Superb cars, racing thrilled Zwartkops’ Passion for Speed
A knowledgeable and appreciative crowd packed into Zwartkops to be kept on the edges of their seats by spectacular machinery, great drivers, and entertaining racing at the Pretoria racetrack’s annual Passion for Speed festival on Saturday. Here’s a photo essay of the action for those who missed it…
Mustangs, Comets & Thuderbolts
Always a highlight of the day, Hennie Groenewald overcame a chaotic start and ensuing red flag to take the opening Marlboro Crane Hire Pre’66 Legends race win in his Mercury Comet. The drama started when Stiaan Kriel gyrated his Studebaker out of turn 1 on the first lap, causing chaos behind. The mayhem that followed eliminated Kriel and Lee Thompson’s Galaxie and caused peripheral damage to several cars.
Chaos ensued after lap 1 drama
Mark du Toit’s Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt was second in the restarted race. Ben Morgenrood came back from a smoky spit to take third on his Mustang. Jonathan du Toit followed in his Chevy Nova, ahead of Jeffrey Kruger’s Camaro, Oliver Broome’s Mustang. Graeme Nathan in a Chevelle and Colin Ellison’s Thunderbolt. Franco Di Matteo’s Chevy Bel Air and Warren Lombard’s Mustang closed out the top ten ahead of U2 winner Alan Poulter’s Volvo.
A Battle of the giants followed
Groenewald fought Mark du Toit off to take the second race. With Kruger, Jonathan du Toit, Ellison and Morgenrood in chase. Graeme Nathan was next home from Di Matteo, Page Lindenberg’s Ford Fairlane 500 and Poulter.
A Nine Hour Time warp
Another regular major attraction, the Auto Truck & Tyre Sportscars & Trans-Ams also delivered their fair share of Passion for Speed spectacle. Home hero Jonathan du Toit steered his wieldy Chevron B8 to race 1 victory. He leftLee Thompson’s ex-Peter Gough WesBank Opel Astra to fend Larry Wilford’s glorious Lola T70 off for second. Rob Beaumont and Peter Bailey’s Porsche 917s followed from Rui Campos Porsche 911 RSR. And the roaring V8s in Swede Kenneth Pearson’s Can Am McLaren and Russel Fear Lola T70 and Mark du Toit‘s Lola T70s.
Lola vs McLaren vs Porsche vs Chevron & Ford
Larry Wilford struck back to take race 2 from Thompson, Jonathan, and Mark du Toit. He fought back after a hefty qualifying accident in his Lola T70 saw him start from the back i. Peter Bailey followed from Kenneth Pearsson’s spectacular McLaren, Rui Campos, Russel Fear, and Andre van der Merwe and Richard Pott’s Porsche 911s. Wilford took the overall win from Jono du Toit and a delighted Pearson.
Daytonas dominate Le Mans TT
James Temple led a Shelby Daytona Coupe 1-2 by 43 seconds from Rui Campos’ similar car in signature Passion for Speed Castrol Le Mans Sports & GT TT 45 minute endurance race. Oliver Dalais and Peter Bailey’s Ford GT40s followed from Allen Meyer’s Chevron B8. Johan de Bruyn’s Porsche was next 911R from Kennet Pearsson’s genuine original Ford GT40. Ish Baloyi’s Dart Alfa, Kobus Brits’ Porsche and Robbie Frank and Brian Algar’s Lotus 23B closed off the top ten.
Can Am Celebrates 50 in style
Rudolf de Vos celebrated 50 years of the Little Chevy Firenza Can Am V8’s sensational 1973 debut. He delivered a fine double win in the Ben Morgenrood Group HRSA Historic Sprint races. He beat Andre van der Merwe’s Porsche 911 RSR in both races, while Rob Prece in another piece of SA race history, the original Manufacturer’s Challenge VW Golf Mk 1, and Jannie van Rooyen’s Volkswagen Scirocco shared the Class C wins. Greg Steen’s Ford Escort and Terence Ladner’s Scirocco scored a Class E win apiece.
A classic case of pursuit
Johan Gouws’ Scirocco and Youngtimer winner Mike O’Sullivan’s Honda Ballades won the Class F races. Racing separately, Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche 924 and George Smalberger’s Escort shared the Class G win. Wernher Hartzenberg’s Fines Porsche 916 won the opening BMG Pursuit handicap race from Andre Hattingh’s Mercedes 190E and Riaan Roux’s Modified Scirocco. After the first four cars home were excluded for breaking out of their handicap times. Johann Smith took race 2 from Hattingh and Modified winner Johan Gouws’ Scirocco.
Splendid samples of SA single seater history
Matt Nash and Dalan Holton put Andrew Horne’s Royale in a van Diemen sandwich in Single Seater race 1. Shaun Cabrita’s Titan was next from Neil Lobb and Ben van der Westhuizen’s Royale. Shannon Winterstein’s Titan, Steve Venter’s van Diemen, Paul Richardson’s `Dulon and Roy Douglas’ Tiga followed. Nash and Holton made it a 1-2 over Horne in race 2, with Lobb fourth from Cabrita, Venter, Winterstein, Richardson, Douglas, and Wiehan Tiedt’s Dulon.
A true tale of David versus Goliath
Terrence Botes and Kyle Brink’s Minis pulled off a marvellous David versus Goliath Marlboro Crane Hire Pre 68 win from Grant Viljoen’s Monster Mercedes AMG. Lars Boden’s splendid Lotus was also right on the big red Merc’s case, ahead of SGT winner Ishmael Baloyi and Class B victor Chris Radloff, while Mel Spurr took Class C. Boden then beat Botes and Brink as George Smalberger’s Escort also put one over the Viljoen Merc, which clearly tested the limits of its rubber. Andre de Kock’s Dart took Class B and Spurr won C.
Fraught back to front action
Rossi brothers Mario and Claudio’s Trofeo Alfa Romeo GTV 6s sandwiched Martin Botha’s Class Zakspeed Ford Escort to the first Rossi’s GTV6 Midvaal Historic win. Class E winner Seef Fourie Sr.’s Datsun 140Y was fourth from Regard van Zyl and Daryl Mann as Ian Richards’s Datsun 1200 took Class F, Chris Williams Class G, and JJ Venter Class H. Class E lad Johan Coetzee Jr’s Datsun 1200 GX beat Class F trio Johan Kruger and Ian Richards’ similar cars, Johan Coetzee Sr and Trofeo winner Mario Rossi in the reversed grid race 2 also restarted after a red flag halfway. Travis Jensen and Carel Vos’ Class Datsuns won Class D and G, and JJ Venter’s Jetta Class H .
Supercars bring Extreme action
In the contemporary races on the day, Charl Arangies new GT3 Mercedes-Benz AMG GT Fought off A+ duo Jonathan du Toit’s Lamborghini Huracan and Franco Scribante’s Porsche Turbo to win race 1. Kris Budnik’s Dodge Viper took Class A, Ant Blunden’s Porsche B, Roy Obery’s Porsche C and Joseph Ellerine’s Audi R8 Class D. Du Toit beat Arangies and Budnik to the race 2 win after Scribante was penalised for passing under the safety car. Blunden, Obery and Ellerine all did class double wins.
BMW Bump ‘n grind entertains
Leon Loubser took a BMW M Performance Parts double win, from Carlo Garbini and Lorenzo Gualtieri in race 1. Andreas Meier took Class B from Lyle Ramsay and Nek Makris, as Hein Van der Merwe beat Alan Hilligenn to the Class C win. Loubser took race 2 from Leyton Fourie and Garbini, as Meier took Class B from Makris and Ramsay. Van der Merwe took Class C from
Dewit Oosthuizen. The BMW Classes D and E ran on their own as Jaco Storm beat Shaun Dodd to opening race victory and D honours, while Vigen Naidu beat Dave Rehse to the E win. It was all change in race 2 as 99 Riaan Lubbe beat Andre Diedericks to Class D honours and Rehse took E from Arri van Heerden.
Zwartkops’ next major racing appointment is in just three weeks’ time. the opening round of the Gauteng Regional Extreme Festival happens Saturday 18 February. – Motorsport Media
Images: Colin Windell, Andre Laubscher