06 Feb SUPERCARS AND BIG BANGERS WILL LEAD THE CHARGE AT 2019 PASSION FOR SPEED SPONSORED BY G-ENERGY
Headlining an action-packed programme at this year’s Passion for Speed sponsored by G-Energy are the G&H Extreme Supercars, an exotic national racing series open to supercars and high performance sedans, led by a mix of GT3 sports racing cars and locally built GT racers.
Charl Arangies from Vereeniging in Gauteng is expected to set the pace in the Stradale Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage GT3 V12, but he won’t have it all his own way, with Simola Hillclimb hero Franco Scribante in a Porsche 997 Turbo to keep him honest, along with Jonathan Du Toit (Ferrari F430), Jonathan Shenkman (Lamborghini Gallardo), the Porsche 997 Turbos of Nicky Dicks and Dino Scribante, Simon Murray’s very fast Lamborghini GT3, Greg Parton (Lamborghini Huracan), Gianni Giannoccaro (Lamborghini Gallardo) and Dawie Olivier in his giant-killing BMW M3 Turbo.
There are three Supercars races on the card instead of the usual two and, with no fewer than 29 entries, they are going to be epic battles, featuring some of the most iconic cars in South Africa.
Former powerboat world champion Peter Lindenberg will start as favourite in the Pre 66 Production Car and Little Giants in his well-sorted Shelby Mustang, but he may not finish in the same privileged position if Michiel Campagnie (1964 Ford Galaxie), and the Du Toit brothers, Jonathan and Mark, in a Chevy Nova and a Ford Fairlane respectively, have any say in the matter.
More very quick drivers to watch are the only rose among the thorns, Lindenberg’s daughter Paige (Ford Fairlane), who is quite capable of upsetting the guys on her day, and a mysterious entry from AN Other in a Chev Belair, who is strongly rumoured to be a Super Van driver.
What is not a rumour is that Sarel van der Merwe is one of 31 entries for the Millstock Pre 80 & 90 Classic Invitation races, along with Franco Donadio’s indecently quick 2.4-litre Cosworth-engined Ford Escort Mk1, the thundering 5.7-litre Chev Corvette of Robin Forbes and Dave Kopke’s Mazda R100. Supervan will be driving the newly-upgraded Ras Motorsport 2.2-litre Cosworth-powered Fork Escort Mk1, nicknamed ‘Witblitz’ and, if it lives up to its name, it could give the established stars of this class a big fright.
The biggest entry of the day, however, is for the Mikes Place Clubman Saloons races, with 46 cars on the grid. While Gavin Cerff (Volkswagen Jetta) and Alex Johnson’s two-litre Audi Turbo are the form cars, there are no less than 16 new car/driver combinations, any one of whom could spring a surprise today. Our pick of these dark horses is Andre Johnson’s Subaru Sti, along with Kosie Swanepoel’s three-litre Lexus and Jurie Swart Jr in an ex-Polo Cup two-litre Polo 6.
The V8 Masters don’t just look the same; they’re all mechanically identical, each with a 300kW, 5.7-litre Ford Racing V8, so winning is all down to driver skill and nerve. Joining them are the cars of another local one-make class, the two-litre Opel-powered Makita Supercars, which will make life very interesting for the Masters drivers when they start lapping the smaller cars in the closing stages.
The South African Tourist Trophy race is the second and final leg of this endurance series for classic sports and GT cars in the Pre 66 and Pre 68 classes. Leading the entry are two V8-engined monsters in the hands of the Du Toits from Zwartkops: Jonathan will be driving a Shelby Daytona – a rare coupé version of the iconic Cobra – while brother Mark will be in a Lola T70 Spyder, a topless version of the more common fully bodied T70.