Former Formula One world champ Häkkinen in SA for JW campaign!

Forget about the exchange of words between two old men aboard the boat, “I want this boat, but I’m not selling it. I won’t buy it but win it,” as it goes. You get the drift, right?

This week at the launch that included chopper rides, the former world’s and two-times formula One champ Mika Häkkinen, made something of that sort ‘wager’ to the rally driver and television presenter Gugu Zulu, who has an (im)possible mandate to train businessman and international public speaker Vusi Thembekwayo, a racing enthusiast with no experience, in a limited amount of time, to set a lap time at Kyalami Race Track within five seconds of Häkkinen’s best Kyalami track time, in a car of Zulu’s choice, as part of the Johnnie Walker Gentleman’s Wager campaign.

 Although a bit of mountain to climb for Thembekwayo-who will race with Häkkinen-as they race three sets of timed lapse around the track- Zulu would have to do his magic on his trainee to end up being given the keys to the classic and Häkkinen’s favourite cars of all time – the Mercedes 300SL Roadster. Aha.

 The race takes place only at Kyalami Race Track in April, and results will be made on May 20 May on DSTV channel, Mzansi Magic.

Zulu and Häkkinen met in Durban during the car race fest in 2013. That’s where the relationship between the two grew and resulted into this mind-blowing exercise in SA.

The age defier Häkkinen was quoted as having said: “Ok, firstly, it will take a lot for a novice to set a good time around Kyalami, and secondly, to then expect him to be within 5 seconds of my best time, well, that I’ve got to see… so, yes, you’re on…”, during the gentleman’s talk in Johannesburg.

“My aim is not only to train Vusi on the finer points of driving but to get his mind and body to function as one seamless super-responsive unit. That’s why Vusi is getting augmented driver training to get within five seconds of Mika’s fastest time,” says Zulu, the 2000 Isondo Sports Champion.    

Johnnie Walker South Africa’s Whisky Portfolio Manager, Zumi Njongwe says:“The #walkerwager campaign ultimately celebrates personal progression, achievement and the attainment of true rarity and success through hard work and commitment.

We wish Zulu and Thembekwayo the best of luck with this wager and we hope they have great fun with this once in a lifetime experience. We know that their hard work will pay dividends in the end.”

”I have achieved many things in my life but I have always found that I am inspired by those who always want to learn and so it has been in my life. I am always curious to learn and achieve new things. So while I aim to win, the journey is more important that the destination,” says Thembekwayo.

Häkkinen will also discuss and spread responsible drinking message through Johnnie Walker’s global campaign, ‘Join the Pact’.

As I sum up this ‘wager’ story my unmatchable JW Blue is awaiting my attention, fellow country-men…


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