What: Northern Regions Historic Racing Championship Race review.
When: Saturday 18 May 2019.
Where: Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
Historic racing enchants Pretoria.
Historic racing South Africa joined the Inland Championship race meeting at Zwartkops outside Pretoria on Saturday, where Sports and GT, Pre 80 Universal Healthcare Saloons and the Charlies SuperSpar Historic Pursuit gang put on entertaining display on a perfect day for racing.
The Sports & GT grid proved something of a Porsche 911 RSR benefit in the absence of the du Toits and Lindenbergs off racing in Holland, with six 911 RSRs filling the first three rows headed by Ricard Schuhardt’s ’74 RS Botswana version turning in a quick 1 minute 6 second lap to secure pole, three seconds clear of Rui Campos and Richard Pott’s 1969 and 72 models and Andre van der Merwe (Evapco), George Avvakoumides (Ocean Basket) and Richard de Roos 74 RSRs.
Old man Campos stormed to the opening win over Pre-90 B rival van der Merwe and Pre-66 winner Warren Lombard’s Pepboys ’65 AC Cobra. Pre-90 C duo Avvakoumides and Brian Algar (Jägermeister) Legends winner Jeffrey Kruger’s ’68 Ford Fairlane, Schuhardt, de Roos and Pott were next ahead of Trans Am winner Chad ten Doeschate (Camaro), Neil Lobb (Mustang), Louis Cloete (Beetle), Kola De Klerk (Nissan ZX) and Ben van der Westhuizen’s Marauder.
It was all change in race 2 as Pott took a 2 second win over Avvakoumides with van der Merwe close behind after Campos stopped. Lombard was fourth from Kruger, ten Doeschate, Algar, Snyders and Lobb; Cloete, de Roos and van der Westhuizen. Through all that, van der Merwe took the overall win from Avvakoumides, Lombard, Algar and Kruger.
Sophos Pantazis put his glorious 1969 Datsun 240Z on Universal Healthcare Pre 80 Saloons pole position ahead of Rene Janse van Rensburg and Peter Jenkins’ Ford Escorts, before Pantazis cleared off to an easy first race win over Andre Ten Napel (TNMC ’76 Scirocco) and Sean Hepburn (HiQ Midrand ’75 Datsun 1200), Shane McLachlan (Climax ’73 Datsun GX Coupe) and Hubi von Moltke’s ’76 Mercedes 280CE.
Stewart McLarty’s ex Don Bruins Telscrew Mazda 323 was next up from Jan Jacobs’ Alfa Romeo, Mercedes 280 duo Fanie Klopper and Johann van der Walt, Peter Ross’ Alfa GTV, Dennis Brett and Harm Beens Ford Escorts and Rob Clark’s entertaining Citroen, while Johann Barnard’s Capri, Rene Janse van Rensburg’s Escort and Gene Malan’s Renault failed to finish.
Janse van Rensburg bounced back from his first race trouble to take race 2 from Pantazis, ten Napel and Hepburn, with von Moltke leading a wonderful scrap with Mclarty and McLachlan home ahead of Klopper, Beens, Ross, van der Walt and Clark as Pantazis took the day overall and class D over Barnard. Ten Napel won class E from McLachlan and Janse van Rensburg, Hepburn beat von Moltke to Class F and McLarty came out tops in competitive Class G from Klopper, Beens, Ross, van der Walt, Jacobs, Brett and Malan, as Clark took Class H.
Dennis McBeath’s ’64 Mpiti was quickest in Charlie’s Historic Pursuit qualifying to see him start handicap last, with slowest man Rob Clark (Containerforce Citroen GS) getting away first ahead of Michelle Smith’s ’87 SPS Skyline and Michael Mateus’ ’81 Renato BMW M535. Mateus was soon ahead and managed to hold his pursuers at bay to win ahead of a wild last lap reshuffle between his Fine Cars class rival Machiel Oberholzer (Aquaperm ’83 190E), Trophy class winner Mcbeath and Henk de Klerk’s ’93 Civic.
Trophy class duo Jose Vasques’ ’76 Mercedes 280CE and Wernher Hartzenberg’s Aircooledwonders ’82 Porsche 928 were next up from Clark’s Citroen, Robbie Frank (Lotus 23B), Richard Tudor-Owen’s Merc 190E and Bert van Aarle’s Lotus Elite in tenth. Althea Pretorius (Porsche 924) was next home from Herm Beens Jr. (Escort), Andre Hattingh (190E), Stan Stacey and Hilton Ewart’s Alfas and Frans Venter’s 280 ZX, while Nissan duo Michelle Smith, Kola de Klerk’s and Warrick hit trouble.
Clarke’s listing Citroen again led the second race away, but it was de Klerk who best handled his handicap and the close to dark conditions after a late start following several delays on the day, to get his Civic ahead to win by four seconds over Vasques, van Aarle, Hartzenberg, Mateus, Beens and Hattingh all within 5 seconds of each other, with Frank, Clark, McBeath, Pretorius, Venter, Oberholzer, Tudor Owen, Ewart and Smith next up.
Overall Henk de Klerk took the day from Mateus, Vasquez, Hartzenberg, van Aarle and Mcbeath, while de Klerk also took Fine Car class honours from Mateus, van Aarle, Oberholzer and Clark and Vasquez took the Trophy class from Harzenberg Mcbeath, Frank and Beens.
Historic Racing South Africa moves to Red Star Raceway near Delmas next for its midwinter fourth round Saturday 22 June.