News Passion for Speed Cover (9)

South Africa’s 2022 circuit racing activities are set to kick off on a high note with the annual Passion for Speed festival on 28-29 January at Zwartkops Raceway.

Officially, the weekend’s top billing will be given to the 45-minute Tourist Trophy race for Pre-1966 Le Mans Sports and GT category. The endurance event, with a mandatory pit stop, will see Ford GT40 recreations battling for honours against a number of AC Cobra replicas, a pair of Shelby Daytona coupés and a giant-killing four-cylinder Ginetta G4R.

Monstrous tin tops feature in the Marlboro Crane Hire Pre-1966 Legend Production Car heats, where spectators will see Sarel van der Merwe back in action with a Chevy Chevelle. With a host of other national champions in the mix, the competition will be fierce as Sarel shares the tarmac with a Mercury Comet, Chevy Nova, Plymouth Barracuda, Ford Galaxie and Ford Fairlane. But it’s not all heavy metal – the Under 2-litre class, where you’ll see the likes of a Lotus Cortina take on an Alfa Giulia and Volvo 122S, will be joining the big bangers.

News Passion for Speed (7)

The Pre-1966 theme continues with the Marlboro Crane Hire Little Giants race, which pits sports cars and saloons against each other in a similar fashion to the Kyalami 9 Hour of the mid-ʼ60s. Again a few Mk1 Cortinas will be in action, this time joined by Minis, a Ford Corsair, Volvo P1800, Mini Marcos, Austin-Healey Sprite and the proudly South African GSM Dart aces.

A nod to the 9 Hour and Springbok Series continues with the International Sports Prototype heats. At the sharp end of the grid there’ll be a Chevron B19 and B8s, and homage cars such as a Lola T70, Porsche 917s and Porsche RSRs.

Pre-1980 saloon fans get their fix from the Midvaal and Past Greats and HRSA categories. With 50 entries the Midvaal set is the largest field on the day and should be led by the legendary veteran Willie Hepburn and his equally iconic Opel Rekord V8. Other legends in this class will be a BMW Shadowline, Mercedes-Benz 300SEL Rotte Sau recreation, Alfa GTV6, Ford Capri, Datsun GXs, Ford Escort and Opel Kadett Superboss. The HRSA class is also chock-full with their Escort, Capri and Datsun GX crews battling against a Chevrolet CanAm, Porsche 911, Mazda Capella, a brace of VW Sciroccos and a Datsun SSS.

News Passion for Speed (12)

Historic Single Seater is a mixed bag of open wheelers dominated by 1960s and ’70s Formula Fords and air-cooled 1300 Formula Vees. Names that might ring a bell are Titan, Royale, Lotus, Tempest and Witter.

Rounding out the classic events will be the HRSA Pursuit series in which road-registered cars fight it out… with one difference – the slowest qualifier starts first and the fastest last, with start times calculated so that if all are consistent, they should cross the finish line together.

Passion for Speed extends further than the classics, though, and some blitz lap times and door-to-door action is guaranteed to come from the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, BMW M Performance series, Lotus Challenge and Mobil V8 Supercars.

Gates open at 6h00 and racing starts at 7h00, so be sure to get there early. Tickets are R200 per adult and R120 for students (kids under 12 get in free), and the pits are open to the public at any time.

News Passion for Speed (10)
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