The 2020 South African circuit racing season started on a historical and hugely successful note at Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria on Saturday.
Topping the day’s Passion for Speed extravaganza in front of a large crowd were two eight-lap races for SKF Pre-1966 Legend Saloon cars. Peter Lindenberg (Shelby Mustang) led race one from start to finish, chased to the flag by Mark du Toit (Ford Fairlane), Jonathan du Toit (Chev Nova), Jeffrey Kruger (Chrysler Barracuda) and Sarel van der Merwe (Ford Galaxy). Early front runners Hennie Groenewald (Mercury Comet) and Lee Thompson (Ford Galaxie) dropped out of the running when they went for the same piece of tarmac and spun off in the hairpin.
Lindenberg repeated his victory in race two, this time leading home Jonathan du Toit, Mark du Toit, Colin Ellison (Ford Fairlane), Thompson and Kruger.
Vic Campher (Tom Campher Volvo 122) won the opening Under Two-litre heat from Rob Gearing (BMW 2002) and Robyn Kriel (BMW 300). Gearing won the next time around, chased to the flag by Francesco Lombardi (Alfa Giulia) and Roger Houston (Alfa Giulia).
The 45-minute Castrol Tourist Trophy for Pre-1966 Le Mans cars provided the highlight of the day when Rui Campos (Lola T70 Spyder), Jonathan/Mark du Toit (Ford Daytona) and Chad ten Doeschate (Ford Cobra) fought for victory to the finish. The three cars finished in that order, covered by six-tenths of a second over the finish line. It was the closest finish in the 19-year history of the race. Kenneth Persson (Ford GT40), Josh Dovey (Ginetta) and Johan de Bruin (Porsche 911R) filled the next three places.
The international Historic Grand Prix Association put up a spirited display, with the old F1 cars creating a nostalgic spectacle on track. Will Nuthall (1960 CooperT53) took both of the day’s victories, with Andrew Beaumont (1961 Lotus 18) and Peter Horsman (1961 Lotus 21) swapping the respective second and third places.
Larry Wilford (Genie Lola T70) won the first race for Pre-1974 International Sports Prototypes, leading home Keagan Campos (Porsche 911) and Peter van der Spuy (Porsche Carerra). Race two saw Wilford starting from the pit lane after mechanical gremlins and the victory went to Campos, followed by Neil Lobb (Lola T70) and Hennie Groenewald (Chev Camaro).
Chad ten Doeschate (TAR Alfa Spyder) won the first race for SKF Pre-1066 Little Giants ahead of Crister Pernwall (Porsche 911) and Ishmael Baloyi (TAR GSM Dart). Perwall won the next time out, followed by Lars Bondesson (Lotus Elan) and Ten Doeschate.
The opening Pre-1981 Greats of the Past race went to veteran Willie Hepburn in his venerable Opel Rekord V8, leading home Rudolph de Vos (Little Chevvie CanAm) and Eugene Gous (Mastermowers Chev CanAm). Race two was taken by Lee Thompson (Opel Astra V8), followed by De Vos and Arnold Neveling Nissan Skyline).
Matt Nash (Van Diemen) won the first heat for Pre-1974 Single-seaters from Mike Ward (Royale) and Richard Wilson (Brabham BT5). Wilson took the victory next time, heading home Nash and Richard Smeeton (Wainer).
The Charlies Superspar Pursuit race went to Ron Clark (Citroen CS), from Wynand du Plessis Senior (Porsche 944) and Wynand du Plessis Junior (Toyota MR2).
Topping the modern part of the programme were two races for G&H Transport Extreme Supercars.
Marco Scribante (Porsche 977 Turbo) led the first time out until the car broke a shock absorber and retired. Darren Winterboer (Barons BMW M3) won, chased to the flag by Kris Budnik (Dodge Viper) and Jason Campos (BMW M3). Winterboer and Budnik finished first and second again the next race, with Greg Parton (Drizit Lamborghini Huracan) on the final podium step.
Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) won the first Mobil 1 Supercar race from Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 Chev Lumina) and Corrie Volschenk (Ford Falcon). Reib took race two, ahead of Volschenk and Warren Lombard (Ford Falcon).
Sav Gualtieri (Savspeed BMWF30 335i) won the first Bridgestone BMW Club race in front of Rick Loureiro (Combined BMW F40 335i) and Devin Robertson (Liqui Moly BMW E46 M3).
Race two went to Loureiro, from Gualtieri and Dino Familiaris (BMW E46 M3).
The next race meeting at Zwartkops will be the first round of the 2020 Extreme Festival on Saturday, March 14.
Story by Online Correspondent