Peter Bailey leads

Sports, GT & Saloon, Pursuit series kick off at Zwartkops

It’s all to play for as a brand new Historic Racing South Africa season kicks off at the Zwartkops Passion for Speed. New cars and drivers are all set to face up to the old guard over the 28-29 January festival of racing. They will race Historic Sports & GT, and Saloon car races that now include cars built in 1981, and the Charlies SuperSpar Pursuit series.

Up front in the HRSA races, Class B GT champion Peter Bailey and his purple Bailey Cars Porsche 911 Carrera RSR will be out to pick up where he left off, at the head of the field last year. Among his Porsche GT class rivals are Class D champion George Avvakoumides’ Liqui-Moly RS GT, Andre van der Merwe’s Evapco RSR, and Class F champion Steve Pickering’s 914.

They will have their hands full with the leading saloon cars, where Class C champion Deon van Vuuren’s Mazda R100 will battle class rival Johan Smith’s Mazda Capella and the front of the Class D pack. Not least champion Stuart Konig, Jannie van Rooyen’s and Andre ten Napel’s VW Sciroccos. Also expect Sophos Patzanos and Evelthon Rotsides’ Datsun 240Zs, Gavin Lundin’s 1200 GX, Johan Barnard’s Capri and Rene van Rensburg’s Escort to feature.

Class E champion Riaan Roux will be back alongside Jaco Roux in their Sciroccos to take on Tony Lundi’s Datsun, Cape visitor Daniel Lotter, Jackie Morrison and Greg Steen’s Escorts. And Class F champion Sean Hepburn will be the man to beat in Class F in his Datsun 1200 Deluxe. Among those trying to do that, Alan Poulter is back in a Datsun SSS, as will Willem Vonk and Stuart Armstrong’s Escorts, and Frik Kraamwinkel and his BMW 2002.

There’s plenty action ahead in the smaller classes, where Class G champion Jan Jacobs’ Alfa GT Junior will have its work cut out. John Simpson is back in his similar car, while Peter Ross will be out in his GTV, but there’s new competition too. Both Stewart McLarty’s 1981 model Ford Escort XR3 and Heinrich Norton’s Porsche 924 make their Historic Racing debuts. Tihan van Rooyen also has his first outing in another 924 against Henrik van Rooyen’s Anglia in Class H.

Moving along to the back, to front handicap Charlies SuperSpar HSRA Pursuit Series, overall and Modified Fine champion Wynand du Plessis Senior and his Porsche 944 S2, Trophy champion Bert van Aarle’s Mazda MX5 and Fines champion Riaan Roux’ Scirocco will be out to defend their titles. This year’s Pursuit series however returns to a two-class Modified and Fines format, so three into two will have to go.

Others to look out for there include regular championship frontrunners, are Fines competitors, Michelle Smith’s Skyline, Werner Hartzenberg’s Porsche 916, Rob Clark’s Citroen and Rob van Aarle’s Ford Escort. Modified stalwarts Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche, Gerrit Murray’s Alfa. Althea Pretorius’ Nissan Exa and Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder will have newcomers Robbie Frank’s Lotus 23B and Mike Thompson’s Capri to watch out for.

Modified pair, Mike O’Sullivan’s Modified Honda Ballade, Karel Stolz’s Nissan Sentra progress will be watched with interest as they run their forthcoming new HRSA Youngtimer class cars for the first time. The budget 1980s and ‘90s era Youngtimers will grow into a new standalone class in future, in the spirit of the Super Touring cars of that era.

The Northern Regions Historic Racing South Africa championships will race at Zwartkops, Red Star near Delmas and Phakisa in Welkom through the year and will also visit Dezzi Raceway on the KZN South Coast. Zwartkops’ Passion for Speed weekend is open to spectators – get tickets online via The weekend will also be live streamed throughout via or the circuit’s Facebook page.