Historic Racing Thrills Zwartkops Crowd
Historic car racing returned to the Zwartkops circuit near Pretoria in style on Saturday, with both venerable vehicles and veteran drivers thrilling the crowd.
The event’s biggest crowd drawcard was the return of local motorsport maestro Sarel van der Merwe, driving a 1964 Liqui Moly Ford Galaxie in the races for SKF Pre-1966 Legend Saloon Cars.
Van der Merwe was on point, planting the Galaxie firmly on pole position during Saturday morning’s official qualifying session. He followed that by leading the opening race from starting lights to chequered flag, narrowly ahead of youngster Jeffrey Kruger (1964 Ford Comet) and Jonathan du Toit (1965 TAR Chev Nova). Mark du Toit (1957 Chev Bel-Air), Neil Lobb (Pablo Clark 1963 Ford Galaxie) and Willie Hepburn (1965 Chevelle) rounded out the top six places.
Race two saw Van der Merwe and Kruger side by side on various occasions, but the maestro’s vast experience prevailed and he won again, leading home Kruger, Jonathan du Toit, Mark du Toit, Hepburn and Lobb.
Jonathan du Toit (1969 TAR Chevron VSP) took both the Pre-1974 International Sports Car Prototype races from Colin Ellison (1969 Lola T70) and Mark du Toit (1965 Lola T70 Spyder).
Mackie Adlem (Stardust Jaguar XKR) won the first Samcar V8 Supercar race from Franco di Matteo (Deltec Jaguar XKR) and Larry Wilford (Fuchs Ford Falcon). Adlem suffered technical maladies the next time, leaving Ben Morgenrood Junior (Ford Mustang), to win from Wilford and Adlem.
The SKF Under Two-litre Pre-1966 sprint race went to Vic Campher (Tom Campher Volvo 122), leading home MikeO’Sullivan (1965 BMW 2002) and Alan Poulter (Tom Campher Vovo 122). Poulter won the 30-minute endurance event, ahead of Carel Pienaar (1963 Lotus Coprtina) and Roger Houston (1965 Alfa Super).
Josh Dovey (1960 Austin Healy Sprite), won the SKF Little Giants sprint race from Marco Taylor (1964 Alfa GT Junior) and Cindy Evans Finney (1968 Renault R8). Gary Stacey (1964 Cortina) took the endurance event, finishing ahead of Dovey and Taylor.
Jeffrey Kruger (Lotus 7) won both the Sabat Lotus Challenge races from Jeff Gable (Birkin 7) and David Jermy (Lime Chilli Lotus 7).
Willie Hepburn (Opel Rekord V8) stormed to both the day’s Marlboro Crane Hire Pre-1980 Saloon Car races. In both cases he led home Gerhard Henning (Toyota Parts VW Scirocco) and Johann Smith (Javrec Mazda Capella).
Julian van der Watt (RDSA Mygale) took both the Investchem Formula Ford races from Andrew Horne (Xena Chemicals Van Diemen), with Dean Venter (Desco Swift) and Jonathan Nash (Turnfab Swift) taking turns on the final podium steps.
The first Charlies Super Spar Pursuit handicap race went to Kola de Klerk (1983 Nissan 300ZX), leading Danny Kloes (1981 Alfa Romeo GTV) and Tegan Leyshon (1976 Ford Escort). Kobus Brits (1967 Porsche 911) won the next time, ahead of De Klerk and Dennis McBeath (1964 Mtipi).
The next round of the 2017 Historic Tour will be held at the Delmas Red Star Raceway on Saturday, October 28.
Story by: Andre de Kok – The Citizen