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What HRSA Youngtimers Historic Tour Report
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Gauteng Regional

HRSA Youngtimers light up Zwartkops Raceway

South Africa’s newest motorsport category put on a splendid show as they called back a halcyon South African racing era at a scorching Zwartkops Raceway Heritage Day Historic Tour on Saturday. Racing on their own behind the Ben Morgenrood Historic Racing Sprint category, the new cars built to represent the halcyon days of Group N and SA Touring Cars honoured their heritage in a splendid show, as Rob Clark steered his Containerforce Honda Ballade to a hard fought double victory.

Clark made his intentions clear from the outset, as he put his colourful Honda on pole position with a scorching 1 minute 16.2 second lap in the cooler morning qualifying conditions. Group N veteran Mike O’Sullivan was second 1.5 seconds adrift aboard his similar silver Mosport entry, with newcomer, Jonathan Visser hard on his heels in his Auto Express Car Service VW Jetta. Nissan Sentra STi duo, Tiaan Smith’s BP tribute, and Ryno van Zyl’s WRT version followed.

Starting ten seconds behind the HRSA Racing Sprint field, the Youngtimers soon caught the rear of the slower class E and F entries. Clark was quick to negotiate those backmarkers to pull a sizeable gap to O’Sullivan and Visser, who were more delayed in getting by the slower cars. They engaged in a race long battle for second from there, as Smith kept a close watch on the pair ahead, ready to pick up any pieces from that battle. Clark ultimately took a seven second win over O’Sullivan, Visser and Smith.

Mike O’Sullivan got the jump on Tob Clark into turn one of race 2, with Jonathan Visser and Tiaan Smith in close attendance. Clark was however soon back on top with a move through turn 4 that allowed him to pass his Honda rival into turn 5. Another incident saw the safety car deployed, which bunched the field up again. Clark was however quickly back in control and opened the gap at the restart. He left O’Sullivan to once again fight a race-long, door-to-door battle with Visser for second, with Smith again keeping a watching brief.

It was still close at the flag as Clark ultimately edged O’Sullivan and Visser with Smith completing the standings. Rob Clark the day overall, followed by Mike O’Sullivan, Jonathan Visser and Tiaan Smith. Saturday’s close racing, and more cars expected on the grid for the next round at Red Star Raceway’s 4 November Historic Tour, augurs very well for the fledgling series. Email to find out more about, and join in and race with the HRSA Classic Youngtimers.

Issued on behalf of HRSA Youngtimers

Photography by: Dave Ledbitter

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