Dear Stuart, with two articles on Wayne Taylor in consecutive issues, I think it is appropriate to reflect on some of the early days on Wayne’s ladder of success.
The year is 1970 and every young East London boy with an inkling of petrol in his veins had aspirations of becoming the next Jody Scheckter; having won the 1969 Driver to Europe prize, Jody had just moved to the UK and started his meteoric rise up the ranks that would culminate in him winning the 1979 F1 title for Ferrari.
Wayne was no exception and he prompted me, as his Metalwork Master at Selborne College, to embark on a ‘Build-a-Kart Project’. At the time I owned a kart with a Commet 88 engine which I housed (illegally) in the metalwork room. In spite of the strict curriculum we had to follow, Wayne spent more time ogling the kart than paying attention to the projects that fell within the syllabus.
With the help of Ken Estment, a renowned kart builder, the ‘Build-a-Kart Project’ kicked off with Wayne being one of the two interested parties. For the sake of brevity I will not comment on the build details, save to say that Wayne kept me running at quite a pace. From the outset it was clear where this young man’s mind was. His parents immediately showed interest and his mom told me that Wayne wanted to follow in Jody’s footsteps. Most people thought it was a pipe dream but Wayne proved them wrong. He followed through and mastered his dream.
It is then a just reward for a young protégé to be crowned in the SA Hall of fame, next to his idol, Jody Scheckter.
Arno (GOM) van der Westhuizen
Hello Arno, what a brilliant story. I only wish my teachers had snuck a kart into class and then set up a programme to build one – I might have listened a bit more regularly. I can, however, blame Wayne for sparking my love for Group C racing cars – pasted to the wall across from my bed 25 or so years back was a Swiftsure-sponsored Porsche 956 that showed a pilot with a big ‘W’ graphic on the side of his helmet.
Thanks for the memories and support.