The annual Passion for Speed, in its 17th year of running proved to be yet another great success despite the heavens opening up with a deluge of rain early in the morning. The race programme was so full, racers were at it before the clock struck 8 am as Zwartkops raceway took a step back in time with the many historic cars in racing action.
The biggest draw card remains the pre-1966 legend saloon cars where a dramatic, full lock, 360-degree moment saw a piece of superb spectacular driving from Jeffrey Kruger when his Plymouth Barracuda shed its windscreen on the main straight at close to 200km/h. Peter Lindenberg romped home in first place with leg number one with Sarel van der Merwe’s huge Chevelle in second spot and Mark du Toit’s Chev Belair in third. The noise-and-door-bashing activity set the pace for the big day out.
Second time out Kruger made amends for the first race by scooping the win followed by Dutchman Michael Campagne in a Ford Galaxie with the final podium spot going to Jonathan du Toit.
As the day rolled on the 45 minute pre-1966 race went to the Lola Walls ice-cream car of Mark and Jonathan du Toit. Mark said that the Lola T70 remains the top car of the day’s racing to drive. “It goes and stops incredibly well,” he says.
Bright summer sunshine radiated down on the spectators gathered on the banks as they watched Michael Briggs win the VW Celebrity Challenge by a very wide margin ahead of the showdown from Sarel van der Merwe and former champions Chris Aberdein and Geoff Mortimer. The variety of classes is a bit of a mind boggler with little giants pre-1966 packed with MGB and Dart Racers right up to the money-gone-mad extreme supercars, with wealthy racers belting around the race track in weird and wonderful XTM, Xbow and Ferrari 458 racers at breakneck speeds.
All in all it was also a great day for the guest of honour, Paddy Driver now 84 years old to touch base with his lifelong racing friends and enjoy the special occasion with a lap alongside legendary British racer, David Piper. The 15 000 spectators that came out to see the elder statesman of road racing made it the true spectacle that it is today with all the legendary racers with some traditional unexpected results. The day once again did not disappoint.