Historic racing off to a passionate start

HRSA Classes Star at Zwartkops Passion for Speed

Historic Racing South Africa commenced its 2022 season in style as part of the Zwartkops Passion for Speed Festival outside Pretoria on Saturday. Conditions may have been unseasonably fresh and gloomy, but the on track action more than made up for that. Both HRSA categories began new eras, with fresh class designations. HRSA Racing’s Sports, GTs and Saloons now compete in seven joined classes, while Pursuit is back to two Fines and Modified classes. Albeit temporarily bolstered by the new Youngtimers.
Starting with the HRSA Racing Sports, GTs and Saloon scratch races, Class B men, Rudolf de Vos’ Little Chev CanAm took a little time to overcome Andre van der Merwe’s nimble Evapco Porsche RSR, before the PE man and his rumbling V8 cleared off to win the opening heat. Johann Smith’s JMS Mazda Capella led the Class C charge from Stuart Konig’s Pro Auto Northern Bolt VW Scirocco and Jannie van Rooyen’s similar machine, but the action behind them was fraught.
George Avvakoumides made best of the situation to emerge in front of the Class D dice in his Liqui-Moly Porsche 911, ahead of Rene Jansen van Rensburg’s SvTech Ford Escort MK2. Class B interloper Richard Pott’s Porsche RSR was next from D duo Andre ten Napel’s TNMC Volkswagen Scirocco and Gavin Lundin’s Silverguard Datsun 1200 GX. Jackie Morrison won Class E in his Extreme Salvage Ford Escort ahead of Tony Lundin’s Silvergaurd Datsun GX Coupe and Stefan Puschavez’ Porsche 911 RS.
The action was entertaining throughout the field as Kola de Klerk’s Nissan 300ZX held Alan Poulter Porenza’s Oil Datsun SSS off for Class F honours, with Sean Hepburn third in his AA Datsun 1200 Deluxe. John Simpson brought his Evoke Realty Alfa Romeo GT Junior home to win Class G from George Smalberger and his Shield Ford Escort MK1 and Peter Ross’ Twisted Whiskers Alfa Romeo GTV. Henrich Norton took Class H in his Van Rooyen Vision Porsche 924.
The second race was more of the same as Rudolf de Vos made off up front to win from Class B rival Andre van der Merwe. Johann Smith won Class C, but Jannie van Rooyen beat Stuart Konig to second. Rene Jansen van Rensburg put one over George Avvakoumides to take the second Class D win with Andre ten Napel third. And Jackie Morrison once again beat Stefan Puschavez to Class E honours, with Jaco Roux’s Scirocco third. 
Alan Poulter turned the tables on Kola de Klerk to take the second Class F win, with Sean Hepburn once again third, while John Simpson did the Class G double. This time ahead of Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche 924 and Peter Ross, while Heinrich Norton took Class H again. Overall, de Vos took the day and Class B, Smith Class C, Avvakoumides D and Morrison Class E. Alan Poulter emerged the winner in Class F, Simpson G and Norton Class H.
Moving on to the handicap HRSA Pursuit Series, which in effect opened the 2022 South African circuit racing season bright and early Saturday morning. Modified class winner Hedley Whitehead’s Austin Mini Cooper S overcame Rob Clark’s Fines class Containerforce Citroen GS 1220 Club to take a remarkable first race win ahead of Fines man Henk de Klerk’s Pajero Parts Honda Civic. Remarkable because it was the first race in a while where every car in the field was classified, as nobody broke out of their handicap bracket!
There was a hint of things to come behind them, as Youngtimer duo, Mike O’Sullivan’s Honda Ballade and Karel Stols’ JMS Nissan Sentra 2.0Sti diced in the pack. HRSA Racing’s new class will compete in Pursuit as it progresses to a standalone category and those first two cars certainly looked the part on track. O’Sullivan ultimately ended fourth, Stolz 8th behind battling ladies, Althea Pretorius’ Exa and Tegan Leyshon’s Scirocco and Rob van Aarle’s Ford Escort, and ahead of Gerrit Murray’s Romeo and Wernher Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916.
Rob van Aarle overcame Rob Clark, Andre Hattingh’s Mercedes 190E, Wynand du Plessis Sr’s Porsche 944 and Hartzenberg to lead a Fines 1-2-3-4-5 in race 2. Youngtimer Stols ended sixth from Modified trio Riaan Roux’s Scirocco, Stan Stacey’s Alfa GTV6 and Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder and Mike Thompson in a Ford Capri. That after five of the initial top ten finishes were eliminated for eclipsing their break-out lap times.
So, Rob Clark took the Pursuit day in a Fines Class 1-2 over Rob van Aarle. Youngtimer man Karel Stols was third from Fines man Werner Hartzenberg. Fifth place overall, Tegan Leyshon took the Modified win ahead of another Fines duo, Wynand du Plessis Sr. and Andre Hattingh, and Modified second and third men Riaan Roux and Hedley Whitehead. Historic Racing South Africa returns to action at Red Star Raceway outside Delmas on Saturday 5 March.