What Passion For Speed Preview
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 28 January 2023
Community South Africa National
One of South Africa’s favourite annual race weekends is ready to rock you when the 22nd Passion for Speed thrills Zwartkops Raceway Saturday 28 January. Bigger and better, this year celebrates both freedom of attendance and international participation for the first time in three years, with a massive entry list expected to approach 300, come the weekend.
It’s difficult to single out one highlight, but the Auto Truck & Tyre Pre’74 Sportscars should thrill with 1970s Springbok Series allure. Swede Kennet Pearson’s epic Can Am McLaren M5 takes on SA’s Peter Bailey and Rob Beaumont’s Porsche 917s and Lola T70 trio, Mark du Toit, Larry Wilford, and UK visitor Russel Fear. They have Chevron trio, Colin Ellison‘s B19 and Jono du Toit and Johan Bredenhan’s B8s, and Trans Am duo, Ben Morgenrood’s Mustang and Hennie Groenewald’s Camaro, and a flotilla of Porsche RSRs on their case, with a smattering of Ford Escorts and Cortinas in pursuit.
A major Passion attraction, the Ford versus the rest Marlboro Crane Legends of the 9 Hour monsters are piloted by the cream of the SA crop. Lee Thompson, Jaki Scheckter and Paolo Cavalieri’s Galaxies, Paige Lindenberg’s Fairlane and Hennie Groenewald’s Comet. Ben Morgenrood, Ollie Broome and Warren Lombard’s Mustangs, and Mark du Toit and Colin Ellison’s Fairlane Thunderbolts make up the Ford party. Chevrolet duo Franco Di Matteo’s Bel-Air and Graeme Nathan in a Chevelle, and Jonathan du Toit’s Barracuda, Stiaan Kriel in a Studebaker Lark and Jeffrey Kruger’s Cougar add variety. With a swarm of quick Alfas, Fords and Volvos snapping at their heels.
Another Passion for Speed regular, the 45 Minute Castrol Le Mans TT has no less than five Ford GT40s entered. Previous winners, Mark and Jonathan du Toit, Peter Bailey and Oliver Dalais take on Swedes Janne Kling and Kennet Person’s genuine cars. Add an army of Shelbys in Warren Lombard’s Cobra, and Daytona Coupés for Rui Campos, James Temple, and Djurk Venter and Peter Jenkins. Plus, a Lotus 23B and an Elan, a Ginetta, a Sunbeam Tiger and an MGB. And don’t forget the default Ford Mustangs and Porsches, a Datsun240Z a South African Marauder, and a Mini Marcus, a BMW, and even a Ford Escort.
The Ben Morgenrood Historic Sprint entry approached 50 at the time of writing. Rudolf de Vos’ mighty Chev Can-Am V8 and Rob Prece’s wieldy Golf will toss a cat among the Porsche RSR pigeons. They must fend Stuart Konig and Jannie van Rooyen’s Class C Sciroccos off. Gavin Lundin’s Class D Datsun GX has similar cars, Sciroccos, Escorts and Datsun 240Zs to cope with, as does Sean Hepburn in Class E. Class F is 1970s classic with Alfa GTs against BMW 2002s, and an army of Ford Escorts. John Simpson’s Alfa Junior faces a Porsche, Datsuns and more and a couple of Ballades race a Sentra in the new Youngtimers.
There are a few most interesting new cars among the Historic Single Seaters, including John McKrechar’s mysterious 1955 Porsche 718. That’s the model Stirling Moss raced to victory in the 1960 South African Grand Prix in East London. Also of interest, Alan Kernick will be out in a Formula 3 Reynard 863, Clive Winterstein has entered an Elva Porsche MKVII and Colin Clay a Lotus 23C. They will take on a plethora of significant Formula Fords, Formula Vees, and others from the many years of those classes racing in South Africa.
Talking South Africa, The Marlboro Crane Little Giants & U2s have a particular local flavour. Andre de Kock and Ishmael Baloyi’s GSM Darts and John Ten Doeschate Ford Protea were all designed, developed, and built in SA. They take on contemporary British rivals, an Austin Healy Sprite and MG B-GTs. Grant Viljoen’s Mercedes 300SEL AMG heads the tin top action with Alfa Romeos, Volvos, Mini Coopers, and a gang of Fords, including a Corsair, a Consul, a Cortina GT and Anglias in chase.
The Midvaal Historics and Alfa Trofeo races have also attracted a huge entry which approached 50 cars at the time of writing. Among the more interesting of them, expect to see Rudolf de Vos’ thundering Chevy Can Am, Alfa Romeo GTV6 brothers Mario and Claudio Rossi and Oliver Broome and Martin Botha’s Zakspeed Ford Escorts running close to the front. Other interesting kit there includes Craig Hamilton’s Mercedes Benz 380, Seef Fourie and Ian Richards’s Datsuns and Peter Lanz’s Fiat Uno Turbo, among a throng of Ford Escort and Capris, Alfa Romeos, Fiats, Datsuns, Opels, Volkswagens and more.
The back to front Ben Morgenrood HRSA Pursuit promises and overtaking fest. Wernher Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916 faces Fines rivals Rob van Aarle’s Escort MK1 and Machiel Oberholzer and Andre Hattingh Mercedes 190Es, Johann Smith’s Nissan Skyline and Johan Gouws’ VW Scirocco. Althea Nissan Exa leads the Modified charge against Kola de Klerk’s Nissan 300ZX, Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder. Add the Alfa Romeo gang, a couple of Fords, an MG, and a Mercedes for good measure..
There’s also contemporary racing at Passion for Speed and what better than the G+H extreme Supercars for maximum thrills? Home hero Jono du Toit’s Lamborghini picks up where he left off with Audi R8 duo Charl Arangies and Marius Jackson, Franco Scribante’s mad Porsche GT2 and Kris Budnik’s Dodge Viper up front. They have GT3 trio Mark du Toit’s Ferrari and cousins Ricky and Jimmy’s Lamborghinis, and Gianni Giannoccaro’s Nismo GT-R to fight off. Xolile Letlaka’s Class A Lamborghini faces a trio of Porsches, with a KTM X-Bow, an Audi R8 GT4, and the rest in chase for true supercar spectacle.
The BMW M Performance Parts Race Series also has a full grid. William Einkamerer takes on Arrie van der Berg and Fabio Fedetto in Class A. Andreas Meier has Rob Gearing, Lorenzo and Salvi Gualtieri, Troy Cochran, Carlo Garbini, and Lyle Ramsay to deal with in Class B. Class C has attracted former Production racer Dawie Olivier, as Oz Biagioni drops a class to race Nick and Vigen Naidu, Neil Pillay, Nicholas Fischer, and Varish Ganpath, among others. Lenard Archer joins Class D from Superhatch and Eugene Gouws from Clubmans to take on Manny Ribeiro and Bernard de Gouveia. Cape racers Anwar Levy and Mansoor Parker are up to race Arri van Heerden, Zeyad Ismail and Dave Rehse in Class E.
A true festival of racing, Zwartkops’ 22nd Passion for Speed is far more than just a program of races. With on track parades and off track attractions, shows, shops, refreshments, and the rest, it’s the perfect family day out. So, pack those cooler boxes, camping chairs and sunshades and head for Zwartkops Raceway for a splendid weekend of racing fun.
Qualifying happens Friday with all the racing on Saturday. Circuit entry is R200 per adult, R120 for students and kids under 12 get in free. Learn more at www.zwartkops.co.za or enquire at email@example.com. See you at Zwartkops’ Passion for Speed ‘23!
Issued on behalf of Zwartkops Raceway
Photography by: iShoot Stories by: King Price
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