Historics Marching to Pretoria

Classic racing ready to light up Pretoria.

What: Northern regions Historic racing round 3.

Where: Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria

When: Saturday 18 May 2019

Sean Hepburn (Datsun 120Y)
Sean Hepburn (Datsun 120Y)

Historic Racing South Africa heads to Zwartkops this weekend for round three of the Northern Regions racing championship Saturday 18 May 2019 with packed grids of Sports and GT cars, Universal Healthcare Pre 80 Saloons and Charlie’s Superspar Historic Pursuit machines ready to entertain Pretoria race fans.

Without doubt the highlight of Saturday’s Historic action, the Sports Car field returns to full strength this weekend with an entertaining entry of cars steered by some pretty deft hands. Former Polo Cup champion Lee Thompson is among the men to watch — he should be at the sharp end of the field in his ’64 Daytona Cobra.

He will have a few other American muscle cars to deal with though including Chad ten Doeschate’s ’68 Chevrolet Camaro and Warren Lombard’s Pepboys Cobra, while Rui Campos will head up a swarm of Porsches in his ’69 RSR, backed up by similar cars for George Avvakoumides, Andre van der Merwe, Brian Algar, Richard de Roos, Richard Potts and Stefan Snyders.

Add a little variety in the form of Ben van der Westhuizen’s rare Marauder, Louis Cloete’s wild VW Beetle and Kola de Klerk’s Nissan 300ZX and you have a hot recipe for classic racing action and classic 9-Hour memories.

The ever entertaining Universal Healthcare Pre-80 Saloons also bring back wonderful saloon racing memories and they will be relied upon to deliver a brilliant spectacle on the tight Zwartkops. There is fierce competition in that overall Pre-80 championship race with Fanie Kloppers (Class G ’76 Mercedes-Benz 280E) holding a slender 4-point title advantage over Sean Hepburn (Class F HiQ Midrand ’75 Datsun 1200 Deluxe).

Hepburn arrives at Zwartkops a point clear of Andre Ten Napel (Class E TNMC ’76 Scirocco), with Escort duo Alan Green (Class D) and Rene Janse van Rensburg (Class E SV Tech) hot on his heels. Jannie van Rooyen (VW Scirocco), Willem Vonk (Ford Escort MK1), Jan Jacobs (Class G Alfa GT Junior), while Class G Mercedes Benz 280 duo Pieter Booysen and Hubi von Moltke close off the title top ten in the middle of a furious title fight for sixth.

The Universal Healthcare Pre-80 classes are also extremely hard-fought with cars classified in speed groups to ensure close racing and there is much pride at stake there too and it’s the evergreen Alan Green who heads up the most interesting Class D spat in his Escort. He must deal with Frank Davis and Pieter Jenkins’ similar cars, as well as heavyweight entries in the form of Production Car veteran Mike O’Sullivan’s Chevy SS and Johann Smith (Mazda Capella), not to mention Harry Lombard’s AB Brick VW Beetle.

VW Scirocco duo Andre Ten Napel and Jannie van Rooyen head up Class E with Terence Ladner (Capri), Daniel Lotter (Escort) and Martin Botha (Climax Datsun) next up, while overall frontrunner Sean Hepburn also leads Class F in his nimble Datsun ahead of Kobus Brits’ Datsun.

Championship leader Fanie Kloppers’ Mercedes-Benz is the car to beat in Class G where he will face Booysen, von Moltke and Johann van der Walt’s similar machines; Johan Swanepoel and Jan Jacobs’ Alfas, Paulo Mateus and Michael Bishop’s Datsuns, Willem Vorster (Escort), stalwart Stewart McLarty (Mazda 323), William Kelly (MG) and Robert Clark’s listing Sarel van der Merwe replica Citroen GS, all of whom are ready to deliver on both nostalgia and close Universal Healthcare Pre-80 Saloon Car racing at Zwartkops on Saturday.

The Charlies Superspar Historic Pursuit is raced on a completely different handicap format and caters for classic car racers perhaps not as serious about their ultimate lap times, but that also brings an even wider and more diverse variety of cars as drivers pretty much race their shadows!

Still there is great gentleman dicing (and a ladies too!) in pursuit and Werner Hartsenberg has done the best job so far to lead that title chase aboard his 1982 Class T Aircooledwonders Porsche by 8 points over Richard Tudor-Owen’s Class F ‘93 Mercedes Benz 190E. It’s close behind them between Rob Clark Class F Containerforce ’78 F Citroen GS 1220 Club and Class T entries, William Kelly (’66 MG B), Kola de Klerk (83 Nissan 300ZX) and Althea Pretorius (’83 Porsche 924).

The variety really comes out further down the title log where classics dice more contemporary machinery. Rob van Aarle and Willem Vonk’s Escorts, Mercedes trio Jose Vasques, Machiel Oberholzer and Andre Hattingh; Kobus Brits (Datsun SSS) Michael Mateus (BMW 535i) and Michelle Smith (Skyline) dice classics the likes of Clive Winterstein’s Porsche 356), Bert van Aarle (Lotus Elite M75), Robbie Frank (Lotus 23B), Denis MacBeath (Mpiti) and Frans Venter (Nissan 280ZX).

All that classic racing action goes down at Zwartkops Saturday 18 May – see you there!