16th Passion for Speed – Zwartkops


The 16th Passion for SpeedInclement weather early Saturday morning did not put off our spectators and competitors.  Despite a wet track the ISP event went ahead as scheduled – (the most vulnerable category on slicks) and put on a great show.

Whilst spectator numbers were lower than expected (early month, end and general economy) the track was full of enthusiastic support with pit and paddock a hive of activity.

Friday evening we officially welcomed David Piper and Mike Knight and our international guests some 23 cars, 32 drivers plus the motorcycle contingent.  Marius Roberts was the MC and the visiting competitors had some amusing comments.  Peter du Toit then gave his rendition of being a spectator from 1958 through to 1973 not only a summary of the great feats of endurance racing but also his girlfriend problems.  The latter because night time some of his partners had things on their minds whilst Peter was there to watch the full nine hours.  “He is a useless, waste of time – all he wants to do is to watch cars”.  It all ended well in the end when one young girl in the might of a massive Kyalami storm in 1968 took off all her wet clothes and wore only a raincoat.  Then watched the race to the bitter end.  Ingenuity, collective interest, and wisdom won the day.  So he married Corinne three years later.  Peter’s talk was in two parts.. The first being the real 9 Hour which started in 1958 and ended in 1973 with the fuel crisis.  The second part was about David and Mike Knight and the ISP club for Pre’1974 sports racing prototypes.  This series has come to South Africa 20 times, 16 of which have been at Zwartkops.  The series has also stimulated a whole identity of continuation cars…  A great evening.

International support:

  • From Sweden: two Ford GT40’s, a Comaro and a Mazda Rotary.
  • From Netherlands: two Shelby Mustangs and the blue Corvette of Michiel Campagnia
  • Alan Bailie from the UK, Chevron B23, 1965 F1 BRM, F1 1964 Cooper plus two Formula Juniors.
  • Mike Knight/ David Piper: Six Austin Healeys, Sauber, McLaren, Comaro, TVR and Lotus Elan.
  • Mick Grant – a whole contingent of Isle of Man sueperbikes for Iain Simpson.

Summary of events:

Castrol Pre’1966/68 Le Mans Sports & GT

The spell was finally broken of the T70 Lola of Mark & Jonathan du Toit.  Peter Bailey won in the GT40 which he recently acquired from Dino Scribante.  The drivers and cars outdid themselves and moved from class B to class A.  The McLaren of Donald Duncan and Steve Hart came 2nd overall for the second year running with Mark’s Lola 3rd after rear hub failure in the final minutes of the race.

The real trick here was early pit stops under yellow when Mike Briggs/ Sarel van der Merwe red Daytona Coupe collided with another competitor in turn one.  This not only put an end to their race but gave strategic advantage of the safety car.  Rui Campos made the early stop but then an electrical problem with the red Lola T70 forced an early retirement. 

Kennet Persson and Jon Kling in their GT40’s won class B (after the Bailey GT40 was re-classified)  Some remarkable perfomances were seen in:

  • Josh Dovey’s Ginetta GT (1.12)
  • Nic/Chris Clarke Morgan (1.11)
  • Thomas Falkiner Mustang (1.12)
  • Jack/ Joe Chatham Healey 3000 (1.15)
  • Alan Garrow FIA Cobra (1.14)
  • Warren Lombard Cobra (1.10)

It was fitting that the reserve entrant in the event Jan Jacobs in his Alfa GT won Index of Performance.

SKF Pre’1966 “BIG” Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars

We had 13 big V8’s and 1 Alfa GT (Clive Densham) on the grid.  After restrictor plate adjustments, Ferdi van Niekerk Jnr was on pole with Sarel’s red Galaxie next to him followed by Hennie in the Plymouth, Jonathan (Nova), Paolo (Galaxie), Lindenberg (Mustang), Clive (Alfa), Harm van Putten (FIA Mustang), Mark (Biscayne), Leeroy (Black Widow), another Dutch Mustang – Michiel (Galaxie), Willie (Golden Hawk) and Chad (Purple FIA Mustang). 

Heat 1, the battle was on until the Plymouth blew and the red Galaxie of Sarel developed a misfire.  Then it was over to Ferdi Jnr who drove the race of his life….

Heat 2, Sarel took over the smokey Yunick Chevelle and Hennie the Mercury Comet.  The race was on despite restrictor plates on all the leading cars.  The lap times fell to 1:13. The cut off should be 14.5.  Young Ferdi and Hennie put up an incredible display of sideways motoring until the last lap when Ferdi lost it in turn 8, so Hennie won followed by Paolo, Leeroy and Peter’s Mustang.  Mark crashed the Biscayne when the rear disc exploded. Overall honours for the day were Paolo, followed by Peter, Jonathan and Leeroy.  Sarel in the Chevelle came home 6th.

SKF LITTLE Giants Pre’66 Production Sports & GT

Some 34 starters with Colin Ritchie (Mini) on pole, followed by Marco Taylor (Alfa GT), 3rd and it was great to see her back in action was Cindy Evans-Finney (Renault R8).  2016 Champion Vic Campher had a tough weekend, two accidents and a broken gearbox.  From Cape Town we had Ferdi van Niekerk Snr in his Porsche 356 and Chris Champion in the immaculate MGA twincam.  One very interesting entry was a 1960 Sunbeam Alpine of Mark van Rooyen.  In the late 50’s Rob Topman raced an Alpine at Hesketh.  This Alpine’s modified engine eventually found it’s way into Peter’s Hillman Minx which raced and won production car races at Kyalami in 1962!

Highlights of the event:

A little Nash/ Austin Metropolitan from the late 1950’s has been prepared for LITTLE Giants.  It is a LITTLE Giant and in the hands of Chad Ten Doechate achieved a remarkable laptime of 1:26.

Brian Rowlings Jnr joined his dad for the weekend, they shared Brian’s (van Rooyen Mustang) in the TT event… 4th in class, and then Jnr drove the red Anglia to 2nd in class B. 

Colin/ Helen in a beautiful TVR as well as their daughter who got married in Cape Town after the event.

Cindy spun in the 1st heat, then fought her way to 8th in the 2nd Heat.

Josh Dovey drove a remarkable race in the 2nd heat on the margin 1:19:96! To come 2nd.  He was beaten by Shaun Cabrita (Mini Marcos), Colin Ritchie (Mini), Josh Dovey (Healey Sprite), Ishmael Baloyi (Dart).

SKF/ Team Fourways U2 Production Cars

“The fastest growing category in Legends – 21 entries”

An amazing race.  The cut off is 1:18.5.  Marc Miller’s 1:1.16 followed by Mark du Toit (Alfa GT), Stuart Greig (Mini) and Larry Davies (Guilia).  New comer and a very smart Volvo 122S was Alan Garrow.  From Zimbabwe we had Denzil Bhana in the Mini Cooper S, a low grid position as a result of a time penalty.

The track was damp for the first heat, but the racing good.  Alan Poulter beat Mark du Toit by 0.9 followed by Trevor Tuck, Marc Miller and Denzil Bhana.

Race 2 and Larry Davies won from Francesco Lombardi and Jacques Baartman.  Wayne Plit swoped his Cortina for his Mini and finished 5th in heat two.  Overall on the day the event also included a Pre’1968 Sports and GT category starting some 30 seconds behind the U2 cars.  Overall went to the Chatham Healey followed by David Smithies/ Chris Clarkson Healey and Bill Watt in his Lotus Elan.

Castrol Pre’1974 ISP/ Champion of Champions/ Pre’66/68 Le Mans Sports & GT Cars

Some 24 cars entered the event.

  • Roman de Beer on pole with the Genie Lola T70 3B
  • Franco Scribante next in a 1972 Chevron
  • Jonathan and Colin Chevron B8/B19
  • Grant Van Schalkwyk in a recreation of the Can-Am Specials
  • UK Chevron B23 of Tim Cousins and Jeremy Wheatly

Race 1 – it rained!  Andre Bezuidenhout took command but not before Jonathan’s B8 took the lead and then spun twice off the wet track to finish 5th.  Colin Ellison fared better and kept the car on the tar.  The big Green Lola withdrew, Franco spun as did Grant van Schalkwyk.  Bernd Becker in his absolutely original Porsche 910 came10th just behind Rene Dalais in the Ford GT40.

In Race 2, and a dry track.  Franco just took off in the Paul Owen prepared Chevron.  Roman de Beer followed the Orange Chevron and then Jonathan’s B8 from Colin Ellison.  On overall lapsed time it was Andre Bezuidenhout who won, followed by Jono and Colin.  Lee Thompson won class B in the black Chevron B8.  Class C, Keagan Campos in the Porsche 911 RSR.  Class D, Fred Konig – Porsche 911 from Jaki Scheckter. 

Champion of Champions (TA) was won by Marius Roberts in the red Camaro.  Kennet Pearson headed the Le Mans Class.

G&H Transport Extreme Supercars

With an amazing grid lineup from McLaren, Lamborghinis, Ferrari’s, BMW’s, KTM’s, Porsche, Alfa…

In race 1 it was the GT3 McLaren of Leeroy Poulter who took a faultless win from Franco Scribante in the Ferrari F430 and Simon Murray in the Lamborghini who had the race of the day… with mirror to mirror action throughout.  The BMW battle just behind came from Dawie Olivier, Darren Winterboer and Paul Hill.  While Du Plessis’ KTM battled with the Giannocarro team.  There was some international flare with Luca Fioravanti joining in on the action.

Race 2 win went to Simon Murray in the GT3 Lamborghini, just ahead of Franco Scribante and Dawie Olivier in the baby Beemer…  The mid-pack battle was all about Olivier Dalais (Ford GT), Dino Scribante (Porsche), Bloem (BMW), Andre vd Merwe (Ferrari), Mark du Toit (Ferrari) and again team Giannocarro.

Isle of Man TT Classic for Pre’1988 Superbikes

South Africa vs Scotland

The race on Sunday 29th January was real classic action with serious racing.  From the UK we had Ian Simpson, Iain McPherson, Robert Burns, Iain Pinkerton and Howard Selby all on Suzuki’s.  The South African contingent – Noel Haarhoff, Gavin Ramsay, Graeme van Breda, Leon vd Berg, Peter Labuschagne and Mike McSkimming.  With 25 bikes under starter’s orders it was to be a good race… From the start Noel went into the lead but it did not last long and Gavin Ramsay shot past and stayed in front until the end of the race… Noel gradually slipped down the field with brake problems, so Gavin won, followed by Ian Simpson and Graeme van Breda, Iain McPherson and Peter Labuschagne.

Race 2 and the order were reversed with Ian Simpson winning from Gavin and Iain McPherson.  Noel fought his way through the field to finish 4th.  The race was stopped short by one lap when Mike McSkimming went down in turn 5.  Overall it was Gavin Ramsay from Scotland’s Iain Simpson in the F1 class.  F2 Jason Joshua, F3 Noel Haarhoff.

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