Two of South Africa’s motor sport legends, Graham Duxbury and Giniel de Villiers, recently hosted a fund-raising event at the Franschhoek Motor Museum on behalf of the Motorsport Legends Benevolent Fund. It was attended by members of the public keen to meet the two greats as well as having a VIP tour of the museum and its facilities by Curator Wayne Harley. Attendees were also taken on laps of the Plaas Pad circuit in Ford Mustang-lookalike V8 Masters cars piloted by Charles Arton and Marcel Angel while some experience a ride with Giniel in a Toyota 86.

Graham won the South African Drivers’ Championship in 1982 driving a March 78B and March 822, both cars prepared by the renowned engineer Ken Howes. He also won the Daytona 24-Hour sports car race in a March 83G-Porsche, sharing the drive with fellow luminaries Sarel van der Merwe and Tony Martin with sponsorship from Kreepy Krauly. Graham is the Chief Executive Officer of Duxbury Networking, a specialist networking distributor, and a motor sport commentator.

Giniel won the SA Touring Car Championship four times in succession from 1997 to 2000 with a dealer-backed Nissan Primera. He then switched to off-road racing and made his Dakar Rally debut in 2003, finishing fifth overall. He took his first stage victory in 2004 on the way to seventh overall and won two stages in 2005, ending fourth. When Nissan withdrew its works team, Giniel moved to Volkswagen, taking another stage win and the runner-up position in the 2006 event. Despite four stage victories in 2007, engine trouble dropped him to eleventh. Then in 2009, Giniel took overall victory in the demanding event. He finished seventh in 2010 and second in 2011. Giniel joined the South African Imperial Toyota team for the 2012 and 2013 events as a result of Volkswagen’s withdrawal, finishing third in 2012 and second in 2013 despite taking no stage victories. In 2014, Giniel won the final stage of the rally to secure fourth place overall. Emphasising his versatility, he currently is contesting the SA National Rally Championship for Toyota Gazoo Racing.

After the track experience everyone was invited to a fantastic lunch before Graham and Giniel entertained everyone with some fascinating stories and anecdotes about their Dakar escapades – Duxbury’s company is a sponsor of Toyota Gazoo Racing’s Dakar programme.

The Motorsport Legends Benevolent Fund is operated by Duxbury, Giorgio Cavalieri, Peter Labuschagne, Allan Trim and Les van Breda, a group of like-minded motorsport enthusiasts who several years ago recognised the fact that there were tragic tales of people involved in the sport, in particular those of advancing age, who had fallen on hard times and were in need of a degree of emergency financial relief.
Over the past 14 years, the Fund has been in a position to provide welcome assistance to a significant number of people. Support is given in a number of ways such as a cash injection for subsistence, provision of chronic medication or, in the worst cases, funding to provide a decent burial. One of the most daunting challenges facing the Fund is to consider the plight of someone within the fraternity that is totally unable to care for themselves and is without family support.

Funding is mainly derived from the staging of events and individual donations to the fund. The Motorsport Legends Benevolent Fund is registered as a ‘Friendly Society’ with SARS and operates as a tax-exempt company. FMM provides valuable support for the fund including providing archiving facilities for an invaluable treasure trove of photographic and documentary material on South African motorsport. “It is always a privilege to work with the Legends Trust and help them in this wonderful cause,” says curator Wayne Harley.

For more information on the Fund, contact Allan Trim at alink@icon.co.za. WH

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