The Ben Morgenrood Group Historic Racing Series will be looking forward to likely balmy autumn’s racing conditions when both its Sprint and Pursuit series visit Zwartkops Raceway for the next round of the Historic Tour Saturday 21 May. Their previous outing was at a sodden Dezzi Raceway as the KZN coast braced itself for those floods last time out. Now such a warm late autumn’s Pretoria race day should make amends.
Class G man John Simpson has been piling on the points in his Evoke Reality Alfa Giulia GT Sprint. He arrives in Pretoria with a handy six-point overall advantage. Handy enough considering the rest of the top six is split by just two points. Class F Pursuit graduate Kola de Klerk’s Nissan 300ZX and Andre Ten Napel’s Class D VW Scirocco share second, C Scirocco duo Stuart and Jannie van Rooyen are tied fourth and champion Sean Hepburn’s Class F Datsun 1200 Deluxe sits sixth.
In the classes, Andre van der Merwe’s Porsche RSR holds a handy Class B lead over George Avvakoumides’ similar car, while Pro Auto Rubber Scirocco duo Konig and van Rooyen have Johann Smith’s rasping Mazda Capella rotary right on their tails and ready to entertain at Zwartkops, as always. Andre Ten Napel leads Class D in his Scirocco, but he has some variety on his tail in Rene van Rensburg's Ford Escort, Fred Konig's Scirocco and Eveltohn Rotsides Datsun 240Z.
It’s also close in Class E, where Riaan Roux's Scirocco has a short lead over Stefan Puschavez Porsche RSR, while Class F is all about Kola de Klerk and his 300ZX and Sean Hepburn’s AA Datsun. But Ford Escort men, Willem Vonk’s Mk2 and Ian Odendaal's Mark 1 are looming large. And it’s all about John Simpson and his Alfa in Class G, where Harm Beens Jr.’s Escort and Tihan van Rooyen's Porsche 924 will want to make amends.
Watch for a few surprises as rivals look to unsettle the championship leaders in the various classes. Like Gavin Lundin's Datsun 1200 GX, Class E duo Daniel Lotter’s Ford Escort and Tony Lundin’s rapid Class E Datsun 1200 GX, Andre Dannhauser’s quick Class F Pro Auto Toyota, Steve Pickering’s F Porsche 916 and Class G men Stewart McLarty’s Ford XR3 and Jan Jacobs’ Alfa Romeo GT Junior.
The Ben Morgenrood Historic Pursuit Series will always entertain with more overtaking than most fans can follow. That’s because the fastest cars start late on handicap and try to beat the slower cars, which start first, to the flag. Three Fines class cars lead that log, with Werner Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916 leading Rob van Aarle's Escort and Wynand du Plessis Sr.’s Porsche 944. But van Aarle is travelling overseas, so his rivals will benefit his absence in Pretoria.
Fourth in the Fines chase, Rob Clark has retired his trusty Citroen GS 1220 Club and now moves to Youngtimers in a new Honda Ballade, where he will take on Mike O’Sullivan's similar car and Tiaan Smith in a Nissan Sentra 2.0 Sti in that exciting new class. In among all of this, Althea Pretorius’ Modified Nissan Exa holds a handy nine point Modified Class advantage over Riaan Roux’s Scirocco, Harm Beens’ Escort, Henk de Klerk's Civic and Willem van Niekerk's Marauder.
The Ben Morgenrood Group Historic Sprint and Pursuit Racing Series share Zwartkops’ Historic Festival race day with a most entertaining program of classic and historic racing highlights. Diarise 21 May now. That’s sure to make for a fine day’s racing in balmy late autumn Pretoria.