Wanday intensifies preparations for the 50th Concours

Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 00:00 |
Alfa Romeo Owners Club Chairman Peter Wanday repairs his machine ahead of next year’s event. Photo/PD/EDWIN OTIENO

Edwin Otieno

Alfa Romeo Owners Club Chairman Peter Wanday has intensified his preparation for the Africa Concours d’Elegance which will be held by the Alfa Romeo Owners Club early next year at the Nairobi Racecourse. 

Wanday has already entered a classic sports coupe. The event will be the 50th in the annual series organised by the Club to recognise and reward owners of well kept cars and motorcycles.

A classic Alfa Romeo 1750 is being painstakingly rebuilt by Wanday, which will contest the up to 2,000 cc touring car class.

In between working on the sports coupe he quipped: “By a happy coincidence the Alfa is 50 years old coinciding with the 50th Concours and nearly 50 entries have been received by the Club.”

 He added: “I have devoted my spare time during the last two years to completely rebuild my car for the classiest event on the motor sport calendar.”

It is hoped that I will meet the standards expected by the judges for the underside, paintwork, interior and engine.”

Since 2006 the Concours has been recognized and sanctioned by FIM Africa and has Africa continental status for cars and motorcycles.

Meanwhile, the sight of the hefty back tyre of Max Verstappen’s Red Bull Formula One car crashing down towards the helmet of Lewis Hamilton at the Italian Grand Prix made for sickening viewing.

The seven-time world champion was beached in his Mercedes, but ultimately saved by his halo, a cockpit head protection system introduced in March 2018.

“Honestly, I feel very fortunate,” said Hamilton. “Thank God for the halo, that ultimately, I think, saved me, and saved my neck.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been hit on the head by a car before and it’s quite a shock for me, because I don’t know if you’ve seen the image but my head really is quite far forward.

“And I’ve been racing a long, long time, so I’m so, so grateful that I’m still here.”

Verstappen was blamed by the Monza stewards for the dramatic airborne crash with Hamilton.

The Red Bull driver, who leads Hamilton by five points in the Formula One standings but must now serve a three-place grid penalty at the Russian Grand Prix in a fortnight’s time, had tried to muscle past Hamilton who had just rejoined the track after a pit stop on lap 26.

But Verstappen’s car, pushed onto the sausage kerb at the Turn One chicane, ended up with its back wheel rolling over the top of his rival’s Mercedes. The halo protected Hamilton’s head.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff had once threatened to take a chainsaw to the safety system if he could, because of its weight.

But he struck a different tone after watching Hamilton escape unscathed.

“The championship was good fun up until now but we saw the halo save Lewis’ life today. We don’t want to see someone seriously hurt,” Wolff said in Monza.

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