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Car Magazine September 2008

CAR: What is your racing background, and
how did you get started?

Graeme Nathan: I started racing at the age
of six in motocross. I raced there for many
years, moving up through the classes as I
got older. I had a really big crash in 1992,
which cost me my sponsor, since I was off
the bike for quite some time while recover-
ing from a broken back and neck vertebra.
Because the speed bug would not go away,
my dad and I bought an old Mini Cooper in
1994, which he drove that year and I drove
the next. That was the start of my track-
racing career, in the Historics series.
CAR: What championships have you won
to date?

GN: I have won quite a few motocross titles
and regional car championships as well as
the 2001 Polo Cup title.
CAR: Was it a gamble signing up with the
Seat team, especially considering that the
marque has never competed on local soil
GN: Driving the Seat and signing for the
team has been really exciting as it was a
new venture. Because the car is based on a
Golf 5 GTI, I was very keen to have a go as I
had previously raced the GTI in Class T. In
addition to that there was a lot of overseas
experience that we had access to.
CAR: The Cupra has been fast since its
début late last year. How much of the
develop ment did you do locally and how
is the Seat as a racecar?

GN: The Seat’s début was so good that we
had to get 120 kg of lead (ballast) into it to
slow it down so the other cars in Class T
stood a chance of winning. The car has
been developed locally as the specs of the
Seats overseas are completely different.
Most of the work has been carried out at
my workshop, with lots of input and effort
from Dean Jeffery, Vic Maharaj and Rob
Green Motorsport.
CAR: How do you rate your chances of
taking the overall and Class T titles this
year, and who is your biggest rival?

GN: We are leading Class T at the moment
and rate our chances of taking the class title
very well. But we’re under big pressure from
last year’s champion Iain Pepper.
CAR: There are quite a few rookies in the
Production Car category. Who do you rate
as a rising star?

GN: The rookie of this year, for me, must be
Gary van Heerden. He is competing in the
toughest class in the country and is doing a
great gob in his new Opel Astra OPC.
CAR: With the biggest field of competitors,
do you think that Class T is the future?

GN: Class T is the only class to compete in,
as the drivers are the best.
CAR: What’s been your most memorable
on-track experience?

GN: It would have to be my first national
championship win. It was in Polo Cup back in
1998. It was even more special because it was
in the rain and the field had some really big
names (all former champions in various formulae) like Marthinus Briers, Iain Pepper,
Basil Mann, Neil Stephens and Derrick Irving.
Cunha (Nissan 350Z) claimed second, ahead
of Anthony Taylor in the second BMW.
In race two, Johan Fourie (Audi A4) forced
his way past Michael Stephen (Audi A4)
with just two laps remaining, to claim the
victory. From 11th place Leeroy Poulter
(Nissan 350Z), worked his way into third.
Graeme Nathan (Seat León Cupra)
claimed heat one of the hotly contested
Class T. Nathan finished ahead of Gary
Formato (Ford Focus ST), with reigning
champion Iain Pepper (VW Golf GTI) in
third. Pepper led home Reghardt Roets
(Opel Astra OPC) in heat two with champion-
ship leader Nathan claiming third. Ben
Morgenrood (Mazda RX-8) scored a double
in Class B. Danie van Niekerk (Ford Fiesta ST)
Winter Warmer
The temperature may have been cool, but
the on-track action was hot at Kyalami’s
July meeting.
The first Class A race in the Production
Car battle went to Etienne van der Linde in
the privately entered BMW 330i. Marco da
Reproduced with permission from CAR Magazine. With thanks to Mr. John Bentley and Mr. Sudhir Matai
For the full article please see CAR magazine September 2008 issue page 155 and 157.
Visit or for subscriptions visit 









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