Meet: Jody Renza
JODY RENZA: True Racer!
Racing fans may remember Jody Jackie (JJ) Renza or "Sideways" as the sensation on the oval tracks in South Africa in the seventies.
His flamboyant, push-the-limit, nearly-out-of-control driving style, secured him 49 wins, 29 second and 19 third places (a total of 148 heat wins) and an incredible 97 podium finishes in only 138 races, mostly on gravel oval tracks.
Jody also raced in (anything with wheels) Formula Vee, Formula Ford, and Formula GTi, Formula Atlantic, Modified & Saloon Cars, Midgets,V8 Sprint Car and Hot Rod races.
In Europe he raced in Formula Ford against the likes of Bruno Giacomelli and Kenny Achesson who eventually raced in Formula 1 for Alfa Romeo and Ram-March. He beat them both, with a brilliant fourth at Snetterton in an old Van Dieman RF75.
JODY RENZA- The birth of a STAR:
Jody Renza started his racing career at the tender age of 13.
Interesting enough, Jody Renza is not his birth name, but because of his parent's disapproval of motor sport as a career, he raced as John Winning, Wayne Andretti, "A.N Other" and Jody (Jackie) Renza (which he translated from: Ren - means race in his native Afrikaans and "ZA" for South Africa). But a photo in a local newspaper of "Renza" winning races in Nelspruit and Phalaborwa, gave the game away and his father Frank, was furious.
One cannot help but wondering what would have become of Jody's career, if perhaps he had his parent's blessing and a little more financial support. On the other hand could it be the very lack of support from the people who cared for him that made Jody as determined to proof himself? Nevertheless, at that stage Jody, financed and built his own cars from money that he earned from working during school holidays and weekends.
In 1971 at Welkom Raceway, Jody was only 15 years old when he tested the #11 Mclaren M10A / F5000 that belonged to his famous multiple champion uncle and South Africa's winningiest driver, Bobby Olthoff, after winning a bet that he would lap within a second from his uncle's best time within 5 laps.
Needless to say.. HE DID JUST THAT!!
1978 a year to remember for Jody Renza
Hoping to pursue a career in racing in England, Bushbuck Ridge resident Jody Renza travelled overseas in 1977 for a second time, aiming to participate in the 1978 Formula Ford Championship.
However, political sanctions against South Africa threw a spanner in his racing wheel and he had to return. But whilst in England he did make a living in the racing world and still have an uncashed cheque to prove so!
More determined than ever, Jody returned to South Africa and won an impressive 32 straight races from 38 starts in various classes and even V8 Sprint Cars with his mentor/friend/mechanic Jakes Venter.
In the same year he was also crowned 1978 Stock Car Champion in the V8 Class.
This was the year when Jody Renza planned a dare-devil stunt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records, by jumping over the Panorama Falls near Graskop in a specially designed Rotary powered car.
Unfortunately it wasn't meant to be, as he suffered a tragic accident in October 1978 whilst testing his brand new Team 7Up & Ericssons/ FRD Racing/ Kahle Wholesalers V8 Sprint Car on the old Wembley Track.
The brand new Sprint Car he was driving, crashed and overturned into the stands, claiming the life of a young spectator. Although Jody was seriously injured (and in a coma for four days without any family knowing becaused he raced as "Jody Renza"), he miraculously survived.
The V8 Sprint Car accident not only had a huge impact on his life, but it also influenced his racing style. He was a bit more careful and cautious and at that stage, his international racing career was sadly, at the time, downgraded to regional & national racing.
In 1987 hours after doing an (compulsory) army camp, he left for the US and he tested a NASCAR Chevy at the North Carolina Motor Speedway near Rockingham with the famous Buddy Baker with very-very promising results, but declined to take the offer to do a few races in what was known as the Busch Series, due to lack of sponsorship for the 1988 season.
JODY RENZA AFTER 1978
Jody Renza (Francois Düminy) got married in 1982, settled in Bloemfontein and later in Phalaborwa. They were blessed with two lovely children Francois jr and Michellé-René. But after the turning of the millennium, Jody's life changed again.
His only son Francois jr. died in a car crash on 4 December 2004. Sadly, a drawn-out divorce and bad financial "family" investments, cost him his life's earnings.
And again he found himself fighting for his life this time against cancer.
Shocked into a stupor after all these major set-backs, Jody Renza reached a turning point and started to search for the deeper meaning of life. A journey that had him joined YWAM missionary school in Worcester and resulted in the renewal of his commitment to God.
JODY RENZA TODAY
Being a devoted Christian doesn't mean that Jody suddenly sit with his hands folded. Nowadays, he is even more determined to win some more championships and go international sports car and ASA Nascar racing.
Jody's biggest project to date will be to enter his own NASA NP team to race in America in the 25 Hour event at Thunderhill Raceway in 2015.
Renza Sport have already confirmed that they will also run a CN class Tatuus or Wolf or a LMP3 in the Asian Le Mans Series in 2015/6.
The cars will run in the now familiar Renza red/green/yellow livery with sponsorship coming from their QLIMAX™ SPORTS DRINKS and Renza Men's Fashions & Apparel. There is also talk of an international, South African based chemical company that might join the American ventures.
Jody is available for promotions, stunt driver duties and is a known motivational speaker at schools,the youth camps,corporate functions and special occasions.
Jody Renza still believes his biggest asset as a racing driver: His right foot....
STATISTICS: JODY RENZA
Weight: 79 kg
Date of Birth: 8 January
Place of Birth: Groblersdal (ZA)
Residence: Pretoria (ZA)
Marital Status: Divorced
Family: Michellé - René Düminy (daughter) and sisters Delicia Vogel, Lorraine Wessels & Vivienne Wepener
Jody Renza Apparel: Renza™ Promotions
Renza Sport™ - ASA Nascar & Asian Le Mans Teams
Renza Racing & Stunts
QLIMAX™ Men's Fashions & Apparel
QLIMAX™ Sports Drinks
Renza Publikasies (Afrikaans)
Favorite slogan: My right foot does the talking!!
Favorite TV show: On ESPN & Fox channels:
Motor Sport...motor sport.!!
The essence of Jody Renza:
He is passionate about life
Passionate about his family and daughter..
Passionate about racing, racing drivers and racing cars
And when jumping off a cliff, it will also be with passion!
But most of all, his biggest passion is God!!
Cell number: 0767 123 124 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: JodyRenza
ASA / ARCA Series, Asian Le Mans Series,Tudor United SportsCar Championship,LMP2 , LMP3 Myrtle Beach 400, Zytek, Tatuus PY012,, Wolf GB08,CN class Asian Le Mans,Tiga-Judd, Bailey LMP 2,American Sports Car Series, V8 Sprint Cars, Midgets,Hot Rods, Merlyn Formula Ford,Formula Vee, Formula GTi, Formula Atlantic, Bob Olthoff Mclaren Elva, Free State 500, Speads RM07/RM10, CC Motor Sport, Oval Track Raci ng, Sprint Cars, Promotion of Oval Track Racing, Racing Drivers in South Africa, Upcoming Racing Drivers RSA, Ultimate Raceway, Renza Eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga) Tours, Schnee Chassis. Lightning Chassis, Magazine - On the Track Racing Issue 4 – October / November 2008, Sport Car Series. Stock Cars, Killer Racer, Poet Francois Duminy, Vrouekeur 30 Maart 2007, Wayne Andretti, Basil Mann, Glenda Mann, Dale Earnhardt, Jeff Gordon, Juan Pablo Montoya, Kyalami, Welkom, Mahem, Wembley, Glenwood Raceway, Panorama Waterfalls, Mac Mac Pools, Bushbuck Ridge, South African Le Mans Series, NASCAR, INDY 500, IRL Series. ALMS, American Le Mans Series,Asian Le Mans Series, Qlimax Energy Drinks, Qlimax Men's Products, Renza Racing ZA, Renza Jail Clothing, F1 Columnist Sondag Newspaper, Shelby CanAm,Milka Duno, Qlimax Soft Drinks, Qlimax Energy Drinks, Sponsorships, Company Sponsorships
Prospective sponsors: CLIMAX™ DRINKS & Men's Fashions, Jail Clothing, Castrol (ASA Camry/V8 Sprint Cars), Nestlé Cheerios (ASA Camry), Hansa Pilsener (SA Land Speed Record – 505 kph), Ford (ASA Free State 500), Chevrolet (ASA Free State 500/Sprint Cars) , OMP, Telkom, Sasol, Pretoria Noord Toyota, Carousel, Jefo Trellis International
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