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Standing Ovation for Gill
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Sunday, 20 May 2012
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Today Gillian Ziembinski showed true off road grit, determination and above all, bravery to drive her late husband Brett’s Super 1650 #269 through eight laps of the 32km track at the Onkaparinga Ramblers Car Club Parilla track.

1354b_sm It was an extremely emotive time in the Ziembinski and Speed families in the lead up to this weekend’s Richard Bennett Memorial Enduro as Gillian prepared to compete.

The buggy had not been raced since Brett’s tragic passing in late December 2010. Although Gill is no stranger to off road competition, being brought up in the sport and the navigators seat, and driving in numerous ladies and juniors events in the #269, the courage it took for this young woman to line up with 28 fellow off road racers was extraordinary.

1354c_sm Accompanying Gill on this quest was Brett’s younger brother Daniel (aka Boof), who sat steadfastly next to his sister in law as she drove consistently and steadily through the 256km race.

Boof commented after Saturday’s prologue “Gill’s getting back into a rhythm. She power slid through the corners and is handling the doughy conditions really well”.

Gill and Boof crossed the finish line after the eight lap marathon to a standing ovation and not a dry eye in sight; all present understanding the significance of the feat for the young mother.

The Onkaparinga Ramblers Car Club named a perpetual trophy in Brett’s honour after his passing. One of Brett’s most treasured possessions was a lime green racing helmet. The club have immortalised a model of this helmet in a mallee wood trophy to be awarded to the first navigator home at the Parilla track.

Photographer: Murray Rogers, offroadracing.com.au