Epic Daytona 24, Splendid Zwartkops Passion for Speed Top Week 5
The 2022 season starts to pick up pace in Toyota Gazoo Racing Week 5, with major action around the world. It included another epic Daytona 24 Hour and electrifying action from Diriyah while the South African season also started in style at the splendid Zwartkops Passion for Speed.
Just five seconds separated the top four as Indy 500 winner Helio Castroneves, Tom Blomqvist, Oliver Jarvis and Simon Pagenaud’s MSR Acura held on to win the 2022 Daytona 24 Hour on Sunday. They beat Ricky Taylor, Filipe Albuquerque, Alexander Rossi and Will Stevens’ similar Wayne Taylor Racing machine, with the Cadillacs of Tristan Vautier, Richard Westbrook, Loic Duval and Ben Keating, and Pipo Derani, Tristan Nunez and Mike Conway also in close attendance.
Dramatic Daytona Delivers Photo Finishes
Eric Lux, Devlin DeFrancesco, Patricio O’Ward and Colton Herta’s ORECA took LMP2 honours, 10 Laps adrift and Joao Barbosa, Malthe Jakobsen, Seb Priaulx and Lance Willsey took LMP3 honours in a Ligier. Matt Campbell, Mathieu Jaminet and Felipe Nasr’s Porsche 911 GT3 R took a dramatic GTD Pro honours by a handful of seconds from Alessandro Pier Guidi, James Calado, Daniel Serra and Davide Rigon’s Ferrari 488 GT3.
It was also close in GTD, where Ryan Hardwick, Zac Robichon, Jan Heylen and Richard Lietz’ did the double for Porsche in a 911 GT3 R over John Potter, Andy Lally, Spencer Pumpelly and Jonathan Adam’s Aston Martin. South Africans Jordan Pepper ended fifth in GTD sharing a McLaren with Brendan Iribe, Frederik Schandorff and Ollie Millroy. Sheldon van der Linde’s BMW M4 GT3 finished 41st on a troubled BMW M4 GT3 debut. The Daytona 24 enters a new era with Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Audi and more joining the grid from ’23.
The other international weekend action was the Formula E season opener in Diriyah, Saudi Arabia. Champion Nyck de Vries led a Mercedes 1-2 over Stoffel Vandoorne with Jake Dennis third for Andretti Autosport in the opener. De Vries slumped to tenth in race 2 as Eduardo Mortara took the flag of an intense race for Venturi behind the safety car. Robin Frijns was second for Virgin Racing ahead of Lucas di Grassi in the second Venturi.
Passion for Speed Stuns Zwartkops
Closer to home on Week 5, the 21st annual Zwartkops Passion for Speed starred at a fresh and cloudy Pretoria on Saturday. The second main attraction 21st birthday Legends proved the race of the day. While Jeff Kruger made off up front in his Barracuda, Hennie Groenewald’s Comet and Lee Thompson’s Galaxie delivered an incredible spectacle, destroying their tyres but still holding on ahead of sideways overall winner Stiaan Kriel’s Studebaker, Jonathan du Toit’s Nova and Dutch visitor Michiel Campagne’s ’57 Chevy.
Warren Lombard’s AC Cobra finally won the 45 minute Castrol Le Mans Tourist Trophy from James Temple’s Shelby Daytona Coupe and Peter Bailey’s Ford GT40 in a race of attrition. And Franco Scribante made short work of both International Sports Prototype races in his Chevron B19 ahead of Jonathan du Toit’s Chevron B8 each time. Trans Am winner Hennie Groenewald’s Camaro and Peter Jenkins’ Chevron B19 shared the third places.
Rudolf de Vos’ Little Chev CanAm dominated both HRSA Races from Andre van der Merwe’s Porsche RSR and Class C winner, Johann Smith’s Mazda Capella. Hedley Whitehead’s Mini and Rob van Aarle’s Escort shared the handicap Pursuit race wins but Rob Clark’s Citroen took the overall victory. Alan Poulter’s Ford Corsair dominated the opening Marlboro Little Giants race but Gary Stacey’s Cortina won race 2.
Old Man Willie Shows ‘Em How it’s Done!
Evergreen 79-year old Willie Hepburn dominated the opening Roofsure Midvaal Historics race from from Rudolf de Vos’ Can-Am, but Willie’s Rekord V8 had to come from the back to win the reverse grid race 2, pursued by Dawie Olivier’s Alfa GTV6. Formula Fords dominated the Historic Single Seaters as Royale duo Andrew Horne and Ben vd Westhuizen beat Alan Kernick’s Tempest. And overall winner Thomas Falkiner and Jeffrey Kruger shared the Lotus Challenge wins.
In the more contemporary contemporary classes, Cape visitor Dayne Angel won both G+H Supercar races from local hero Jonathan du Toit’s Lamborghini and Ben Morgenrood’s Lexus. Mark du Toit led a Lamborghini GT3 1-2-3 from Ricky Giannoccaro and Greg Parton. And Mackie Adlem’s Jaguar overcame Warren Lombard and Thomas Reib’s problems to win the first Mobil 1 V8 Supercar race, as Franco di Matteo’s Jaguar took race 2.