BMW April 2022

Zwartkops Raceway situated near Pretoria always produces excellent races, but this years’ running of the 18th Day of Champions produced more than its share of cut and thrust races. Luckily it ran in perfect summer sunshine.

The two-wheel brigade, in the Kawasaki Masters saw Graeme van Breda on his Red Square Kawasaki blitz the Masters event with a comfortable 10-second lead ahead of Jonty Collards Kawasaki (CTeck). At the races there was plenty of action going on with the go-cart circuit for a Ladies race and Super Motard’s pitched at it all day long on the Zwartkops top track.

Red Square Kawasaki ZX-10R Masters – Photograph by Paul Blackburn

With little or no downtime for race fans to take in the national racers involved in the Bridgestone Challenges category, this proved to be another hectic battle with Greg Waddington riding a Yamaha R1 from (Ushaka Trading) ahead of Teagan O’ Donnel kick start Suzuki GSX 1000.

To enlarge the day’s race-card a couple of high-profile demonstrations kicked into action with a “Team Incomplete” demonstration of former champions on hand like Dave Petersen (Hailwood Honda), Keith Zeeman, Tiny Mariner, Peter Labuschagne and Rory Nesbit all seen with machines from a period long ago. Also seen were the forgotten Norton, Honda, Matchless and AJS grands prix racing motorcycles to show today’s bike nuts just where the business was placed in the way of simplicity some 50 years ago.

Bridgestone SuperBikes – Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Not to be outdone, a display of over 30 Durban to Johannesburg (DJ) Pioneer racing road bikes from way back in the dawn of the petrol age, were up for a few laps of the scenic race track. This open road race had started from Durban to Johannesburg in 1911 and was stopped in the mid-thirties because of its apparent dangers over safety issues. This saw a weird and wonderful collection of BSA’s, Velocettes, OK Supreme and Ariel period machines, among others, as they whistled quietly around the racetrack for a five-lap stint.

All in all, with world champion Brad Binder seen at the event and with Roger McCleery who was this year’s guest of honour at Zwartkops for the weekend, where he was also presented with a media achievement award [long overdue, Ed.] for his unbridled support for motor racing since the early ‘60’s.  It was a well-deserved accolade for “the voice” who remains as active as ever.

Story and pics by Ian Groat