SKF Pre-1966 Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Legends of the 9 HourThe 2018 Passion for Speed

Zwartkops Raceway/ Killarney

The 2018 Passion for Speed drew 24 International Historic Car and 8 Classic TT Motorcycle competitors.                                               

The 17th David Piper/ Passion for Speed event at Zwartkops was an enduring weekend of action with cars, bikes and importantly the interaction of people, young and old, with cars, heroes, participants and the motorsport fraternity. 

Amongst the full programme of events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the features were the VW Celebrity Challenge (aces of the past), the presentation on Friday evening of the New Polo Cup racer, a special guest invite to Paddy Driver, a motorcycle racer that emulated the late great Mike Hailwood on bikes and cars, the Castrol girls.  A special memorial tribute to the late Clive Strugnell delivered by 6 times Isle of Man hero Mick Grant, the Friday evening banter in the BMW centre with our International guests, ZOC members and drivers, the children entertainment over the weekend, last but by no means least the Zwartkops executive and staff, and of course our competitors and their support groups.  It all added up to a great weekend.

Thanks to our sponsors:  Castrol, SKF, Marlboro Crane Hire, Pablo Clark Racing, Trans Africa Racing, VW, Citizen and Volvo that made the weekend possible.

A historical review of the races in action.  (Full results are available on www.tjtiming.co.za, Pics are available on www.zwartkops.co.za)

SKF Little Giants – “Rain Rain, go away… come another day…”

The first heat was on a very wet track. Our hero?  Robin Kruger… After the Mini Marcos ran bearings she started at the back of the grid and finished almost half a lap ahead of the rest.  In the dry second heat she incurred penalties but still won overall.  A great drive by Dion Valentine who came second in the little Mini Cooper.  We spare a thought for Dion as this Mini was written off at Killarney with Stuart Greig a week later.  The surprise of the day was Wynand du Plessis (Jnr) in the MGB with third overall.

Robin Clark made a comeback in the MG Magnet to win Class B from Mark van Rooyen in the Sunbeam Alpine.  Then Chad Ten Doeschate in the cheeky Nash Metropolitan headed Class C.

SKF Pre-1966 LITTLE Giants Legends - Photograph by Paul Blackburn SKF Pre-1966 LITTLE Giants Legends - Photograph by Paul Blackburn
SKF Pre-1966 LITTLE Giants Legends - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Marlboro Crane Hire Historic Saloons – Classes F, G, H

Race one – a wet race to the joy of Mike Briggs in the Opel SuperBoss.  Cindy Evans splashed her way around in the Renault R8.  Second race and with a dry track Francois Jacobs took the honours from Mike Briggs and Hennie van der Merwe.

Marlboro Crane Hire Historic Saloons FGH - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Marlboro Crane Hire Historic Saloons FGH - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Historic Single Seaters – Pre’1974

Seven international entries ranging from F1 BRM, and F1 Lotus BRM, to Formula Junior Lotus 27, Lotus 22, Cooper T59, Caravelle, Wainer etc.

Race one wet, wet, wet. The Alan Bailie Lotus 24 BRM entrenched the Lotus 24 syndrome of not liking South Africa – refer to previous newsletters/ media on this saga which started in 1963 and has never ended.  Needless to say it never started.  This wet race was mastered by Keegan Ward in his Royal followed by Stuart Greig in the 1961 Lotus 22 and first of the Internationals Richard Wilson in the ultimate FJ, the Lotus 27.

Stuart Greig won race tow from Richard Wilson.  There was a nasty start live accident when Graham Vos starting from the back of the grid collided with Brian Tyler.  Both have since recovered.

Historic Single Seaters of 50’s & 60’s - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Historic Single Seaters of 50’s & 60’s - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Marlboro Crane Hire Historic Saloons – Classes A, B,C,D and E

Race One:  Wet!  The race was won by Franco Denado in his (very modified) Escort from Robbie Smith in the E30 BMW – an historic racer with a pedigreed history.  Third was Gerhard Henning in his Scirocco.  Race Two:  The result was similar except that Bjorn Gebert (Alfa GTV6) came third.  Overall it was Franco who won Class A whilst Robbie Smith headed Class B.

Marlboro Crane Hire Historic Saloons ABCDE - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Marlboro Crane Hire Historic Saloons ABCDE - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

LEET Racing Lotus Challenge

Can we ever stop him?  Jeff Kruger won both heats.  Rob Gearing and Thomas Falkiner swopped places for second.  Overall Thomas came second.

Leet Racing Lotus Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Leet Racing Lotus Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

SKF Pre’1966 Legends of the 9 Hour, Under 2 litre Class (U2)

Race One:  Independent.  This is a very competitive class of racing with equally matched Pre’1966 Under 2 Litre cars.  A huge achievement to have 13 of these cars on the grid.  All credit goes to Roger Houston and his team.  No easy task to motivate and get car owners to commit themselves to the series.

A BIG welcome to Rob Gearing on the completion of his BMW 2000 Ti and being so competitive on its debut.  We also had Clinton Parsons in his Alfa GT and Cindy Evans in the BMW plus Carel Pienaar in the magnificent Lotus Cortina.  Race one was as exciting as ever with the Volvo’s dominating.  Alan Poulter won with Trevor Tuck splitting the Volvo’s with his Alfa Ti from Vic Campher in the blue Volvo 225.

Race two:  The U2 class was combined with the Pre’1966 Legend V8’s etc.  Again the race was great with Vic Campher winning from Poulter and the “new” BMW of Rob Gearing coming home third overall on the day.

SKF Pre-1966 U2 Legends and Pre-1966 Sports and GT Nomands - Photograph by Paul Blackburn SKF Pre-1966 U2 Legends and Pre-1966 Sports and GT Nomands - Photograph by Paul Blackburn
SKF Pre-1966 U2 Legends and Pre-1966 Sports and GT Nomands - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Liqui Moly GT Ferrari Challenge

An all Ferrari show.  A great demonstration of sight and sound.  Jonathan headed Jaki Scheckter home.  Sarel vd Merwe was in a 360 Challenge whilst the nicest gesture of all was David Piper in the 1960 Ferrari GT 250.

Liqui Moly GT Ferrari Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Liqui Moly GT Ferrari Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn
Liqui Moly GT Ferrari Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Castrol Pre’1974 International Sports Racing Prototypes

Race One:  These are amazing Sports and GT cars, we had 25 of them on the grid.  Steve Humble (Mallock) just pipped Franco Scribante’s B19 to pole.  It was very close, 0.08 of a second.  Larry Wilford in Pim’s green Lola T70, Jonathan B8, Andre RSR Turbo, Keegan Campos 911 RSR, from Sweden we had Abrahamsson B19 (he owns some 8 Chevrons), Robert Brooks Lola T212, Anderson Burnt another Lola T212, Jan Kling and Kennet Persson Ford GT40’s, Terry Wilford upheld the Porsche 917 honours in Oliver Dalais’ Gulf car and Jason Campos in the blue GT40.

We do not realise these 45 year old racing cars are lapping Zwartkops in times that would put them ahead of almost 85% of the modern Extreme Supercars.  This is serious speed and racing.

Franco won after a hectic battle with Steve Humble. The Mallock broke at half distance.  Andre beat Jonathan to the line, with Larry fourth… The Lola had started to misfire.

Castrol Pre 1974 International Sports Racing PrototypesTrans AmChampion of Champions - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Castrol Pre 1974 International Sports Racing PrototypesTrans AmChampion of Champions - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Race Two:  Franco made a short pit stop, the Mallock won from Andre Bezuidenhout.  Jonathan faded with low oil pressure.  So overall on the day went to Andre Bezuidenhout.  Terry Wilford won Class B in the Gulf Porsche 917 – this is the first race that this Porsche has ever won… and it was competitive.  Just to make Oliver’s day the blue GT40 with Jason Campos took Class C.  The LM GT honours went to Wynand van der Merwe in the 1973 Porsche RSR.

The Gulf Porsche headed the Swedish contingent of Lola 212’s and the Kent Chevron B19 which blew its engine on the penultimate lap.

At Killarney the battle was between Franco’s B19 and Steve Humble’s Mallock.  These cars were lapping in 1.13/1.14 which is incredible and makes their times comparable with most Extreme Supercars.  Franco won the first heat after the Mallock pitted.  In the second, Franco caught the Mallock when Franco had a huge off at high speed doing severe damage to the Chevron but leaving Franco relatively unscathed.  This was not a pleasant sight – the Chevron is a flat bottom car (1970), whilst the Mallock “G” car – ground effects.  There is a message here for us all.

The Swede’s Chevron B19, Lola 210’s, Elan, GT40’s plus a few locals made the ISP race.

Castrol Pre 1974 International Sports Racing PrototypesTrans AmChampion of Champions - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Castrol Pre 1974 International Sports Racing PrototypesTrans AmChampion of Champions - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

SKF Pre’1966 Legend of the 9 Hour

These are big guns, and we had 16 of them.  Michiel Campagnia returned in the white Galaxie, the UK Camaro of Mike Knight, two Dutch Mustangs, Oliver Broome,  a surprise entry in a Basil van Rooyen Mustang and qualified in fifth.  Only 0.015 seconds slower than pole.  Of significant interest was Jeff Kruger in the yellow Plymouth Barracuda, Sarel chose the Chevelle, Lee Thompson took over the red Galaxie, and despite still struggling with his leg and hip, Peter Lindenberg entered his magnificent fast back Ford Mustang. 

Then from the UK we had Craig Davies in his Mustang (it had the wrong tires – so received a grid and later race penalty – the tires were changed for CPT, but the engine was buzzed at 8700RPM and blew up in spectacular fashion – he will be back next year.)  Ben Morgenrood was there in his restricted Mustang and the Du Toit’s in the Bel Air and Nova.  The evergreen Clive Densham arrived in a very humble looking Alfa GT, just to mix it with the V8’s, another wild card was Ignition’s Marius Roberts in the Golden Hawk.

SKF Pre-1966 Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn SKF Pre-1966 Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Race One:  Sarel led at the beginning then Peter Lindenberg got through followed by Jeff, the UK Mustang and the charging pack.  It was an incredible site, 8 of the leading cars, 2/3 at a time all fighting the same piece of tar.  Something had to give, and it was Jeff right in the middle of turn 3.  The Barracuda went into an almighty 360, leaving the track into the mid field.  It was chaos and the crowd loved it!  Jeff recovered minus a windscreen, an amazing race won by Peter Lindenberg, followed by Sarel, Mark and YIP, Clive Densham in the Alfa fourth overall.  Unfortunately Lee in the red Galaxie had the gearbox break on lap 1, otherwise he would’ve been there too.  Michiel loss breaks, Jonathan spun and the Studebaker – well, it broke its back axle…

Race Two:  Combined with the U2 class, just as spectacular!!  Except the curfew rule of 74 seconds was well and truly broken.  The result was penalties for Ben Morgenrood, Clive Densham, Craig Davies, and Peter Lindenberg.  Not something we wanted…  The 74 second rule is to be looked at.  In future we will select a target car, average the time of two “stigs” and that will be the target time.  Overall after penalties it was Jeff Kruger, Michiel Campagnia, Jonathan and Sarel.

The big V8’s are always a big attraction in CPT.  The Nova, Bel Air, Englishman Tim Boles and Mike Knight in the red Comaro plus Michiel in the white Galaxie put up a great show.  They were spectacular lapping in the 1.24’s, this is serious stuff considering they race on narrow dot tyres and are some 50 years old.  Armand Adrians and Francesco were equally impressive in their FIA Mustangs. LITTLE Giants, well no longer.  Denzel Bhana from Bulawayo was certainly the driver of the day.  The little blue Anglia mixed it with the big V8’s – can you believe it.  Overall Rodney Green and Charlotte won LITTLE Giants from Chris O’Neill in the beautiful green E-Type Jaguar.

SKF Pre-1966 Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn SKF Pre-1966 Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

G&H Extreme Super Cars

A relatively easy win for Charl Arangies in the Aston Martin.  Charl Joubert should’ve given the Aston some competition, but it had problems.  It was Marcel Angel in his Ferrari 458 who held the fort, followed by Jonathan in the 430.  Oliver Dalais raced hard in the Ford GT, but the amazing Darren Winterboer in the BMW took honours in Class B. Ant Blunden in the Porsche 997 GT3 headed Mark’s 360 while the Nissan 350’s made a comeback with Johan Hattingh first and Dale Penney second in Class D.

G & H Transport Extreme Supercars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn G & H Transport Extreme Supercars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn
G & H Transport Extreme Supercars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

VW Celebrity Challenge

There was much fanfare with the Volkswagen Celebrity Challenge. Nobody knew who the wild card driver was, until Lee Thompson arrived on track for start of the race in a Polo which was off song.  The race was entertaining as the celebs drove their hearts out… in the end Mike Briggs was the hero of the day, and all the cars returned safe and sound.

VW Celeb Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn VW Celeb Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Castrol SA Tourist Trophy Pre’1966/68 Le Mans Sports & GT

The 45 minute Le Mans/ Sebring TT is always a highlight event.  This year the GT40 of Dino Scribante should’ve won.  The car did a 1.05 in practice, but it was not to be.  The foam in the fuel tank infiltrated the fuel system, so the car only lasted one lap.  It was then up to the Lola T70’s of the Du Toit’s and Rui Campos and the McLaren of Donald Duncan and Steve Heart to fight for the line honours.  The Cummings Lola fought hard to take on the Wall’s Lola but just after half distance the gearbox sprung an oil leak, so the Du Toit’s had an easy win.

Castrol Magnatec Pre-1966 Le Mans Sebring Sports & GT - Photograph by Reynard Gelderblom Castrol Magnatec Pre-1966 Le Mans Sebring Sports & GT - Photograph by Reynard Gelderblom

The McLaren finished second and once again Warren Lombard showed what the Cobra was capable of being as fast as the McLaren.  Josh Dovey in the little Ginetta won Class C and finished fourth overall, beating some of the Class B competitors.  Peter and Paige were the third quickest in qualifying but slipped a bit in the race and finished sixth, just behind the big bore UK Mustang of Craig Davies.  Alan Garrow won Class D from Dennis McBeath – the BRG E-Type Jaguar of Richard Wilson was impressive as was the Lotus Elan of Lars Bondesson from Sweden.  The two other GT40’s from Sweden faded on the day, but made up for it at Killarney.  After a layoff of over a year, Nick Parrott came back with the Golden MGA and came second in Class E.  Mel and Wouter won in the Alfa GT.  Rodney Green in the MGB shared his car with the charming young Dutch lady racer, Charlotte Verkuiljing – very impressive performance.  The Daytona No. 8 seems to be jinxed when it comes to the TT.  Last year it didn’t last a lap, the previous year it blew up and this year Eddy Perk landed in a sand trap after just 3 laps… it did not matter really as the other two Daytona’s of the Lindenbergs and Djurk Venter acquitted themselves well in the race.  The Clark Morgan seems to suffer from the same TT maladies of the No. 8 Daytona.

Castrol Magnatec Pre-1966 Le Mans Sebring Sports & GT - Photograph by Reynard Gelderblom

The TAR Lola had a relatively easy win, once the Donald Duncan Steve Heart McLaren broke early into the race.  Kennet Persson did give chase and finished just 19 seconds behind the Walls car after just 45 minutes.

Castrol Magnatec Pre-1966 Le Mans Sebring Sports & GT - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Castrol Magnatec Pre-1966 Le Mans Sebring Sports & GT - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Sunday – The Day of the Champion

A sunny day, plenty of action

The international Tourist Trophy for Classic Superbikes was great, except for a few blow ups early Sunday morning.  The big attraction of the day is the interaction of the public.  Our champions and heroes of the past… and of course, man and machine.  The historic bike numbers were down due to new MSA rulings in respect of demonstration events.  This is a pity as many of the historic bikes we love to hear and see did not come.

We will restructure the event in 2019 which will include everybody.  What we lacked in HMG was certainly made up in the Ian Groat display of Nortons and other iconic racing machines, plus Dave Peterson on the Kenny Roberts incredible Proton.  What a privilege to have these two in action.

Contemporary Thunderbikes, Kawasaki Masters., Bridgestone Sub 10 Superbikes and Bridgestone Challenge made the days racing…

International Classic TT Superbikes

Our man, Noel Haarhoff showed the way and the Scottish aces could do nothing about it. Ian Simpson and Ian McPherson raced hard but could not catch this very determined racer.  AJ Venter was also magnificent to see in action on the older Suzuki Katana!  The Scots certainly seem to have it.  Gordon Griggor (fourth overall), Howard Selby (Sixth), Robert Burns (Eight), Alan Duffus – second in Class F3, Yamaha TZ750.  UK, it was left to Carl Tiffany.  Overall it was a South African, but the next South Africa was Leon vd Berg fith, then John Kortman seventh.  Young AJ Venter won the F2 class with Peter Herbert heading F3. 

At Killarney, after dominating the first heat and having won at Zwartkops the week before, we assumed that Noel Haarhoff had it in the bag.  Not so, he had an off on the second lap, fought back to finish fifth, but it was the other Ian from Scotland that beat Ian Simpson.  This series has tremendous potential.  It just needs to grow.

Isle of Man Classic TT SuperBikes - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Isle of Man Classic TT SuperBikes - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Bridgestone Challenge

Top of the pile was Sifiso Themba on pole – our young hero then fell and most unfortunately was out of the event.  The event was won by Dale Ingram from Coen Erasmus, Johan Trethaway headed class B from Hennie Swanepoel.  Our ladies of the day was Nieke Furgenson and Lize de Beer.

Bridgestone Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Bridgestone Challenge - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Bridgestone Thunderbikes and SUB10 Superbikes

Some 25 starters, Shaun Vermaak Thunderbike A and Matthew Herbert took the class honours.  Dirk Stols and Johan Nortje Sub 10 A and B –  Byron Rothquel and Seb from Johan Nortje.

Bridgestone Thunderbikes & SUB10 SuperBikes - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Bridgestone Thunderbikes & SUB10 SuperBikes - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Red Square Kawasaki

Our man Graham van Breda, but Sven Grune kept him honest in two heats so he landed up second on the day.  Evergreen Bryon Bontekoning was third overall.  Amazing men and their racing machines. This racing is a highlight on the day.

Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

HMG

20 HMG bikes on track in their demonstration event.  Ducatti, Apprillia, Honda, Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Proton… Lots of nostalgia.

Historic Motorcycle Group - Photograph by Paul Blackburn Historic Motorcycle Group - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

1958 / 1974 The Great Years of South African Motor Racing.

1966 Legends of the 9 Hour Production Cars

Pre-1966/68 Le Mans Sports & GT

Pre-1974 International Sports Prototypes

Pre-1966/68 Little Giants Production Sports & GT Cars

Pre-1966 under 2 litre Production Cars

Pre-1971 Campion of Champions Production Cars

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