Fantastic spectacle, close racing, a large crowd and great weather. Those are the things for which Saturday’s 18th annual Passion for Speed extravaganza at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria will be remembered.
Topping the day in terms of spectacle were the two races for SKF Pre-1966 Legend V8 Saloon Cars. Race one saw Lee Thompson (Ford Galaxie) and Jeffrey Kruger (Chevelle) retire with mechanical gremlins while involved in a close dice. Meanwhile Sarel van der Merwe spun out of the lead while fighting with Hennie Groenewald (Mercury Comet). That left Groenewald to win, closely followed by Jonathan du Toit (Chev Nova), Peter Lindenberg (Shelby Mustang), Michael Stephen (Chev Belair), Michiel Campagne (Ford Galaxie), a recovered Van der Merwe and Mark du Toit (Ford Fairlane).
A miffed Van der Merwe blasted through the field from the back in race two. By lap five he was disputing the lead with Groenewald. By lap seven he was ahead, and he stayed there to win, followed by Groenewald, Jonathan du Toit, Lindenberg, Stephen, Campagne and Kruger.
The day’s main event, the 45-minute Castrol race for Pre-1969 Le Mans Sports and GT cars, went to Mark and Jonathan du Toit in their Daytona Ford. They were followed by Michael Stephen and Jeff Kruger (Chevron B8), Peter/Paige Lindenberg (Shelby Daytona), Thomas Falkiner (Ford Mustang), Jan Kling (Ford GT40) and Johan de Bruyn (Porsche 911). The Index of Performance category went to Robyn Kruger/Stiaan Kriel (GSM Dart) from Falkiner and Allan Garrow (Cobra V8).
Vic Campher (Volvo 122S) took the first SKF Under Two-litre race from Alfa Romeo Giulia drivers Marc Miller and Trevor Tuck. Miller won the next time around, leading Tuck and Roger Houston (Alfa Romeo Giulia).
The opening SKF Little Giants race went to Chad ten Doeschate (Alfa Sprint) followed by Marco Taylor (Alfa GT Junior) and Gary Lennon (VW T34). Lennon won race two, followed by Taylor and Colin Elstrop (TVR Grantura).
Larry Wilford (Lola T70) took both the Auto Truck & Tyres races for International Sports Prototypes, leading home Jonathan du Toit (Chevron B8) and Neil Lobb (Lola T70).
A 32-strong grid tackled the opening race for G&H Transport Extreme Supercars. Charl Arangies won in his Aston Martin Vantage V12, leading home Gavin Cronje (McLaren 673) and Simon Murray (Lanborghini Gallardo). Cronje took the McLaren to the second race victory, chased to the flag by Franco Scribante (Porsche 977 Turbo) and Arangies.
Darron Gudmanz (Ford Capri V8) dominated the first race for Pre-1980 Saloon Cars, chased by Alan Green (Ford Escort) and Riaan Bothma (Chev Camaro). Gudmanz won race two as well, this time followed by Willie Hepburn (Ford Capri V6) and Green.
Brendon Parker (Datsun Coupe) won the first Midvaal Historic race from Jackie Morrison (Ford Escort) and Seef Fourie (Datsun 160Y). Regard van Zyl (Alfa GTV6) took race two ahead of Brendon Parker (Datsun Coupe) and Rene van Rensburg (Ford Escort).
Matt Nash (Van Diemen) won the first race for Historic Single Seaters, ahead of Chris Clarke (Titan) and Richard Wilson (Lotus 27). Nash won race two as well, this time followed by Wilson and Paul Richardson (Dulon).
The first Charlies Super Spar Pursuit handicap race went to Tegan Leyshon (Ford Escort), followed by Kobus Brits (Porsche 911R) and Carlos Gameiro (BMW 325). Rob Clark (Citroen Club) won the next time, pursued by Johan Swanepoel (Alfa Berlina) and Werner Hartzenberg (Porsche 928).
The opening INEX Legends heat went to Jason Loosemore, leading home Sean Moore and Gerhard Roux. Justin Robertson won race two from Loosemore and Willie Erasmus, with race three going to Jagger Robertson, ahead of Charl Roux and Loosemore.
The next event on the calendar for Zwartkops will be the Regional Extreme Festival on 9 March 2019.