There is no more intense a rivalry than that which exists between brothers Gary and Bevan Bertholdt who both campaign state-of-the-art BAT cars in the Special Vehicle category of the Absa Off Road Championship.
The rivalry emerged when 30-year old Gary and 33-year old Bevan started racing soapbox cars 25-years ago. The brothers made it through to the final of the Northcliff Championship and when Bevan realised he was about to be beaten by Gary he promptly took him out of the race, which led to all manner of family problems.
While both share similar pastimes and socialise together it was a case of ‘dog eat dog’ on the racetracks with Bevan always the aggressor.
“Gary is lighter than me and has always had the edge, which has led to huge frustration on my part,” said Bevan. “We have raced against each other in karts, on off road motorcycles, in motocross and, in recent years, in off road cars.”
“We have both enjoyed a fair measure of success but it’s Gary who has won the coveted Class A Special Vehicle driver’s championship, which I so dearly want to win too.”
Both brothers are super fit and the rivalry even extends to when the play squash or work out in the gym.
Father Bodo is a former off road champion and hugely supportive of Gary and Bevan’s racing endeavours and shares his time between them on events.
“My father has played an important role in both our careers and we are grateful to him,” said Gary. “The fact that he has always been around to mediate in racing disputes between Bevan and myself is an added bonus.”
“Had he not been around Bevan and I would by now have throttled one another,” quipped Gary.
The ‘Battle of the Bertholdt’s’ resumes in the Toyota Dealer 400 in the Lydenburg area on October 22 and 23 when Mafeking 500 winners Gary and Siegfried Rousseau (Advansoft BAT) take on Bevan and Nick Selamolela (Itec BAT) in their quest to win the Special Vehicle category overall.