Saturday’s 17th international historic Passion for Speed event at the Zwartkops Raceway provided brilliant racing, a large crowd and some unexpected results.
The event, which traditionally opens the South African circuit racing season, saw mostly historic car racing spectacle, intermingled with some really quick modern-day Supercar action.
The biggest crowd drawcards were certainly the SKF races for Pre-1966 Legend Saloon Cars.
The opening race started in dramatic fashion, when the Plymouth Baracuda of Jeffrey Kruger shed its windscreen at some 180 km/h, causing him to execute a full 360-degree spin in the back straight.
Then Jonathan du Toit spun his Chev Nova in the ultra-fast Turn Five, while the Studebaker Golden Hawke of Marius Roberts lost a wheel.
All of which left Peter Lindenberg to win in his Ford Mustang, leading home Sarel van der Merwe (Chevelle), Mark du Toit (Chev Bel-Air) and Clive Densham (Alfa GT).
Kruger came back to win race two in style, followed by Netherland racer Michiel Campagne (Ford Galaxie), Jonathan du Toit (Chev Nova) and Van der Merwe.
Alan Poulter won the opening race for SKF Pre-1966 Under Two-Litre cars in his Volvo 122S, followed by Trevor Tuck (Alfa Giulia) and Vic Campher (Volvo 122S).
Campher won the next time, ahead of Rob Gearing (BMW 2002) and Poulter.
The 45-minute race for Pre-1968 Le Mans Sports and GT Cars – officially the day’s main event – went to Mark and Jonathan du Toit in their Lola T70 Spyder, followed by Donald Duncan (McLaren), Warren Lombard (Cobra Ford) and Josh Dovey (Ginetta GTR).
Franco Scribante (Chevron B19) won the first race for Pre-1974 International Sports Prototypes from Andre’ Bezuidenhout (Porsche RSR Turbo) and Jonathan du Toit (Chevron B9).
Scribante’s car succumbed to electrical maladies the next time out, leaving the victory to Steve Humble (Mallock M14B), followed by Bezuidenhout and Jason Campos (Ford GT40).
Michael Briggs won the Volkswagen Celebrity Challenge race by a wide margin in his VW Polo, followed by the identical cars of Sarel van der Merwe, Chris Aberdein and Geoff Mortimer.
The first Race for pre-1966 Little Giants – held in pouring rain – went to lady racer Robyn Kruger in a GSM Dart, followed by Franco Resca (MGB GT) and Deon Vanlentine (Mini Cooper).
Valentine took race two from Chris O’Neill (Jaguar E-Type) and Wynand du Plessis (MGB GT).
Jeffrey Kruger won both the LEET Lotus
Challenge races in his Lotus Seven, with Rob Gearing (Birkin 7) and Thomas Falkiner (Taylon 7) swapping the respective second and third places.
The day’s quickest lap time was set by Charl Arangies, at just over 60 seconds in his Aston Martin Vantage GT3.
He won both the G&H Transport Extreme Supercar races from Marcel Angel (Ferrari 458 GT3, with Jonathan du Toit (Ferrari 430) and Deon du Plessis (KTM X-Bow) taking turns in the respective third places.
Franco Denadio (Ford Escort BDA) won the Marlboro Crane Hire Historic saloon car races, followed home by Robbi Smith (BMW E30) on both occasions.
Bjord Gebert and Gerhard Henning (VW Scirocco) took the respective third places.
Keegan Ward (Royale) won the first race for Pre-1974 Single Seaters from Stuart Greig (Lotus 22) and Richard Wilson (Lotus 27).
Greig won the next time out, ahead of Wilson and Chris Clarke (Titan).
The next car event at the Zwartkops Raceway will be the opening round of the 2018 Extreme Festival on Saturday, March 17.