THERE'S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT PASSION FOR SPEED
January 20, 2022  
Zwartkops' epic season-opening festival will be as spectacular as ever

 


What    Passion For Speed Preview
Where    Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When    28-29 January 2022
Community    South Africa National

 

Zwartkops Raceway’s Passion for Speed Festival is set to thrill with something for everybody over the weekend of 28-29 January. The 2022 weekend has as always attracted a stunning star studded entry to a packed and varied race schedule in what promises to be a glittering highlight of the Pretoria racetrack’s season. Even better, this year's season-opening Passion for Speed once again has international status and is open to spectators.

Topping the bill this year, the 21st birthday Legends of the 9 hour races are set to be among the highlights of an epic weekend. Legends celebrates the American giants of racing in South Africa and this year, a field of Dutch and Swedish drivers was to be confirmed pending travel arrangements as we wrote.

One of them will drive 500 horsepower Kyalami 9 Hour Ford Galaxie that Sarel van der Merwe made famous at Passion for Speed races over the years. Another will tame the Smokey Yunnick NASCAR Chevelle. Overseas hands will also steer a Mustang, a Camaro and a Chevy Bel Air.

Local entries include Jonathan du Toit’s Chevy Nova, Hennie Groenewald in the powerful Mercury Comet, more Chevy Camaros and Ford Mustangs, a Studebaker Lark, a Capri Perana and a Ford Fairlane too. A nimble pack of four-cylinder racers including a Lotus Cortina, Alfa Romeo GTs and Giulias, a couple of Volvo 122s and a really rapid Mini will keep them honest.

Another epic historic racing highlight, the Pre'74 International Sports Racing Prototype grid seems more a Kyalami 9 Hour some 50 years ago! It includes Peter Bailey, Oliver Dalais and Rob Beaumont's Porsche 917s, Lola T70 pair, Russel Fear and Mark du Toit’s Doug Serrurier tribute Spider, Peter Jenkins and Franco Scribante’s Chevron B19s and Jonathan du Toit’s and Greg Thornton's Chevron B8s. You'll pinch yourself to be sure that it's not 50 years ago!

There's plenty action behind too, as Rui Campos, Andre van der Merwe and Johan de Bruyn and George Avvakoumides' Porsche 911 RSRs take on Roy Douglas’ BMW, Hennie Groenewald and Riaan Botma's Chevrolet Camaro and Rudolf de Vos’ Can-Am.

Several of the above will team up with overseas and local co-drivers for the 45-minute Pre’68/66 Tourist Trophy. Mark du Toit and Jonathan du Toit will be chasing yet another home victory in their Ford GT40. They will contend with Oliver Dalias’ similar machine, James Temple and Djurk Venter’s Shelby Daytona Coupe Cobras and Allan Garrow, Chad Ten Doeschate and Warren Lombard's AC Cobras, Alfas, Datsuns GSM Darts, Lotus, MGs, Ginettas and more.

Historic Racing South Africa’s Sports, GT and Saloon Car races will see champion Peter Bailey fighting it out with a gang of similar Porsche 911 RSRs. They will have their hands full with a ‘Little Chev’ Firenza Can-Am V8 from PE, a wicked Ford Escort out of the Cape and local rivals like Mazda rotaries, VW Sciroccos, all sorts of classic Fords, Datsuns, Chevy, Toyotas, Alfa Romeos a new Ford XR3 and more.

Expect plenty overtaking and lots of fun in the entertaining back-to-front HRSA Charlies Super Spar Pursuit races. Back to front, because the slowest car starts first on handicap before the rest follow at intervals designed to see them all finish together. And that last lap is usually epic with gang of Porsches, Fords, Datsuns and Nissans, Sciroccos and even a Marauder and more fighting for every inch of the track.

If that’s a broad variety, then the Midvaal Pre-80 Historics sprint race certainly has a bit of everything. There’s an army of Alfa Romeos, a platoon of Fords, Renaults, Fiats, Opels and Porsche. And a Datsun for everyone, a Toyota Corolla, a Jetta and Mazda Capella rotaries too. But they will all have to beat old man Willie Hepburn and his roaring V8 Rekord to win.

Just as thrilling, the Marlboro Crane Hire Little Giants call back SA’s brilliant saloon car history. Another army of Alfas not only take on old rival Volvo 122s and Austin Mini Coopers and an A35, Lotus Cortinas, a Consul and Anglias. And more modern Greats of the Past kit, Group N Opel Superbosses and BMW Shadowlines. But also 1950s and ‘60s sports cars, from SA-built Proteas and Darts, to a Sunbeam Tiger, Mini Marcos, Healey Sprite and a couple of MGs.

The Historic Single Seaters will highlight a variety of historic Formula Fords and air-cooled Vees from SA’s rich racing history. As well as lightweight sportscars in a Lotus 23C and an Elva Porsche MKVII. Sticking to the lightweight theme, the Lotus Challenge will see Mackie Adlem and Thomas Falkiner taking on dad and son, John and Jeffrey Kruger, David Jermy, Jeff Gable, Sean Hepburn and Ian Young in a full field of wieldy Lotus 7s and their Brikin and Locost replicas.

Moving on to the more contemporary Passion for Speed races, the spectacular G&H Extreme Supercars brothers Mark and Jonathan du Toit's Ferraris take on Gianni Giannoccaro and Greg Parton’s Lamborghinis. Add Xolile Letlaka's McLaren 650S GTS and Dayne Angel, Ant Blunden and Stefan Snyders among the Porsches. Deon du Plessis’ KTM X-Bow, Ben Morgenrood’s Lexus, a gang of BMWs and a cool new wildcard in the form of Regard Roets in a Nissan GT-R.

Another super-quick attraction will be the thunderous Mobil 1 V8 Supercars we once knew as the WesBank V8s. That's where Mackie Adlem and Franco di Matteo’s Jaguar XKRs will take on Warren Lombard’s Ford Falcon and Thomas Reib in a Chevy Lumina. The Corvette gang will include Terry Wilford, Julian Fameliaris, Steve Herbst and Bevan Antonie Marx.

The BMW M Performance Parts Car Series races will see champion Andreas Meier taking on class regulars Nicholas van Zyl, Varish Ganpath, Oz Biagioni, Troy Cochran, Jagger Robertson and Lyle Ramsey, as well as Sav Gualteiri and Rob Gearing among others. Driving everything from wild 328i Turbos, 325Cis and 335is to M3s of every E36, E46 and other variety.

A number of other Passion for Speed attractions will include a Formula 1 Minardi setting hot laps, as well as numerous other parades and displays.

Fan access however remains limited and on a first come, first served basis online via www.zwartkops.co.za/tickets/passion-for-speed-2022/. The 2022 Passion for Speed will also be live streamed throughout the weekend. Search YouTube for Passion for Speed or tune in via www.zwartkops.co.za or the circuit’s Facebook page for a full weekend of racing passion, straight from Zwartkops.

Issued on behalf of Zwartkops Raceway

Photography by:  Paul Bedford

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