The fifth round of the 2017 Historic Tour took place at the Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday 16 September.
A bumper packed race day saw a significant increase in entries in all the racing categories on the day.
This promised to be a tight run affair with a guarantee of plenty action and entertainment to spectators delight.
Charlies SuperSpar Historic Pursuit Series
A handsome 24 car grid started the first race of the day for the Pursuit gang. Qualifying would determine their nominated times for the first race. With this nominated time they need to ensure they remain within -1.5% of a second of that time for the duration of the race. The driver the most consistent and closest to his nominated time and first over the line is crowned the winner of the race. The nominated times also determine the start times of each individual. For all intense and purpose if every driver hits that nominated time accurately it would mean 24 cars crossing the finish line all at the same time at the end of the race. That is, however, easier said than done as we all know all too well anything can happen during a race, especially when you need to pass a few other cars not giving an inch because they are set on being the most consistent. A passing allowance is also given to each car that they need to pass based on your starting position. For race 2 they take your best lap from race 1 as the nominated time, the breakout allowance is also reduced to 1% in race 2.
From the onset man on a mission was Rob van Aarle (1969 Ford Escort 1300 Super) crossing the line in first but would, however, cost him dearly as he would break out of his nominated time in most of the eight-lap race. Following in his footsteps also breaking out of his nominated time and second to cross the line was Kobus Brits (1983 Porsche 924). Not to be outdone by his faster compatriots, Kola de Klerk (1983 Nissan 300ZX) would cross the line in the third spot but remain just within his nominated time and by doing so get handed the victory in the first race. A consistent Danny Kloes (1981 Alfa Romeo 2,0L GTV) would see him inherit the second spot on the podium after crossing the line in fourth. Tegan Leyshon (1976 Ford Escort MkII 1600 Sport) got third overall in the race for his hard work crossing the line in fifth.
Battle lines were drawn and the second race was all to go for after a few lost out on valuable points in the first race. After an inspired first race, Leyshon crossed the line in first this time around only to find out he was too quick for his nominated time. Cameron McLeod (1968 MGB Roadster) crossed the line in second and also receive the bad news of breaking out of his nominated time. Van Aarle crossing the line in third would also be told he once again broke out of his nominated time. However, fourth over the line was Brits, and this time he had his racing and times dialled into a T to take the win in the second race. In seventh over the line was Kola de Klerk finishing second overall for the race. The third spot went to Dennis Mcbeath (1964 Mpiti Sports T) crossing the line in ninth overall.
At the end of the day, the results might not have been what all had hoped for, but the pits were buzzing with excitement as each reflected on a great day racing and already looking forward to the next round of the championship.
Overall results for the day:
Overall: 1. Kola de Klerk (T), 2. Richard Tudor-Owen (F) and 3. Danny Kloes (F).
Class T (Trophy Cars): 1. Kola de Klerk (1983 Nissan 300ZX), 2. Werner Hartzenberg (1969 Porsche 356) and 3. Hubi von Moltke (Mercedes Benz 280ET)
Class F (Fine Cars): 1. Richard Tudor-Owen (1993 Mercedes Benz 190E), 2. Danny Kloes (1981 Alfa Romeo 2,0L GTV) and 3. Machiel Oberholzer (1982 Mercedes Benz 190E)
Marlboro Crane Hire Pre-1980 Historic Saloons classes ABCDE
The Historic Saloons and Classic Thoroughbred classes A to E absolutely delivered on that promise with close, competitive racing throughout the fields. However, Willie Hepburn out front in class A remains untouchable in that Opel Rekord V8 of his. We wait in great anticipation for someone to bring another V8 that can challenge him.
Further down the order, it was not that simple as the class D and E guys had their work cut out for them to get those podium spots. After an initial battle with Jannie van Rooyen (1976 VW Scirocco), Sophos Pantazis (1969 Datsun 240Z) and Mike O’Sullivan in his first outing in the 1969 Chevy SS saw Gerhard Henning (1975 VW Scirocco) take the lead and go on to take a convincing win in class D and second overall in the race. Johann Smith (1976 Mazda Capella RS), who qualified eight on the grid, gradually worked his way through the grid to finish second in class D and third overall in the race. Pantazis rounded up the top 3 in class D finishing just behind O’Sullivan taking the class E win and fourth overall across the line. Finishing in sixth overall and taking a convincing win in class E was Rene van Rensburg (1976 Ford Escort). Martin Botha (Datsun 200 GX) finished in second, and race newcomer George Economides (Ford Escort) crossed the line in third for class E.
The second race would once again see Willie Hepburn roar away into the distance to take a comfortable race win. Henning made short work of taking the lead in front of the rest of the pack to take his second class D win for the day and finishing in second overall. Smith initially had his hands full getting past O’Sullivan to chase down Henning. It was however too late, and he had to settle for another second place in class D. Pantazis also finished third again. Rene van Rensburg once again took a convincing win in class E with Neil Lobb (1976 Fiat 131) finishing second in class. Behind them, however, Economides had to work hard for his third in class E.
Overall results for the day:
Class CTA: 1. Willie Hepburn
Class CTD: 1. Steff Snyders
Class CTE: 1. Dewald Nel
Class Pre80 C: 1. Mike O’Sullivan
Class Pre80 D: 1. Gerhard Henning, 2. Johann Smith and 3. Sophos Pantazis
Class Pre80 E: 1. Rene van Rensburg, 2. George Economides and 3. Greg Steen
Marlboro Crane Hire Pre-1980 Historic Saloons classes FGH
Brilliant close racing saw the day being dominated by Deon van Vuuren (Ford Escort Mk1) out front in class F taking both race wins on the trot. The first race saw him being chased down to the finish line by a motivated Ian Odendaal (Ford Escort Mk1). Odendaal briefly took the lead in the second race only for Van Vuuren to pass him before the end of the first lap. From that moment Van Vuuren put his head down piling in the one consistent lap after the other to take a demanding victory. Richard De Roos (Alfa GT Junior) rounded out the top three in the first race. It would however be a hard charging Willem Vorster (Ford Escort Mk2) taking third in the second race hot on the heels of Odendaal.
Ralph Cramer (Mercedes-Benz 280) took a superb victory in the first race ahead of Marco Verwey (Datsun Delux) in class G as they mixed it up amongst the back runners of class F. Wynand Du Plessis Jnr (1966 MG B) got a satisfying third in the first race. Verwey’s consistency would return in race two as he took the win ahead of Du Plessis Jnr in second his time round. Harry Lombard (VW Beetle) crossed the line in third.
Tegan Leyshon (Ford Escort Mk2) took the double win in class H beating Arthur Eggar (Renault R8) to the line on both occasions.
In the Classic Thoroughbreds class Kyle Murray (Nissan Sentra) would retire in the first race due to mechanical bothers. That left Stewart McLarty (Mazda 323) to take a comfortable win ahead of Div Hoffman (BMW 535) and Colin Green (Mazda 323) in third. The second race would see Murray start from the back of the grid with a mountain to climb if he was hoping for a good result. A brilliant performance saw him gradually work his way through the grid passing the one car after the other to take a convincing win in class and just ahead of Hoffman. McLarty would round out the top 3 finishers.
Overall results for the day:
Class F: 1. Deon van Vuuren, 2. Ian Odendaal and 3. Quentin Willis
Class G: 1. Marco Verwey, 2. Ralph Cramer and 3. Wynand Du Plessis Jnr
Class H: 1. Tegan Leyshon and 2. Arthur Eggar
Class CTF: 1. Stewart McLarty, 2. Colin Green and 3. Kyle Murray
Class CTG: 1. Div Hoffman
The next round will see the Historic Tour return to the Red Star Raceway outside Delmas for the second time this year on the 16th of September for the penultimate round of the championship.