Lifting the Benchmark to a Higher Level
On reviewing a publication which we published on Legends at our 2008 International Zwartkops we were amazed to find the format of the day was largely the same as in 2018.
“So, what’s new” I took out my Goodwood revival books of 2003 and the most recent 2017 and you guessed it… Nothing has changed the main line categories are all still the same and other than production cars the competitors and cars are more or less the same. The Oliver Bryant AC Cobra of 1964 was there in 2003 and a leading contender in 2017 with young Oliver Bryant now at the wheel.
Nothing much has changed with the Goodwood revival event since 1998. Yet the crowds get bigger and bigger every year. Just what are they doing that still holds the public interest (public interest in SA is dwindling simply because of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s generation is getting older!) Also the rainbow Nation has not identified themselves with Motor racing.
The time has therefore come for us to take stock of what we have got and where we are going. Goodwood does provide a guide but does not give all the answers. Personally, what does it for me at Goodwood and measuring crowd reaction, is the St Mary’s Trophy for production cars. One year they had only Mini Coopers, another some 28 Austin A30/35’s some years Pre’1961 others Pre’1965 with a clever selection of cars and drivers which makes tin-top racing very exciting to watch. The cars and drivers are competitive, and many are driven by ex F1 drivers and world production and sports car racers (ex champions).
Another feature is the shear enormity of the occasion. The side entertainment. In the paddock you must be in period dress, a children’s pedal car race and then honouring the car and motorcycle icons of the past. There is also the huge variety of cars with history in the paddock and the special car parks.
In reviewing our 2018 Passion for Speed tapes, it is impossible that we can compete with the icon events of the world (other than single seaters, only some of which are worth watching… others are just more of the same) with the huge variety and cars that we have. The problem is that of compatibility. We have a good number of cars competing in a variety of categories and which are not in focus. This we must address. At Goodwood the sight and sound of flight and is a great buzz. Famous people who the public know, family entertainment, and a new generation of spectators.
All these issues need to be discussed with key competitors and Zwartkops management. In the meantime, we must start moving goalposts. To this end benchmark dates need to be moved:
1. LITTLE GIANTS
a. Focus of the Pre’1962 era – Pre’Kyalami
b. Lift the date of the post 1962 cars to 1970
c. Cut-off times remain unchanged – 1.20
2. U2 CARS
a. Two classes
b. Pre’1966 as is Nova
c. Pre’1970 – This will allow flat nose Alfa’s, Escorts, Renaults etc.
d. The regulations for all categories remain the same. Sporting regulations will be adjusted. Cut-off times unchanged. 1.18.5
3. BIG LEGENDS
a. Invite Post 1966 cars (on power to weight ratio) plus a benchmark car.
b. There is a little difference between a 1965 Mustang and a 1969 Mustang (the latter is also heavier)
c. The emphasis is on invitation
i. ZA up to 1966 (Time to be determined)
ii. ZB benchmark time 1.16+
iii. ZC invitational up to 1970
iv. Technical regulations do not change.
4. PRE’1966 SPORTS & GT (LE MANS)
a. The Pre’1966 Sports & GT remain the same. Class A time bracket of 1.08 may be adjusted. Allow Pre’1970 Sports & GT cars to enter this series on the condition that
i. They have the exact profile of the period and
ii. They compete and race on Pre’1968 specification tyres.
This class will also include the Trans-Am cars of the period on the same terms and conditions as i & ii above.
5. ISP (PRE’1974/75) SPORTS RACING LE MANS/ SEBRING GT and GROUP 5 cars remain unchanged. A greater emphasis will be put on Group 5 Production cars as raced in Europe in that period.
There will also be an invitational class for Post’1974/75 ISP cars as deemed appropriate for particular events.
The above recommended changes and adjustment to period and sporting rules will broaden the respective categories. We look forward to your response to the above adjustments and any thoughts and ideas you may have in leveraging the Legend Series to a higher level and stimulate participation and public interest.
This newsletter is only a provisional ‘stage one’ in lifting the profile of the primary category of Historic Racing in South Africa and refocusing the Passion for Speed International once we have revised the status of the categories. The next stage will be the focus of the event.
PLEASE NOTE – Remainder of 2018 Calendar (After changes)
19 May Phakisa HT ISP+TA+CoC (poss SP & GT) with HRSA SP & GT
LGND + U2 + LG (race together)
9 June – Zwartkops – ENDURO DAY/Inl U2/LG/SP & GT – race together
7 July – Midvaal – Inl all one race
11 Aug – Dezzi – HT U2 / LG / SP & GT (race together)
29 Sep – Zwartkops – HT ISP/TA + CoC/ LGND / U2 /SP & GT / LG
3 Nov – Zwartkops – HT LGND/SP & GT /U2 / LG (race together)
LGND – Pre 1966 Legends Saloons
U2 – Pre 1966 U2 Class
LG – Pre 1966/68 LITTLE Giants
SP> – Pre 1966/68 Sports & GT
ISP – Pre 1974 International Sports Prototypes
TA+CoC – Pre 1974 Trans Am+Champion of Champions
INT – International
HT – Historic Tour
Peter du Toit