Race fans from around the country are gearing up for the trek to Zwartkops Passion for Speed international historic raceday Saturday 28 January, where they will expect to be thrilled by the cream of the classic racing crop as 32 overseas competitors will take on SA’s finest under Pretoria’s sunny sky.
What many may not expect however, will be the opening round of the G&H Transport Extreme Supercar championship, where the best of South Africa’s GT and super saloon racers will turn on the style in a field of modern classics. Big news among their ranks is the arrival of reigning SA endurance champion Simon Murray in the class aboard a GT3-specification Lamborghini and the prospect of a new McLaren and Porsche being on track Saturday.
But don’t write off Charl Aranges, who has enjoyed winning form in his Pirelli Stradale Lamborghini of late , or his teammates, RDG driver Sam Hammond or Jonathan Schenkman’s OCC version. Should Franco Scribante have his Porsche ready in time, he will likely be the one to take it to Murray and his Lambo for overall honours, but never fear – Scribante has a Ferrari waiting in the wings should his German car not be ready.
Mark du Toit is another Ferrari man ready to fight for the win in his Trans Africa Racing 360 Challenge, with series sponsor G&H Transport’s Jimmy Gianoccaro, Andre van der Merwe (Stradale) and Loris Chiappa (Morris) racing similar machines. That McLaren GT3 remains a dark horse as much as its driver is a mystery though – it is entered with AN Other listed as the driver.
Dino Scribante is another definite candidate for victory in his Porsche 911 and Jason Campos will challenge for the win in his BMW M3 GT and there are several wildcards among the GT entries, not least the KTM Crossbows that thrive on tight and twisty Zwartkops, where Deon du Plessis (BPT) and Greg Parton (Drizit Environmental). They will be keen to exploit that advantage while Oliver Dalais will be out in his Marlboro Crane Bailey GT.
All the GT cars will however have their work cut out by a strong field of production-based racer cars, not least of all being Franco di Matteo, who is clearly out to teach all the BMWs out there a lesson in his spectacular new Alfa Romeo GT. Franco reckons he’s sorted his spectacular black car’s early glitches and he cannot wait to take it to Bavaria’s finest.
Talking BMWs, there will be a literal swarm of them out there – not least of all Dawie Olivier in the so-called G&H Transport Baby Beemer – a mad race weapon that should even keep the GT frontrunners on their toes. Dawie is one of a fleet of G&H Beemers in the hands of Ricky Gianoccaro (M3 GTR), Kuet Bakewell (328i), while Adrian Dalton (Xtra Clothing M3), Desmond Bloem (Custom Shop M3), Darren Winterboer (Barons 335i), Paul Hill (Kalex 335i) and the Z4s of Ryan Quan-Chai (RDG/Leeson) and Marius Wait (Trans Africa Racing) will all fly the BMW flag.
Featuring the most spectacular cars on track, the G&H Extreme Supercars will race over a ten-round championship across South Africa in 2017 in time-based classes. Cars that break out of their allowed lap times immediately move up to the class above, with the chase starting at Zwartkops.
Saturday’s G&H Extreme Supercar races will certainly bring a certain modern style to a classic Zwartkops meeting that should not be missed, with free access to the pits, a flea market, live entertainment and a kiddies’ corner among the off-track attractions. The Passion for Speed weekend starts with practice and qualifying on Friday, with cars racing on Saturday 28 January and a separate motorcycle raceday Sunday.
Contact Zwartkops Raceway at 012 384 2299 or 082 390 6016 or log on to www.zwartkops.co.za for more details.