REVIEW : FESTIVAL OF MOTORING – JOBURG
For the last two years, we’ve wanted to take our son to the Festival of Motoring but we’ve either forgotten or only realised it was on when it was too late to go. This year thanks to the friendly reminder from FNB we got to attend it. It was one of the best decisions we have made recently, as our day out at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit was nothing short of superb!
The festival was first held in 2016 and has shown positive growth every year since 2019, this being its 4th year. Did you know that it’s the only motoring show in Southern Africa that is endorsed by the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa aka NAAMSA and local car brands?! We can vouch that it was definitely a full day of outdoor fun and entertainment for the whole family.
We arrived early to try and avoid the queues. By 9 am there was already a decent crowd at the circuit, yet finding parking was easy. At the entrance the ticket verification process was seamless and in under ten minutes, the boys and I were making our way to the first pit visit.
Volkswagen was our first stop, and there was already a crowd queuing up and gearing to enter the race track area so that they could get to drive around the race circuit with one of the professional drivers. First things first, we had to register the whole family before we were permitted access to ALL the activities VW had scattered across Kyalami. Registration dragged a little as there were only three terminals and a queue that moved slowly but in a civil manner. Later, as we roamed around the circuit we discovered that there were actually a few more points to register for all of the VW activities. Remember that for 2020!
Much to our son’s excitement and after getting over his initial “fear” of the unknown, we managed to fit in a number of exciting activities during this third day of the festival that included;
- a ‘hot‘ lap around the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit with a professional VW female race driver
- drift on tar in two different VW Polo cars, just like in the movies
- ride the Ferris Wheel where we got an elevated view of our city and its suburbs
- experience the power of the VW Amarok on a obstacle course
- admire both the classic cars and the more modern ones
- live music entertainment
- eat delicious fast food from a variety of food stalls
- “Bounce” had their trampolines in the Kiddies Area with some of their instructors but sadly they forgot to bring socks to sell(or better giveaway) to the public as the kids need socks to bounce.
- PUMA Energy had a ‘mock’ filling station with a “real” OK Express for the kids to “buy” two gifted items if they visited the Kiddies Area
- 4×4 Experience where we got to test drive a variety of 4×4’s from the Suzuki Jimny to the luxurious Haval H9 before an exhilarating dirt drifting experience in the powerful Ford Raptor
We were finally ready to leave just before 6 pm after an extremely long day that was so fulfilling for us 3 boys. Normally with all the walking we did, our 6-year-old would have complained that he was tired quite early in the day. He didn’t. He was having way too much fun outdoors.
Overall, we would highly recommend that the event be attended by the whole family in 2020, regardless of whether you’re a petrol-head or not. Arrive early so you can do as much as possible before the crowds get there. The activities were well spread out across the entire Grand Prix grounds and although there were reasonably large crowds throughout the day, at no stage did we feel overcrowded or unsafe. Our only gripe would be with AUDI SA, they had a registration process similar to VW but required the public to first go online to register to retrieve a voucher. Making it a cumbersome process, more so because there was no Free WiFi. The experience came across a little elitist and prohibitive. As a result the Audi queues were no-where near as busy or in-demand as that of the VW activation.
The Festival of Motoring will be back in 2020, if this year’s event is anything to go by, it will be a memorable experience for the whole family. The entrance fee included all the activities after registration with the likes of VW or Audi, the exception being food and drinks, but that’s understandable.
Great value for money, whether you are a petrolhead or not!