa was heavily involved in both sponsorship and participation, and there was talk of being able to reach the milestone of 100 cars entered. Our hard-working IT team monitored the process of payment and registration, ensuring it was seamless, as was handling of the growing waiting list for the event!
Eventually the entry list had to be capped at 120 cars, and there was an impressively long waiting list. The Committee had simply underestimated the level of enthusiasm there was for this event!
Perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of the event for the drivers was the sheer amount of spectators who were attracted by the fun family atmosphere, as well as the cars of course! People had travelled from far and wide to be part of the festivities, and they were not disappointed.
To make the point, Gert Brits and his companions drove all the way from Namibia to join in on the fun, and we were as grateful for his company as we were for his stunning Bugeye STI. It was the only Scooby that could keep a certain red modified GTR R35 honest in the drag races, amid the rapturous applause of the surrounding crowd!
The photography at the event was superb; drivers always enjoy seeing photos of themselves putting their Scoobies through their paces, and there were plenty shots from which to choose. Thankfully there are many talented photography enthusiasts in the club who generously love to share the fruits of their labour. This was boosted by the presence of GoPro-bearing photography drones that were a smash hit; a new perspective on the performance of a Subaru is always welcome. Funnily enough, not all photographers had the same interests of photographing the cars on the track, such as the reports of a helmet-wearing Land Rover driver filming the convoys arriving at the gate to Zwartkops.
Subaru South Africa had a very large presence at Scoobyfest, they were kind enough to be the main sponsor of the event and really helped the Committee to put on this exceptional and well attended show. SSA not only brought along promotional memorabilia, but also demo cars for journalists to experience the skidpan, and their friendly staff members were on hand and also managed to enjoy a great day. We warmly welcomed Subaru South Africa and certainly look forward to more partnerships in the future between SSA and what must be the most enthusiastic car club in South Africa!
There were several other very welcome sponsors at the event, Scooby World, PowerBrake and Ridestuff ensured that enthusiasts had more than enough options available to spoil their cars, while Max My Ride provided their usual fantastic coverage of the event. KCB Signs, run by Forester fetishist Tim Colvin, made sure cars had the appropriate branding!
While on the subject of Foresters, it was inspiring to see so many Foresters and Legacy models at Scoobyfest, far too often it seems that we are the Subaru Impreza Owners Club! The SUV's and luxury models performed well on the skid pan, thanks to that ever-present Subaru AWD, so lets hope we see them having fun more often.
Luckily we had an incident-free event with absolutely no crashes, only some rather ambitious skidpan driving that started to look like Subaru's old WRC days. Mechanical issues were minor, and were promptly sorted with the fervent assistance of fellow drivers who wanted to ensure that all drivers could continue to enjoy the day.
Prize giving was as usual, a buoyant, loud and laughter-filled event, a hearty standard of banter amid the handing over of the trophies that rewarded the high standard of driving.
There was an ardently supported ladies division at prize giving and it is gratifying to see more and more ladies entering SOCSA events. Our hard working ChairChick wasn't eligible for a prize as she was very busy ensuring everyone else had a memorable day, to drive her own car.
Without further ado, here are the results from the days festivities!
SOCSA SKIDPAN DAY, ZWARTKOPS – 25th AUGUST 2013
What better way is there to spend an almost perfect early spring morning, than enjoying your Subaru (or Toyota or Noble or Mazdarati or Nissan or BMW) on a skidpan and shooting the poo with your mates? This past Sunday was such a day, and it all went down at Pretoria’s Zwartkops Raceway.
Registration commenced at approximately 8 a.m. with a total 30 participants signing in, all under the watchful eye of Mr. & Mrs. Merlin. This was followed by a short drivers briefing carried out by Mr. Hay, after which the first of the 3 routes was laid out on the slippery, glistening pan. Cars were numbered; tyre pressures where checked; 838’s useless batteried Macbook was setup, stopwatches were readied … deep breath … and we were off!
Skidpan events are a really great way to learn about ones car’s dynamic abilities, handling characteristics and limits, all within a safe controlled adrenalin filled environment. It is also an excellent way to learn about car control and greatly improves driving skill and confidence. Oh and did I mention how much fun it is?
The plan for the day was to allow each driver two runs on the first two routes, both of which utilised the entire skidpan area, with the third route being a two car, mirrored head to head session and the pan split in half down the middle (if that makes sense?!). Two runs on each side were completed by each driver for route three, which totaled eight runs per driver for the day! Each competitor’s fastest time from each course was then added together and totaled for the final results. By the way, did I mention how much fun it was?
The routes were thoughtfully planned and laid out by Cat in Hat and had a lovely mix of flowing twists, loops, slaloms and turns and were not overly complicated. Having said that, I think almost all of us managed to get it wrong at least once! I can’t recall, did I mention how much fun it was?
On the vehicle front there was some nice variety to be seen on the day. From the usual host of Impreza Sti’s, WRX’s and GT’s of all eras, to a couple of Forester XT’s and a pair of Toybaru FT86’s representing the Fuji factory. The rest of the field was made up of a lovely red Noble M400 (which has no driver aids whatsoever and looked like an absolute pleasure to drive on the pan), a Mazda MPS, a Nissan 350Z as well as Marco and Shantell’s ever impressive and well sorted BMW 328i.
It was also great to see some new faces and ladies taking part. This will hopefully encourage more to join the fun in future. A certain lady in a certain Forester even managed to beat her husband in his own car! Must be the pink XTi stickers! And did I mention how much fun she had?
When all was done and watered, results tallied and orange cones wedged out from underneath Carl’s car and packed up, the following competitors came out on top – congratulations guys and girls. (For interests sake, Carl and Sean were separated by a measly 0.21 seconds!)
1st – Nadia Singh (Our very own Chair Chick) 1st – Carl Van As
2nd – Shantell Van der Schyff 2nd – Sean Pretorius
3rd – Nicola Smith 3rd – Owen Warne
A special thanks to Cat in Hat, WRX737, The Merlins, Impreziv Chick, 838, volunteers and all others involved for organizing and helping out at another excellent SOCSA event. The SOCSA versus Audi skidpan event on the 28th of September is not to be missed! And I think I might have already mentioned how much fun it was!
Article by Mike Switzer (Stretch)
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