Zwartkops International Historic Racing Festival - Part 1: The Mercs

Started by Grant V, 29 January 2012, 08:31 AM

Grant V

This weekend Zwartkops Raceway hosted the David Piper International Historic Racing Festival, South Africa's most important historic racing festival. Once again there were a number of overseas entrants, most from the UK and the Netherlands.
There was a wide variety of cars to be seen, including some F1 cars from th 1990s, demonstrated by erstwhile Dutch F1 driver Jan Lammers (remember him?). Among the invited guest drivers was ex-South African Desire Wilson, the only woman to ever have won an F1 event of any kind.
There are an ever increasing number of Mercedes-Benz cars making it into historic racing, which are proving to be cheap, reliable and quick, much to the distress of the Mini and Alfa brigade. W123s seem to be the mode of choice, but this year there were no less than three 280 W114s out. My friend Chris Carlisle-Kitz (at the tender age of 67) debuted his W114 280E in his first ever race, proof that you're never to old to go racing!
Another interesting new car was a 450SLC 5.0, pretty much in standard trim except for slick tyres and a manual gearbox. The LS diff isn't working, but Ryan S-Class is helping to get this sorted out. The car is being piloted by Dawie Olivier, who was a Subaru works driver in the national production car championship a few years ago. It's so nice to see the giants of national production series racing getting involved in historics - this includes Hennie Groenewald, the current V8 Supercar champion.

Finny was out for the first time in a year after overheating problems last year. Turned out to be a blocked radiator, and went like clockwork again until the brakes failed at Turn 5 during qualifying practice. It was a frightening moment, but no damage was done - thank god for the sand traps! I'm still constipated, though. We overhauled the brake master cylinder on Friday night in time for Saturday's race and I had some great dices, notably with a Mini in heat 2. It was great racing and I came away first in class and 19th overall from a 28th start in a field of 39 cars.

"You've bought another bloody car?!? We should have you committed!" he shrieked, storming out of the room


Looks like the SA equivalent of the Goodwood Revival. Nice pics.