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SA’s oldest race lays lap record challenge

SA’s oldest race lays lap record challenge

South Africa’s circuit racing championships may well long be done and dusted, but the racing fat lady has not yet sung as there remains one important appointment for 2018 — SA’s oldest race — the East London Grand Prix Circuit’s Border 100 must still run on 15 December. If all that history and status is not enough, the Border Motor Sport Club has now issued a challenge to SA’s fastest racers — come break Ian Scheckter's 1983 1-minute 16.2 second Formula Atlantic Grand Prix Circuit lap record!

That long standing record lap still stands, as while an outright fastest lap was indeed set at the South African Endurance Series Mopar 3 Hour earlier in the year, that mark was set in practice and not the race and lap records are only official if set in actual racing conditions. “We’d like to lay down the gauntlet to South Africa’s fastest racers — to the Ginettas, Ligiers, Aston Martins, Ferraris and the rest,” A BMC stalwart challenged. “Come race in SA’s oldest race and break that lap record for once and for all!”

A race with a story to it as good as any, the Border 100 goes back to 1933 when newly inserted Daily Dispatch motoring editor Brud Bishop dreamed up a unique 25km track down pretty Marine Drive, out over Potters Pass and back and thought that a race over it would be a marvellous idea. Bishop sold the plan to the East London city fathers and the first Border 100 drew international entries the likes of winner Whitney Straight’s Maserati and Dick Seaman’s MG K3 to race six laps of the splendid 25km track in 1934.

That event grew into the South African Grand Prix, while the Border 100 has remained long since the SAGP moved up to Kyalami in the 60s. Roll on to 2018 and the Border 100 will close the SA circuit racing season as always come Saturday 15 December and the Club would like to see SA’s quickest race cars and drivers make the trip to try break that significant lap record.

The highlight of the meeting will be the Border 100 racing 180km to keep it close to its its traditional 1 hour 30 minutes, which means 46 laps of the current Grand Prix circuit that played host to the 1960s SA Grands Prix, while there will also be a 26-lap Border 100 Endurance Race for motorcycles, over and above three fun non-championship heats each for Modified Saloon, Historic Saloon and Open Top Cars, and BMSC and Classic Motorcycles. There will also be a Top Speed Run Sunday 16 December, where all-comers are welcome to try topple Dez Gutzeit's 287km/h race car record and Craig Czank's 265km/h tuned car mark.

The Border 100 Car Endurance race is open to any car complying with MSA Safety regulations and drivers in possession of the correct MSA documentation. Drivers are expected to share cars and there is a compulsory pit stop that will reflect in the timing on a lap at least 3 minutes slower than average, against the penalty of ten laps. Should there be only one rider racing a machine in the Border 100 Motorcycle Endurance race, he or she is expected to stop, dismount and run around to the other side of the pits before remounting and racing on. Or swap riders…

Contact www.bmsc.co.za for more entry, race and spectator information.

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