Passion for Speed - 2024

A great day for the Legends! Every competitor in our series put on a fantastic performance, which was attended by the public and international guests. It was a great honour to have David and Liz Piper, and Mike Knight join us. David was, in fact, the pioneer of the Springbok Series in the sixties and then joined us for our 23rd Passion for Speed, together with Mike Knight. What a privilege to have them (David, who is in his nineties) with us and stay for our post-race awards. It was a bit severe for us when we experienced a microburst storm just before the prize giving, experiencing the worst storm Zwartkops has ever had! Nevertheless, we made it through, and a big thanks to Tanya, Ursula, Zelda, Eunice, John, and Andre for managing our event and awards, which was traumatic, to say the least. It is difficult to list the highlights of the day. Despite a stoppage for a BMW accident and an injured Marshal, the show went on, and the response of the crowd was overwhelming for us.

International Competitors

A big thanks to Eddy Perk and Chris Wilson for the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association. There where 16 of these Pre 1966 Grand Prix cars from the 250F Maserati of 1956 to Coopers, Lotus’s, BRM and Heron. The later won the first single seater race at Kyalami in 1961 which preceded in the 9 Hour. It set Ernest Pieterse on the road to win the SA National F1 Championship in 1962 with a Lotus 21 which UK driver Mike Shaw raced. Then the Trevor Blokdyk Cooper, the Gary Hocking Lotus 18/21 which won the F1 race at Zwartkops in 1962. The Syd van der Vyver Lotus 24. (Syd was a SA Champion in 1960 and 1961) and so the list went on and on just about every car racing at Zwartkops.

The Big Legends V8’S

This race always produces drama. The first heat with these cars must rank us as the race of the day. It was close and very exciting and was won by Nicky Pasterelli in the Pablo Clark 1965 Ford Galaxie. It was an incredible race. Unfortunately, a first-lap collision caused by Ben Morgenrood put an end to the Galaxi and Nicky’s racing for the day. The overall race win went to Mark du Toit in his 1966 Ford Fairlane (Thunderbolt). Our Dutch Safari drivers and cars – Michiel Campagne did however won Class B with his Galaxie. Phillip Pantazis came from the UK to race the family Trans-AM Datsun 260z. this is a magnificent car to have on track and driven so competitively.

Little GIANTS and U2

A very full field of Little Giants was added to by Young Timers and the Under 2 Litre (U2) group. Alan Poulter won U2 in his Volvo 122s. In second was the Alfa GT of Francesco Lombardi, the Gulias of Marc Miller and Roger Houston. In Little Giants, it was Kyle Brink in his Mini Cooper, Vic Campher in the newly rebuilt Volvo P1800 and John Ten’s GSM Dart. In class B it was Terrence Botes Mini Austin, Robin Clark’s MGB, Nicolas Christofides in the yellow Alfa GT Junior and it was good to see David Hoal in one of the most famous KZN Darts. And as always what may be the best prepared Little Giants car of Brain Rowlings in his 1961 Ford Anglia.

About the day

There was the second sight and sound of Ian Schofield Sasol Jordan Formula One at full flight driven by Robert Wolk. Just the car warming up sends chills down your spine. The ex-John Love Cooper Climax came so close to winning the World championship Formula One race in January 1967.

The Basil van Rooyen Tribute

The icon of the 60s and 70s reminded us of what South Africans can achieved through participation. The Mustangs (of Brain Rowlings and Oliver Broome), Can-Am of Rudi de Vos, Geoff Mortimer, Willie Hepburn, and The Alfa of Arnold Chatz. David Piper and Mike Knight in the Jaguar D-Type, Sarel van der Merwe in the Ford Galaxie right down to the Ford Anglia that Basil raced at Grand Central then the early days at Kyalami.

Le Mans/ Sebring 45-Minute Tourist Trophy

This race had an upfront battle Mark and Jonathan du Toit in the yellow GT40, Peter Baily and father and son Josh and Jake Dovey in the Ginetta. The John Spiers (UK Competitor) in the Daytona Coupe was a disappointment. There is something radically wrong with this once-competitive car. A revelation was John Ten in the Mk3 Marauder. Reputed to be one of the last cars built and with a virtual standard engine finished 8th overall!

Another remarkable performance was Thomas Falkiner in his #111 1965 Ford Mustang Coupe. The action rate was high in this event. Starting some 32 cars and ending with 15. Yet the variety was great. Steve Pickering’s 1967 Porsche 910, Franco Resca’s 1968 MG BGT, Chris Davison’s 1990 Opel Superboss (Greats of the Past the actual car) and Rui Campos another Greats of the Past 1989 BMW E30 328i.

Sadly, Oliver Dalais’s blue GT40 retired halfway through the race with engine problems. The UK GT40 of Chris Willson was eliminated in a practice accident. The big disappointment was where Kennet Pearsson’s McLaren 5B and Warren Lombard who crashed on the first lap.

Pre 1990 International Sports Racing Prototypes

The series produced a magnificent show. Larry Wilford’s Lola T70 Mk3B, Hennie Groenewald’s Chevrolet Camaro, Jonathan du Toit’s Chevron B8 and Mark du Toit’s Lola T70 Spyder followed by the Pearsson McLaren 5B. A good field of Porsches, Rui Campos, Andre Bezuidenhout, George Avvakoumides, Johan de Bruyn, Kobus Britz and Herman Kluge all mixed up with Peter Bailey’s magnificent Porsche 917. Unfortunately, Carel Pienaar’s Datsun 240z broke.

See you at Zwartkops!

PETER DU TOIT

 

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