Grobler bids Nissan goodbye
One of South Africa’s most endearing racing personalities, Hannes Grobler, will be parting ways with Nissan motorsport at the end of the season.
This will signal the end of a 33 year relationship, unmatched at the highest echelons of local motorsport.
Grobler, the only South African motorsport competitor to have won both the South African National Rally Driver’s Championship and the South African Off-Road Racing Championship, will be joining the RFS Group of companies from January next year.
He will be managing their soon to be launched 4x4 Mega world store in Montana, Pretoria, putting his valuable off-road driving knowledge and experience to good use advising customers.
Hannes Grobler doing what comes naturally...
Grobler started his career with Nissan in 1977 and has won everything where rubber touches dirt in a racing format.
In 1986 he won both the National Rally Driver’s Championship and the SA Off-Road Championship in the same year in 1986.
The off-road 'double' is a feat that nobody else has been able to repeat to date.
Grobler's 1986 achievement was made even more remarkable considering he was campaigning a ludicrously overpowered (and locally developed) Skyline against the internationally certified and utterly sophisticated Audi Quattro.
Always laughing, mostly winning and never whining, Grobler has been a huge crowd favorite over the years.
A vastly underrated circuit racer and keen motorcyclist too, Grobler will also become a full time member of the RFS Motorsport team in the SA Off-Road Racing championship as from next year.
Grobler will be competing in the SP Class in the Production Vehicle Class of the Off-Road Championship.
"To cut my ties with Nissan motorsport after all these years was not an easy decision, and I want to thank the management of Nissan for having the faith in me for all those years, but it was a necessary one taking me and my family’s future into consideration", Grobler said.
"I am the only competitor who has stayed with one manufacturer for such a long period of time, but the time has come to make a change", he added.
Although local fans will be sad to see the legendary Grobler/Nissan partnership end, having the affable little maestro still competing is sufficient consolation.