The Good Old Days came roaring back with the sound of V8 thunder at the 2021 Cape Motorsport Festival presented by the City of Cape Town and G+A Motorsport at Killarney on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 December.

There were iconic names – of both drivers and machines – on the programme, led by motorsport legend Willie Hepburn in the iconic V8 Opel Rekord that fans still talk about, more than thirty years later. Hepburn, 80 years young, proved that he hadn’t lost his touch by winning the first Classic & Fine Cars Group A race by 2.288 seconds from Gqeberha’s Rudolf de Vos in his ‘Little Chev’ Can-Am, with Trevor Momberg third in his Ford Capri, while local hero Franco Donadio, of whom great things were expected, trailed home an uncharacteristic seventh.

De Vos got his revenge in Race 2, however, powering away to a 14 second victory, while Hepburn came up from 10th on lap one to grab second at half-distance and hold it against all comers to the end, well clear of a race-long duel for third between the Lynx Porsche 944 Turbo of Eric van der Merwe and Momberg’s Capri.

Donadio’s normally unbeatable Ford Escort Mk1 was definitely not well, and he retired before completing the first lap.

Group B saw Chris Champion (Piri Piri MGB GT V8) walk away to an emphatic win in Race 1, ahead of Shawn Bester’s giant-killer Bestune Mini and the Lambert Racing Jetta of Ryan Sanders, who just got the best of a four-way fight for third with Stephen Manuel (Yesterday’s Heroes Nissan Skyline), Ernest Leite, who looked set to cause an upset in the early stages in his Fiat 128 Rally, and Robert Rowe (Veldt Reared BMW E36 ) that saw all four come home within less than a second.

Champion found himself way down the field at the end of the first lap in Race 2 but fought back to finish third behind Jaco Lambert (Volkswagen Fox) and Dion Valentine, who battled it out all the way to the line, finishing just 0.183sec apart, while early leader Stuart Greig (Mini Cooper) faded to a distant fourth.

Gavin McLellan qualified his beautiful Lola T86 50 on pole for the first Formula Libre race, but almost stalled it on the line at the start and was struck a glancing blow by Kelly Fetcher’s Dolphin Engineering Forza, puncturing its right rear tyre and forcing his retirement. That left Byron Mitchell (Dolphin Engineering Formula VW Forza) to walk away to an unchallenged win from Hadyn Elwood (Swift) and Graham Knight (Eloff Transformers Ray), while Ms Fletcher dropped back from an early fourth to finish sixth.

McLellan did not come out for Race 2, sadly, but the race was a cracker as Knight, Mitchell, veteran Cyril Somerville (Dolphin Engineering Rhema) and Fletcher got into it big time. Mitchell passed Knight two laps from the flag to take the win by two seconds, while Ms Fletcher made up two places on the final lap to take third from Somerville by just 0.039sec!

De Vos had also entered the CanAm in the Sports & GT category where he gave local maestro Steve Humble (Harp Mallock Mk14B) a big fright by leading the first few laps and then staying with the little Mallock all the way to finish a scant half-second in arrears, with Louis de Jager (Lola T212) a distant third, followed by Colin Ellison’s Chevron B19 and Gregory, Lord Thornton in an untidy but decidedly quick Chevron B8.

Race 2 was almost a repeat, with De Vos powering off the line into an early lead, Humble passing him on the brakes and once again unable to shake the thundering Chevy. They finished 0.754sec apart after a spectacular David-and-Goliath battle, while Ellison came up to pass De Jager for third in the closing stage and sadly, the Titan Historic Chevron B8 went out on lap three.