To get the nation behind you, start delivering the goods

Musa Zondi

Musa Zondi

It is all very well for A1 GP Team RSA to expect, nay, demand that the nation stands behind Vulindlela, the country's entrant in the World Cup of Motorsport. But it is equally important for the team to deliver.

At the moment they are not and that is unacceptable.

The series started last year in Zandvoort in the Netherlands with an explosion for Team RSA.

The new boy on the block, Adriaan Zaugg, promised to reverse the fortunes of the team.

He won the sprint race, having led from start to finish.

He was set to start the feature race in the front, which he did. Unfortunately, a bad start lost us what could have been our first double.

This was the highlight and suddenly people were talking about Vulindlela with passion. Correctly so.

Unfortunately for the team, their fortunes dwindled from then on.

There were a couple of good showings later, but not good enough. The badly organised Beijing street race was one of those highlights where Zaugg drove against all odds and proved that he was a champion in the making. He was waylaid by injury and in hisplace Stephen Simpson tried to revive what looked like a precarious career. He disappeared into the sunset and, again, correctly so.

Alan van der Merwe was then given a chance and his performances have not been bad. He has stormed the field now and then to be stopped by an electrical or hydraulic fault.

Last weekend he was talking a different story from the car he was driving. Man and machine were not in tune and it showed.

Whether out of sheer frustration or a momentary lapse, he crashed behind the safety car on the Pakistani's entrant. It was as if South Africa was not crushing enough on the cricket team and Van der Merwe added insult to injury.

According to the team, Team Pakistan took too long to get moving because the safety car entered at that point. A crashing ending to a disastrous weekend.

It has been downhill since Holland. More importantly, South Africa hosts the series in two weeks.

It is important to point out that the same team that prepares the French car does ours also.

The results though have been very different. What is wrong here?

So for the team to get and deserve the support of the nation, they need to start delivering.

Zaugg is likely to drive on his home turf. He can do it. But if the machine does not relate to the man, heaven help us. We will be thumped in our own back yard and no matter how pretty everything looks, it is winning that is important.