Passion for Speed Festival 2024

Evapco SA (Pty) Ltd Historic Racing South Africa impresses with action packed racing with a diverse field of cars at the annual Passion for Speed Festival.
Qualifying resulted in Rudolf de Vos in his Gecko Lounge Chev Can-Am taking Pole Position over Andre van der Merwe in his Evapco SA (Pty) Ltd Porsche RSR. De Vos was able to keep ahead of van der Merwe until the raced reached lap 7 where a collision with competitors in a lower class resulted in a safety car being deployed, which then escalated into a red flag situation. Due to the number of laps having been completed the race was deemed as complete. Sadly, this neutralised the end of the race, but in the interests of safety, the correct call was made. Poised for race 2 the Chev and the Porsche once again headed out on track. An unfortunate incident on the first lap once again resulted in the safety car being deployed. During this time van der Merwe noticed a strange noise coming from his 911’s engine. Erring on the side of caution he retired from the race leaving de Vos to walk away with a double win on the day.
The Class C battle was epic to say the least. Jannie van Rooyen in his VW Scirocco was able to post the quickest time in qualifying, and lead the Class C battle going into race 1. Van Rooyen had his hands full and was battling with George Avvakoumides in his Liqui Moly / Euro Shop Equipment Porsche 911 in an epic showdown of speed and bravery. The pair were closely followed by Jason Loosemore in his Optimal Air CC Ford Escourt, Herman Babst Wankel Supplies / Road Runner Freight Mazda R100 and Andre tan Napel in his TNMC Medical Devices VW Scirocco who were all fighting for 3rd place honours. Stuart Konig in his Northern Bolt & Tool VW Scirocco was a little off pace and fell off the back of the leading pack of cars. Stefan Puschavez in his Porsche 911 RSR had a short gap to Konig and was slightly ahead of Oliver Broome East Coast Classics Chev SS and Herman Kluge in his Cintocare Porsche RSR. As the safety car was deployed toward the end of race 1 van Rooyen was just ahead of Avvakoumides from Loosemore, Babst, ten Napel, Konig, Puschavez, Broome and Kluge. While under the safety car conditions the Porsche of Puschavez suffered a small fuelling issue which resulted in a fire in the engine compartment of the 911. Thankfully the blaze was contained and extinguished before any serious harm was caused. This incident resulted in Puschavez retiring from the rest of the days racing. Race 2 saw an unfortunate incident on the first lap of the race when Babst, on the inside of Loosemore, suffered just enough understeer to make just enough contact with his fellow competitor to see both cars coming unstuck and ending up in the kitty litter. This incident resulted in a DNF for both competitors and a safety car deployment while the cars were recovered from the side of the track. With Babst and Loosemore out of contention and the safety car coming back to the pitlane the battle resumed. On this occasion Avvakoumides was able to get past van Rooyen and take victory by a mere 6 tenths of a second. This was sadly not quite enough to take the oval victory which went to van Rooyen by 1 tenth of a second – very, very close racing. Ten Napel was able to keep Konig at bay in the second race to take 3rdposition and 3rd overall on the day followed by Konig, Broome and Kluge.
Class D was hotly contested with plenty of door-to-door action. Qualifying saw Rene Janse van Rensburg in his Ford Escort taking Pole Position for Class D. Jonathan Konig in his Northern Bolt & Tool VW Scirocco, Gavin Lundin in his Silvergaurd Datsun 1200 GX and Phillip Pantazis in his Datsun 240Z kept Janse van Rensburg very honest as the quartet traded positions each trying to gain an advantage over the other. Sophos Pantazis in his Datsun 240Z was just not able to hang on to the back of the pack and fell off the back of the leading group. When the safety car toward the end of race 1 was deployed, it was Janse van Rensburg who was at the front of the pack closely followed by Konig, Lundin, Phillip and Sophos Pantazis. This class is so competitive anyone has the potential to cross the finish line first, as witnessed in Race 2. On this occasion we saw a dominant performance from Phillip Pantazis who finished in 1st position a few tenths of a second ahead of Janse van Rensburg, Konig and Lundin with Sophos Pantazis close behind. The overall result on the day saw Janse van Rensburg taking 1stfrom Phillip Pantazis, Konig, Lundin and Sophos Pantazis with 5 seconds covering the top 4 overall positions, demonstrating how close and competitive this class really is.
Class E had the largest field with 10 competitors contesting this class. Nigel Townshend in his Ford Escort MK1 posted the fastest time in qualifying to lead Class E into Race 1. Race 1 saw battles throughout the field. The Safety car deployment and red flag toward the end of race 1 was caused by an incident involving multiple competitors from this class. Going into turn 1 there were 3 cars jostling for position. Unfortunately, Ian Kilburn in his Collectible Wheels Datsun GX Coupe was on the inside and came together with Peder Jensen’s Hamilton Racing Datsun 1200 GX who then collected Derick Smallberger in his Sabertek Ford Escort on his way to the kitty litter on the outside of the track. This resulted in a safety car and eventually a red flag. When the red flag essentially signalled the end of the race, it was Reg Sutton in his Ford Escort who finished in 1st position closely followed by Townshend, Terence Ladner in his Hamilton Racing VW Scirocco, Travis Jensen in his Hamilton Racing Datsun 1200 GX, Johan Gouws in his Keller Williams Realty VW Scirocco, Sean Hepburn in his AA Datsun 1200DL, David Leyshon in his VW Scirocco, Louis Cloete in his Automotive Racing Components VW Beetle, John Mclachan in his Hamilton Racing Datsun 1200 GX, Grant Cramer in his Jensen Towing Datsun 1200 GX, Peder Jensen, Kilburn and Ian Richards in his The Datsun Garage Datsun 1200 GX. Race 1 winner Sutton suffered a DNF 3 laps into the second race of the day leaving the top step of the podium open for one of his competitors to seize the opportunity for a win. When the chequered flag came out it was Travis Jensen who crossed the line first followed by Townshend, Gouws, Ladner, Leyshon, Cloete, Mclachan, Richards, Cramer and Hepburn. With this result in the second race, we all knew the overall result would be super close. Townshend was the competitor to take overall victory by 2 tenths of a second after 17 laps of racing piping Travis Jensen by the narrowest of margins, who took home second place overall from Gouws, Ladner, Leyshon for the top 5 overall for this class.
Class F saw rookie Michael Lundin in a Silvergaurd Datsun 1200 GX take pole position for his class. Off the start Lundin made a slight error and lost a few positions and some time. The battle at the sharp end of Class F was fierce but it was Ian Odendaal in his AIM Precision Engineering Ford Escort MK1 who was in the lead when the Safety Car was deployed, closely followed by Derick Smallberger in his Sabertek Ford Escort, Lundin, Shane Mclachan in his Hamilton Racing Datsun 1200 GX, Cameron Foster in his Jensen Towing Datsun 1200 GX, Cor Kraamwinkel in his BMW 2002, Josef Kotze in his Top Products Mercedes 280e, John Simpson in his The Institute for Driver Safety Alfa GT Junior and Tihan van Rooyen in his Van Rooyen Vision Centre / Cambox / EZ Cool Down Porsche 924. Race 2 saw much of the same close and competitive racing with positions at the front changing up it really was an exciting battle to watch. In Race 2 it was Mclachan who crossed the line first followed by Smallberger, Odendaal, Lundin, Foster, Kraamwinkel, Kotze and van Rooyen. In the overall result it was Ondendaal who took victory from Smallberger and in third place on his first race weekend, Michael Lundin.
Class G saw Jensen Ewart in his MRF Tyres Alfa Alfetta take pole position for race 1. Race 1 had plenty of overtakes and action and it was very exciting to watch. When the chequered flag came down it was Johann van der Walt in his Star Mining Supplies Mercedes 280E who took the win from Mike Bishop in his Gasoline Denim Co. Renault Gordini, Peter Ross in his Twisted Whiskers Alfa GTV and Ewart coming in 4th. Race 2 was equally competitive with Bishop taking the top step of the podium on this occasion from van der Walt, Ross and Ewart. The overall result saw Bishop taking the top step of the podium, followed by van der Walt, Ross and Ewart.
Ultimately there was plenty of action throughout the field and plenty experiences and memories were created on this momentous day. Evapco HRSA once again put on a show for spectators and with the diverse group of cars there really was something for everyone.