Splendid Historic and Regional action entertains in Pretoria

The Zwartkops Raceway hosted an entertaining day of Historic and Gauteng Regional racing on Saturday, but it was the thundering Legends V8 Production Saloons of the ‘sixties that stole the show. 

They shared the weekend with the sleek Le Mans Sports Prototypes, GTs, and Trans Ams, HRSA Sprint and Pursuit races, and Historic Single Seaters. Formula Libre, Lotus Challenge, INEX Legends, Sportscars and Clubmans, and Silver Cup 2.0 rounded up a fun day at the racetrack.

Ben Morgenrood’s 66 Ford Mustang held Seef Fourie Jr’s 1967 Cougar and little Paige Lindenberg’s monster 68 Ford Fairlane off as the Marlboro Legends Production Saloons stole the Zwartkops thunder. Alan Poulter’s Volvo 122s, Carel Pienaar’s Lotus Cortina, Roger Houston’s Alfa Giulia Super and Warren Lombard in a BMW 2002ti entertained in pursuit. Fourie ran Morgenrood far closer in the second race, but Ben duly held on for the double from an entertaining gaggle led by Lombard from Lindenberg, Poulter, Pienaar and Houston

Larry Wilford and his Lola T70 stormed to the first Pre’74 Le Mans Sports Prototype, GT and Trans Am race. He left Hennie Groenewald’s David Ford Escort to fend off Goliaths Warren Lombard’s Cobra and Allen Meyer in a Chevron B8 for third. John ten Doeschate followed in his Marauder MK3 from Jonathan Needham’s Cortina MK2. Wilford took race 2 too, but Seef Fourie took his Astra to second and Lombard overcame Groenewald for third ahead of Scott Temple in another Escort, and Meyer.

Class B man Andre van der Merwe’s Porsche 911 RSR kept Andre ten Napel and Stuart Konig’s VW Sciroccos at bay to take the opening Evapco HRSA Historic Sprint race. Jonathan Konig’s Scirocco held Martin Botha’s Zakspeed Escort and Gavin Lundin’s Datsun 1200 GX off in class D, Nigel Townsend’s Escort took Class E from Terence Ladner’s Scirocco, Keegan Ward won Class F in another Datsun GX Coupe, and Riaan de Ru’s Ford Prefect Class G. The top four were the same in race 2, but Ladner took Class E, and Mike Bishop’s Renault Gordini won Class G.

Paul Gerber took a rich Historic Single Seater win from a diverse field of classic Formula Fords in his ‘83 Ray 83. Ben van der Westhuizen’s 1974 Royale RP 21 was second from Alan Kernick’s ‘85 Tempest Mk2-002, Patrick Dunseith’s ‘74 Merlyn MK25, Paul Richardson’s 1972 Dulon LD9 and Wihan Tiedt’s 1975 Dulon. Colin Clay’s 1962 Lotus Tony Beecher was the best of the Formula Vees in his 1980 S&J MK9. Race 2 saw Gerber win again from van der Westhuizen, Dunseith, Tiedt and Ron Liddiard’s Lotus.

Sticking with the single seaters, Allen Meyer’s Formula VW beat Louis van der Merwe’s Formula GTI Swift 92 and Kennedy Torres’ Concord to race 1 honours. Jeandre le Roux’s Stealth was best of the Super Vees from Jannie Geyser’s Vision Formula Vee Damien Archer in a Ray 92 GTI, Mark Tucker’s Super Vee, Herman Krige in a Spead RA08 and Earl Swartz’s Forza Super Vee. Meyer duly went on to do the double from Formula M man JM Gerber, Archer, Louis van der Merwe’s GTi Swift, Krige and Torres.

David Jermy took his Taylon to the opening Lotus Challenge win from Rudi Barnard’s Birkin, Mackie Adlem in another Taylon, and Birkin trio, Grant Findlay, Clive Wilmot, and Josef Kotze. Andre du Plessis took Locost honours from Nick Hodgson and Davide Favo. Jermy then did the double from JP Nortje’s Birkin, Adlem, Findlay and Brett van Rensburg’s Birkin, with the same top three on the Locost podium.

Rising young lady racing star Tyler Robinson put one over the Inex Legends boys by taking the first race win over a field that included several karting stars. Jayden Goosen was second from Torben Roos, Richard van Heerde, Gavin Botha, Christian Padayachee and Anton Repsold. Cyril Jacobs Jr. then delivered the best combined time to take the red-flagged second heat from van Heerde, Padayachee, Roos, Repsold and Berlin Robinson after the accident that stopped the first half. Tyler Robinson then shrugged that race 2 disappointment off to take the final from Goosen, van Heerde, Jacobs, Padayachee and little brother Berlin Robertson.

Invitational driver David Armstrong’s Ford Escort and Modified pair Gary Stacey’s Ford Sierra XR8 and Gerrit Murray’s Alfa Romeo GTV were the only three drivers to escape the Evapco HRSA Pursuit handicapper’s sceptre in race 1 and the rest broke out of their index times. It was all change in the second chase as Modified man Jose Vasques’ Mercedes 280 beat Rob van Aarle’s Fines Ford Escort, Stan Stacey in an Alfa GTV6 and Hedley Whitehead’s Mini GTS to the flag, as Vasques took the day from van Aarle and Whitehead.

Adriaan le Roux’s Caterham 7 took the opening NSCC Sportscar win, leaving Richard Beningfield’s RWB400 Sports Prototype and Paul Sullivan in a Nash MV3 to play with the On Track Magazine Clubmans. Gerhard Henning took that win as Ballade drivers Dirk Lawrence and Vitor Dias took Classes D and E, and Polo men Nolan Fleetwood and Johan Swart Class F and H. Johan Coetzer’s Datsun 1200 GX beat Henry Fourie’s Alfa Berlina and Sean Fandam’s Fiat 124 Sport to win the MHCC Historic class. It was much the same in race 2, except Anton Bitzer’s RX7 took Class D.

Marius Jacobs’ Tigra beat Riaan Draper’s Toyota and Karel Stols in a RX7 to the first SPS Silver Cup 2.0 win. Marnus du Plessis’ Primera held Giulio Airaga’s Tigra, Anton Bitzer’s RX7, Michael Kernick’s Nash MVW 3 Roland Hopkins’ BMW E46 and Chris Cronje in a Toyota off for fourth. Stols then took race 2 from du Plessis, Bitzer, who did enough to take the day overall, Hopkins, Cronje, Paul van Niekerk’s Golf, and Kernick.

Zwartkops Raceway now takes a well-earned break in the lead up to the third round of the National Championship Extreme Festival race day Saturday 18 May. If Kyalami’s action was anything to go by a week ago, that one is well worth diarising for all the right reasons!