Splendid Festival of Racing warms the Pretoria Midwinter

Splendid Festival of Racing warms the Pretoria Midwinter

Zwartkops’ twentieth Passion for Speed Festival of Racing kicked off with a cracking full Saturday’s racing as local stars bust the lockdown blues to deliver a brilliant winter warmer. The race meeting that stretches back to the days of the Piper series sparkled in spite of a lack of both international entries and trackside spectators for the first time in its illustrious history, but fans were treated to a full day’s live streaming instead.

Traditional Classic Attractions

Starting with traditional classic racing action then, James Temple’s Shelby SA’65 Daytona Coupé beat Josh Dovey’s ‘65 Ginetta by 6 seconds to win the bill topping Le Mans Sports & GT 45 Minute enduro. Class B winner Johan de Bruyn’s OdorCure 67 Porsche 911R ended third from Marc Miller and Peter Bailey’s 1964 Daytona Coupé, with Class C frontrunners, Allan Garrow’s FIA 289 Cobra and Djurk Venter’s Shelby Daytona Coupé next up, while Ben van der Westerhuizen’s Marauder took Class D.

Jonathan du Toit Trans Africa Racing ’65 Chevy Nova delivered a bloody nose to the hordes of monstrous Fords as he won the opening Marlboro Crane Hire Pre'66 Legends of the 9 Hour and U2 race. Ben Morgenrood’s Morgenrood Motors 1965 Ford Mustang was a close second from Mark du Toit TAR ‘64 Ford Fairlane, Sarel van der Merwe in the thundering NGK Pablo Clark ‘64 Ford Galaxie, Oliver Broome’s Eastcoast ’65 Basil van Rooyen tribute Mustang and U2 winner Marc Miller’s Designer Dent Alfa Romeo Giulia Super.

Jonathan du Toit went on to do the double, once again from Morgenrood, with Jeff Kruger’s Kameeldoring ‘65 Mercury Comet, Seef Fourie Jr.’s 1963 Ford Galaxie, van der Merwe and Broome next home, as Carel Pienaar’s Kameeldoring ‘63 Lotus Cortina took the U2 win.

The Unstoppable Mr. Hepburn

Octagenerian Willie Hepburn was unstoppable in the Auto Truck Tyre Pre-74 Prototype, Pre-90 Sorts & GT, Trans-AM and Midvaal Historics races as he rumbled to a double victory aboard his original Sabat AMTEC ’81 Opel Rekord V8. He beat Rob Beaumont’s ‘70 Porsche 917 recreation, Jeffrey Kruger’s Kameeldoring 1970 Chevorlet Camaro, PE visitor Rudolf de Vos’ ‘72 Chevy Can-Am, Franco di Matteo’s ex-Peter Gough 95 Opel Astra V8 and Rui Campos’ 1974 Porsche 911 RSR each time.

Hepburn took Midvaal A honours and Riaan Botma’s ‘69 Camaro Class B, di Matteo took GOP honours, Beaumont and Campos ISP A, Mark du Toit’s ‘66 Lola T70 Spyder ISP B, and Kruger won Trans Am.

Ian Schofield’s Investchem ex-Nols Nieman 1977 March 77B was untroubled in the Historic Single Seaters as he trotted away to leave a varied field to tussle behind. Formula Ford trio, Ben van der Westhuizen’s 76 Royale RP 24 field off Des Hillary and Paul Richardson’s Infinitude Dulons for second in race 1 ahead of Colin Clay’s 62 Lotus 23C and Wihan Tiedt in sixth in his WH Auctioneers Dulon MP15B. Clay and Richardson swapped positions in a similar Race 2 result to end up in that order overall as the rest finished as they did in heat 1.

Classic Tin Top Action

Riaan Lubbe powered his 1965 Alfa Romeo GT Junior to an entertaining Marlboro Crane Hire Pre-66 Little Giants opening race win ahead of Terrence Botes’ Teds Garage ‘64 Mini Cooper S, Gary Stacey’s Coastal Hire ‘64 Ford Cortina and John Simpson’s Evoke Realty Alfa GT Junior. Class B winner John Ten Doeschate was next home in his 1958 Protea, while son Chad took Class D in his 59 Alfa Romeo Sprint. Lubbe went on to make it a double win from Stacey and Simpson in race 2, while the Ten Doeschates took class doubles too.

Cape Town visitor Franco Donadio enjoyed a great trip north when he drove his Donadio Plant ‘74 Ford Escort to a fine combined Pre'80 Midvaal Historics and Alfa Trofeo opening race win over Trophy duo Bjorn Gebert’s FAS and Mario Rossi’s Alfa Romeo GTV6s. Travis Jensen’s SV Jensen Towing and Gavin Lundin’s Silvergaurd Class D 1972 Datsun 1200s were next up from Daniel Lotter’s Class E winning Killarney Gardens Escort.

Ian Richards’ ‘72 Datsun 1200GX won Class F, Chris Williams’ Shoestring Racing 1963 Ford Anglia Class G and Cameron Foster’s ‘80 Datsun 140Y took Class H. Donadio pressured leader Gebert into a last lap mistake to win a re-started second race with Rossi third again from Lundin, while Meredith Willis’ Escort took Class E, Richards F, Andy Gossman’s Allwagen ‘66 Datsun Sunny Class G and JJ Venter Jr’s VW Scirocco Class H.

Contemporary Class

Moving over to the contemporary classes on the day, the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars delivered a couple of entertaining races as Charl Arangies escaped a fraught early first race to deliver a double victory and take the day from Paulo Loureiro’s Combined BMW 335i. Kris Budnik’s Bucketlist Viper and Ben Morgenrood’s Lexus shared out the thirds after Arangies had to fight past Loureiro in race 1, but the real action was in the dice of the day Balance of Performance GT3 class second race.

Gianni Giannoccaro’s BISC Transport Lamborghini Supertrofeo held Greg Parton’s Drizit Lamborghini Huracan off to take the first race. But the second heat was thrilling as Parton held Gianni, Jonathan du Toit’s Ferrari and Ricky Giannoccaro’s fast-closing Lambo off to win with the four of them covered by just a second at the flag. Ant Blunden’s Sajco CV Porsche took Class B while Deon du Plessis’ BPT KTM beat Marius Jackson’s MegaFibre Audi R8 to Class C and Ian Kotwal’s Xpel BMW took Class D.

Rory Atkinson’s BHIT Industrial Transport machine led Waldie Meintjies    Pozidrive car to a double win in a chaotic all Polo Volkswagen Challenge day. Wayne Masters and Dawie van der Merwe shared out the thirds as Dawie took the place for the day. Stiaan Kriel returned in his T-Rex Polo to take a double win over Polo Cup wunderkind in Class B with Stuart Mack in close attendance and Pierluigi Muzzulini took a double C win in his FSS Polo.

Fresh V8 Faces

There was a familiar ring to the Mobil 1 V8 Supercars’ first race top three as Thomas Reib blasted his Café 9 Chevy Lumina off pole to win race 1 from old rivals Franco di Matteo’s Deltec and Mackie Adlem’s Jaguar XKRs. But there was a fresh look to race 2 when Adlem beat fresh faces Richard Fuller’s Reventon Mustang, Warren Lombard’s Pepboys Falcon and di Matteo to the win, to take the day from Fuller and Reib.

The Car Care Clinic 111 Sports, GTS and Saloons each raced a sprint on their own, before combining in a 40-minute endurance race into the night. Charl Smalberger took the 111 Sprint win in his Universal VW Golf GTI from Mikaeel Pitamber’s Bigfoot Mini Cooper S and Adrian Dalton’s Xtra VW Golf. Piet Potgieter’s Nathans Golf took Class A, Wayne Lebotschy’s Shield Golf Class B, Duane Brown’s Polo Class X, Chris Smit’s Captive Porsche 944 Class C, Pieter Vermeulen’s Universal Polo Class E and Yorick Smith’s Phoenix MX5 Class D.

Charl Smalberger then went on to win the endurance race overall from Bob Neill’s Delmon Honda Civic Type R and Pitamber. Johan Hattingh took Class A, but Class C winner Chris Smit beat B winner Lebotschy, Reno van Heerden’s Police Polo won Class D, Vermeulen E and Jaco Roux’s Polo won Class X. Overall Smalberger took the day and GT honours, Hattingh Class A, Lebotschy B, Smit C, Smith D, Vermeulen E and Roux Class X.

Garland Hatches a Plot

Brett Garland took the Car Care Clinic Superhatch sprint in his Autobarn Honda Civic from Jonathan du Toit’s similar Trans Africa Racing machine and Andre Dannhauser’s Pro Auto Opel Corsa. Werner Pieterse’s VW Polo won Class B and Shane Forget Class C in his Pro Auto 4J's Opel Kadett.

Jonathan du Toit turned the tables on Garland to take Superhatch endurance honours from Garland and Dannhauser, while Ismail Baloi’s Honda Civic took Class B and Almero van Eck Class C in his Barnes Polo. Garland took the day overall from Dannhauser after du Toit swapped cars between races, as Baloi and van Eck took the classes for the day.

The racing was backed by on track displays and parades including Paul Schofield giving his F1 Minardi a trot and a Ferrari expo. The Passion for Speed action continued with more racing on Sunday as the HRSA Historic Saloons, Charlies Super Spar HRSA Pursuit Series, Bridgestone BMW Car Club, Lotus Challenge and DOE Formula Vees take to the track for another cracking day’s historic racing action live streamed through www.zwartkops.co.za and the circuit’s social media platforms.



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