The fantastic spectacle of SKF pre-sixties legendary saloon car races proved to be the highlight of a scintillating race card at the 18th edition of the retro race day’s events recently. This entertained a huge crowd packed in the stands and at the side of the track for the weekend’s events.
Friday’s practice sessions had seen a deluge of rain come down on the day’s proceedings, but on race day, the weather was perfect. Thankfully the top Tour race of the huge V8’s typified the racing bonanza with all the usual legends swapping places in the early laps of race one. It was a tight tussle between Lee Thompson’s Ford Galaxie and Jeffrey Kruger’s Chevelle, after Sarel van der Merwe suffered a racing incident. He spun out his LiquiMolly Ford Galaxie. Eventually Hennie Groenewald took the chequered flag for a hard-fought race followed home by Jonathan du Toit and Peter Labuschagne’s Super Quick Shelby Mustang.
In the second leg, Sarel van der Merwe showed his great driving skills off to blast through the tail enders by lap five after disputing the lead with Groenewald, so he scooped the win ahead of a hard charging Mercury Comet racer, while Jonathan du Toit took the final podium position.
With many period races all day long and the Castrol main race of 45 minutes for the pre-1969 Le Mans sports and GT racers, that race win went to the brothers Mark and Jonathan du Toit who drove a spirited race in their Daytona Ford ahead of Michael Stephens and Jeffrey Kruger’s Chevron.
In the area of the modern stuff where you need a few million Rand to take to this grid of the latest world sports cars, saw a split result with Charl Avangies leading the first leg in a very fast and stable Aston Martin Vantage V12 ahead of Gavin Cronje’s surprise entry of a McLaren MP4-12C GT3, but in that short dash, Franco Scribante in his Porsche 977 Turbo was never too far adrift.
The sheer volume of car entries had seen the first race kick off at 07h00 on Saturday morning for the day’s events. This is not all about racing as many fans come to just enjoy stepping back in time to remember racers like the Mini Cooper, Volvo’s, Ford Escort’s and a host of other mechanical elder statesmen strut their stuff all day long. Ranging from the forgotten era of the ‘60’s up to the ’74, from nine hour cars to some of the race cars that have the gross domestic product cost value of Lesotho, all out making a wall of sound for all the enthusiasts to hear and see. No one comes away from this petrol head extravaganza in any way disappointed.
Story by Ian Groat, pics by Jay Groat