Expect Ben Morgenrood Historic Racing Fireworks at Red Star

Race fans can expect explosive excitement as the Ben Morgenrood Group Historic Racing Series comes to a head at its final 2023 encounter at the Red Star Raceway near Delmas, Mpumalanga on Guy Fawkes Saturday 5 November.

Six drivers head east in contention for the triple championship Sprint category titles, while there’s no pressure in the Pursuit races, as that title is already spoken for. So, expect great racing .

The triple title Ben Morgenrood Historic Sprint series comprises an Overall Championship scored from the separate Sprint and Index Championships. Sprint points are paid at double that of Index, which race is won by the driver whose average lap time is closest to his quickest time. They may reward both performance and consistency, but the same names appear at the top of all thee championship pops, albeit in reshuffled order.

Fast John Simpson’s Class G Evoke Reality Alfa Romeo Giulia GT Sprint leads the Sprint chase to Delmas. He has a fairly comfortable advantage over Class E leader Sean Hepburn’s AA Datsun 1200 Deluxe, but it’s close behind him. VW Scirocco trio, Andre ten Napel’s Class D TMCC version and Class C Pro Auto Rubber duo Stuart Konig and Jannie van Rooyen are all a touch too close for comfort.

Consistent Stuart Konig however holds an equally handy Index championship lead over Hepburn, with Gavin Lundin’s similar Class D Silverguard Datsun 1200 Deluxe, van Rooyen, ten Napel and Simpson in pursuit. Add all that together and it’s Konig who starts the Red Star day with a slender overall championship lead over Hepburn, Simpson, ten Napel and van Rooyen. So, in typical fireworks fashion, light blue touch paper and step back five paces!

None of the above should have anything to do with winning the races however. Especially if rapid Class B quartet, Sports & GT leader Andre van der Merwe, Peter Bailey, Rui Campos and George Avvakoumides’ Porsche RSRs have anything to do with it.

But this is twisty Red Star, so those yellow Class C Sciroccos and regular rival Johann Smith’s rasping Mazda Capella rotary could just prove us all quite wrong. The Class D title protagonists won’t have it all their own way, either. Not with Evelthon Rotsides’ splendid Datsun 240Z, Rene Janse van Rensburg’s Escort, and Fred Konig’s Scirocco in town.

Ian Kilburn’s Datsun, Daniel Lotter’s Escort and Riaan Roux’s Scirocco should spice up Class E. Expect Andre Dannhauser’s Toyota Corolla SR5, Steve Pickering’s Porsche 914, and Kola de Klerk’s Nissan 300Z to mix it up in Class F. And Harm Beens Jr.’s Escort, Jan Jacobs’ Alfa Sprint, Tihan van Rooyen in a Porsche 924 and Stewart McLarty and his Ford Escort XR3 are sure to add Class G excitement.

Fines man Werner Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916 having already clinched the overall title will have zero effect on the handicap Ben Morgenrood Historic Pursuit action. Overtaking and out-braking remain the order of the day no matter what the title ramifications.

Fines rivals, Wynand du Plessis Sr. in a Porsche 944 S2, Rob van Aarle and his Ford Escort and Machiel Oberholzer’s Mercedes-Benz 190E will want to close off their title chases in style. Other Fines class cars to keep an eye on include Wynand du Plessis Jr.’s Toyota MR2, Andre Hattingh’s Mercedes 190E and Henk de Klerk in a Honda Civic, Michelle Smith's Nissan Skyline 2800 GT and Mike Thompson in a Ford Capri.

Class leading lady driver Althea Pretorius will be keen to wrap her Modified title up in the first race on Saturday aboard her Nissan Exa man Mk1. She needs just a handful of points to put Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder out of title contention. Modified competition will also come from Harm Beens Sr. in a Ford Escort, Teegan Leyshon and Riaan Roux’s VW Sciroccos, and Kola de Klerk’s Nissan 300ZX, Clive Winterstein’s Porsche 356A, and Alfa men Gerrit Murray and Stan Stacey.

Racing with the Pursuit class as it grows, HRSA’s new Youngtimer will see veteran Mike O'Sullivan and Rob Clark’s Honda Ballades and Tiaan Smith’s Nissan Sentra duking it out. Red Star’s Ben Morgenrood HRSA finale offers a most satisfying way to spend a fine Highveld’s spring afternoon a lazy half hour’s drive out of Jozi.