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What Historic Festival Preview
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 15 April 2023
Community Gauteng Regional

A fine day’s racing is planned for Pretoria on 15 April

Zwartkops will once again resonate to a classic tone when the Historic Tour visits the Pretoria circuit for a splendid day of old school racing, Saturday 15 April. Featuring races for Sports and GT cars, V8s and tin tops alongside some single seater action too, there’s even a little contemporary action on what promises to be another great day of racing at one of Gauteng’s favourite racetracks.

Headed by a couple of races for International Le Mans Sports, GT and Trans Am Production Cars, the target will be on Peter Bailey’s back aboard his Porsche 917. He’ll have the finest of 1960s sports cars chasing him down, including Larry Wilford and Mark du Toit’s Lola T70s, Chevron B8 duo Jonathan du Toit and Allen Meyer, and Cobra couple Warren Lombard and James Temple’s Daytona Coupé.

Expect a GT squabble behind them. Andre van der Merwe and George Avvakoumides’ Porsche 911 RSRs take on Sophos Pantazis’ rice rocket Datsun 240Z and some traditional granturismos in Josh Dovey’s Ginetta and John Ten Doeschate in a Protea. And what’s a GT race without some rumbling American muscle cars as SA race legends, Ben Morgenrood’s Ford Mustang takes on Hennie Groenewald in a Chevrolet Camaro?

Morgenrood and Groenewald are planning a bumper weekend. Ben will also race his Mustang against Hennie, this time in a Mercury Cougar in the Marlboro Crane Hire Legends of the 9 Hour races. They have du Toit brothers Jonathan’s Chevy Nova, and Mark driving Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, as well as little Paige Lindenberg in her monster Ford Fairlane to take on there.

Behind them, Ish Baloyi, Andre de Kock and John Ten Doeschate’s Dart Alfas will race the best of 1960s saloon cars. They include Cortina trio Ben van der Westhuizen’s Lotus, Chris Williams’ GT, and Jonathan Needham in a Mk.2. More Fords, Deon Schwabsky’s Escort, and Brain Rowlings’ Anglia will dice Austin Mini Cooper trio, Terrence Botes, Donovan Meyer and Kyle Brink, Alfa men Marc Miller and Roger Houston, and Robin Clarke’s MG B-GT.

There’s bound to be close racing in the Ben Morgenrood Group HRSA Sprint Races. Coastal Chevy Can Am drivers, Gqeberha’s Rudolf de Vos and East London’s Darron Gudmanz will be up to run interference with Porsche men Andre van der Merwe and Peter Bailey. Stuart König’s VW Scirocco is the Class C car to beat. Scirocco duo, Fred König and Andre ten Napel take on Gavin Lundin and Travis Jensen’s Datsuns, and Rene van Rensburg and Reg Sutton’s Escorts in Class D.

Class E is war between Datsun trio Sean Hepburn, Franz, and Peder Jensen, Scirocco four Terence Ladner, Johan Gouws, Riaan Roux and Jono König, Escort duo Nigel Townshend and Meredith Willis, and Andre de Lange’s Mazda rotary. Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche 924 races Willem Vorster’s Escort, Grant Cramer’s Datsun and Hendrik van Zyl’s Anglia in Class F.

The Ben Morgenrood Group HRSA handicap Sprint Races will see Porsche drivers, Wernher Hartzenberg and Willem du Plessis Sr. up against Johann Smith’s Skyline, Mike Thomson’s Capri, Rob van Aarle’s Escort, and Andre Kotze’s Mercedes. Althea Pretorius’ Nissan Exa leads the Modified charge against Jose Vasques’ Mercedes, Riaan Roux in a Scirocco, Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder, Alfa men Gerrit Murray and Hilton Ewart, and Greg White’s Escort.

Moving on to the single seaters, the Historic class is dominated by Formula Fords. Van Diemen trio Steve Venter, Matt Nash and Dalan Holton take on Dulon duo, Paul Richardson and Des Hillary, Patrick Dunseith in a Merlyn, Andrew Horne’s Royale, and Ron Liddiard in a Lotus 51A. Colin Clay and Robbie Frank’s closed wheel Lotus 23s offer a little variety, and don’t forget the Vees, including Michael Kernick’s Capital and James Derbyshire in a Volsup.

Rapidly growing Formula Monoposto should be headed by Formula GTi and Ford men Grant Will’s Ashley and Swift trio Allen Meyer, Steve Venter and Louis van der Merwe. Formula Super Vee is becoming popular, with Lushen Ramchander, Blane de Meilon and Jeandre le Roux in contention. Formula M men Ludivicus Gerber, Herman Krige, Aidan Morrow, Cornel Smit, Bruce van Niekerk, Kennedy Torres and Mark Tucker’s Vees add variety.

Last but not least, the On Track Clubmans and Sports Cars add a more contemporary touch. Phillip Emmenis’ BMW M3 has its work cut out by Golf 1 trio, George Economides, Wayne Lebotschy and Wayne Pereira, as well as Honda trio, Rodney Kruis, Roshaan Goodman and Dirk Lawrence, Jonathan Visser and Kobus Brits’ Polos Dumisane Mazibuko in a Tigra and sportscar men, Ismail Peck’s Lotus 7 and Aaron Harmse’s Sports 2000 coming from the back.

A full and entertaining day’s racing, Zwartkops’ 15 April Historic Tour on track action will be backed by car displays and parades, kid’s entertainment, and food and drinks stalls. Racing starts early after qualifying, track entry costs R100 for adults, R80 for students and under 12s get in free. Sounds like a fine way to spend a great Gauteng Saturday!

Issued on behalf of Zwartkops Raceway

Photography by: Andre Laubscher

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