INVITATION: ARE YOU BETWEEN THE AGES OF 8 & 15 YEARS WITH A PASSION FOR MOTORSPORT? – Posted: 22/12/2010

Do you spend Sundays watching Formula 1 and dreaming of becoming the next Lewis Hamilton?

If you think you have what it takes to become a racing driver in the future, you could be one of the young people we are looking for.

We are offering a co-ordinated “Kart Racing Programme” including driver and technical training for the successful applicants.

You need to be in school, be able to read and write, you must be able to pass a medical fitness examination and most of all, Mom and/or Dad must be willing to commit to do this with you.

All you need to do is request an APPLICATION FORM from the Secretary. Requests must contain your contact details (full name, address, fax number or e-mail address).

The Secretary
Fax: (021) 557-2184
E-mail: michele@sakra.co.za

KILLARNEY NEWS – Posted: 15/09/2010

Patriotic Kaapenaars should have plenty to shout about during the running of the CPMCC Swartland Rally, the penultimate round of the Sasol South African Rally Championship, that is due to be held in these parts this coming Friday and Saturday (September 17 & 18).

Firstly, although it’s been a knock-down-drag-out scrap so far, local residents Enzo Kuun and Guy Hodgson currently enjoy an overall nine point championship lead in their BP Ultimate Volkswagen Polo. So although there are still 50 points available, in the absence of untoward circumstances, only second placed Johnny Gemmell and Drew Sturrock (Castrol Toyota Auris) appear to have much chance of catching them.

Adding simple arithmetic to that calculation, is the fact that while the Kuun / Hodgson combo can rely on team support from fellow BP VW S2000 crews Jannie Habig / Douglas Judd, as well as defending champions Hergen Fekken / Pierre Arries, the Gemmell / Sturrock Auris is effectively on its own.

But while the national title is of prime importance, it is the achievements of teenage sensation, Cape based Ashley Haig Smith in class A5 that have been as loudly applauded in rally circles. Starting as a 16 year old last season, the youngster was given a rare dispensation to drive on the special stages, providing his older co-driver took the wheel on the open sections that were run mainly on public roads.

Now 17, Ashley and Hilton Auffray -- having already clinched class A5 in their Toyota Yaris – are moving up to class A6 in Ashley’s father’s more powerful React Toyota Corolla Rxi. Their progress will be noted with interest.

Others from the Cape who are always worth watching, include the Toyota RunX’s of JP Damseaux / Carolyn Swan and Fernando Rueda / Cobus Vrey, both in the premier S2000 class. Behind them, family members Justin and Brian Hoskins (VW Golf) and Sebastian and Daniel Klaasen (Subaru Impreza), will be contesting the regional section.

The event gets under way from Killarney at 16h.00 on Friday afternoon, with the first stage being close to the N7 freeway and not far from the circuit. The second and third stages are back at the racing complex, where the first cars will be flagged away from 16h.47. These track stages are always spectacular with the added advantage of being able to offer spectators excellent viewing opportunities.

On Saturday the rally moves to open farmland in the Swartland, north of Malmesbury, where the secondary dirt roads are expected to prove a rigorous test of man and machine. The first of the four stages there should get under way from about 08h.40, with the final two stages being near the N7 and back at Killarney, where the rally is expected to finish at about 15h.30.

str Comprehensive spectator guides with more information will be available at Killarney.

KILLARNEY NEWS – Posted: 15/09/2010

With the closely fought Midas Clubman division already easily the most popular regional category at Killarney and still growing, it has also inherited a few of the problems that come with overcrowding.

In an attempt to resolve the situation, it was agreed a couple of seasons ago, to upgrade the format from the original two races for all classes, to one for classes A,B and C and another for D,E and F, with most of the non-scoring class X entries in the second of these. The segregated events are followed by an afternoon final for everyone left standing. This began during a time frame when there was usually a high rate of attrition in the earlier events.

But even that did not always work and as a result it has now been agreed that from next season, two races for each group (that is four in total), be held whenever the Clubman fraternity are included in the programme.

The scoring will remain in classes as before, with the overall podium finishers being culled from the A,B and C events. In addition a weight penalty similar to that in the national Bridgestone Production Car Championship, is going to be applied to any cars breaking out of the 1min, 21,5 sec. class A lap time limit.

In the most recent Industrial Abrasives Sports and GT championship events, although challenged by fellow class C drivers Garth Livingstone (Porsche GT3) and Godfrey Lancellas (Lola T212 R), the impressive Jochen Wieda (Porsche GT3) continued his overall and class domination of this exciting category.

The day emphasised an overall state of play that has Porsche remaining as the almost exclusive weapon of choice, with Wieda being shadowed by Gary Kieswetter (class B, Porsche GT3) and Andre Brink (class D, Porsche 993 RS). However there is a logjam for fourth place where only one point separates Wally Dolinschek Jnr (class A, Ford Mustang GT), Johan Engelbrecht (class B, Porsche GT3 RS) and Michael Boell (class C, Porsche GT3).

The only category leaders who do not feature among the top six are Martin Coward (class E, Birkin 7), who has been missing from the most recent events and Steve Humble whose sleek Opel Mallock 14 is now reclassified in the new premier class S. Unfortunately the only other car in this division is the Laurent Gross Porsche GT2-R, a projectile that has not been seen on the track since an early season meeting in March.

DRIVE TIMES – Posted: 25/08/2010

Bernie Ecclestone the president and CEO of the Formula One Group, has come out strongly in favour of the second phase of the technical student programme that was launched in Cape Town last week by the SA Kart Racing Academy (SAKRA) and the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

In a letter addressed to the directors of the project, he said that when F1 racing returns to South Africa (and here it is particularly interesting that he should have said “when” rather than “if”), there will be an opportunity provided by SAKRA and CPUT to find future Formula 1 race engineers and drivers.

The Formula Student programme that received his approval, blends academic work with the development of practical engineering skills. It aims to attract school leavers to degree programmes at universities and to forge closer links with local industry.

Current students are already in the advanced stages of the initial design of a small, single seater racing car. The project is a real life exercise in design and manufacture, as well as the business elements of automotive engineering. It is also an exercise in teamwork and adhering to tight time schedules.

Before this, SAKRA first attracted Ecclestone’s attention when a delegation led by the group CEO Joy Dolinschek, paid a visit to London where the initial development phase was explained to him.

Operating from a base at Killarney since early in 2008, with the benefit of a workshop as well as the established national circuit, the group quickly spread the word that training – with karting as a springboard -- was about to get under way. They were astonished by the positive response, with the result that more than 130 prospective students were interviewed. This was followed by them being electronically tested and then sent out to complete “live” laps of the track.

To date 83 young people, all from challenged backgrounds and communities, have benefitted from the programme in the past 18 months. 11 year old Chadley Swartz has been the scheme’s star achiever so far. Currently in his final year of Junior Karting, the scheme’s instructors are convinced he has the ability to a capture a South African title before too much longer, and then possibly rise to even greater heights.

Fix-a-Smash All Tar Rally – Posted: 25/08/2010

Although Mike Nathan and Craig Grey won six of the special stages and finished first overall in their powerful Mitsubishi Evo 9, during the weekend’s Fix a Smash All Tar Rally, the greatest excitement was created by the battle for second place.

Because here there was almost nothing to choose between Richard Behm / Alex Muller (Toyota Corolla RSi) and Thorsten Pey / Mark Palmer (BMW 325i). In the end, after 13 hard fought stages, the Behm / Muller combo managed to clinch the runner-up spot by less than half a second.

Results; Western Cape Rally championship:
1. Mike Nathan / Craig Grey
2. Richard Behm / Alex Muller.
3. Thorsten Pey / Mark Palmer

Clubman class;
1. Ian Long / Johan Nel
2. Brian Hepburn / Duwayne Hepburn
3. Dirk Kruger / Dirk Kruger (Jnr)

Motard class;
1. Robert Gortmaker
2. Willem Prinsloo
3. Grant Geyer.

CLASSIC CARS – Posted: 25/08/2010

With interest building up as the proposed high profile Alfa Day at Killarney draws nearer, it seems appropriate that the two leading cars in the Execuline Classic Car championship should bear the distinctive badge featuring a cross and a serpent.

And as is the case in the Industrial Abrasive Sports and GT category (documented last week), the class system is once again a great leveller, with the pair both from lower letters in the alphabet.

Dave Alhadeff would have been a dominant overall front runner in his class C Alfa GT Junior had he not failed to complete the most recent event at the end of June. Despite that, he remains ahead of Keith Andrews, who is second in his class D, Alfa GTV.

Former champion Ian Richards (Datsun GX), is third overall but first in class B. Then there’s an incredibly close fight for fourth place, with almost nothing to choose between the urbane Derek Wilsnagh (class D, Ford Anglia) and Sandro Biccari (class B, VW Scirroco), who is rapidly coming into his own after a slow start to the season. The duo are level pegging with 52 points each, while Coenraad Matthee (class D, Alfa Berlina), is only one point behind them.

The two leading class A cars, that command the lion’s share of attention on the track during race meetings, are both extremely quick, rotary engined Mazdas. Alan Dike is faring best in 11th place, with Chris Carolin two spots behind him in 13th. Charles Arton (class A, BMW 530), is third in class and 16th overall.

SPORTSCARS – Posted: 25/08/2010

With the Western Cape main circuit championship at Killarney now past the halfway stage, the Industrial Abrasives and Tool Supplies Sports and GT title chase, has become particularly interesting.

Because while the battles at the sharp end were originally dominated by Laurent Gross in his Porsche GT2-plus, this role has now been taken over by more enduring fast guns like Steve Humble in his Mk 14b Opel Mallock, Wally Dolinschek (Ford Mustang GT) and -- to a lesser extent -- Nick Adcock (Lola T86).

But although it doesn’t offer as much of the glory, the class system remains a great leveller. And this is why the overall championship lead is currently in the hands of class C hotshot Jochen Weida, whose Porsche GT3 has proved to be strong as Kevlar and as consistent as a metronome. So much so that of the 12 races so far completed, Weida has occupied a place on the class C podium 11 times.

But make no mistake, the driver probably deserves a heap more credit than his means of propulsion. This has been proven by his magnificent performances especially on a wet track when he often finishes ahead of cars in higher classes. While a measure of this success may be due to his overseas experience, his natural ability must be accorded a larger percentage of the accolades.

Second place overall, belongs to class B leader Gary Kieswetter in another Porsche GT3, Kieswetter moved up from class B earlier this season and has also been in fine form.

Humble leads class A and is in joint third place overall. In fairness this may well have been considerably better had he not missed out on the two races at the beginning of July. Andre Brink shares the lower step of the podium with him, in yet another Porsche, this time a class D, 993.

Further down the line, class E is the domain of Paul Schwartz in his powerful Ford GT40.

EO0298/10 - Lormarins 1200: 27 - 31 October 2010

Dear All

It is with regret that I inform you that the above event has been postponed until further notice.
No new date has been set. I will however be in touch as soon as I have additional information so that the planning can proceed.

Please will you therefore remove this event from your calendar of events?

Many thanks
Karen

MIDAS CLUBMAN SERIES - Posted:27/05/2010

The question currently being asked by knowledgeable Killarney pit lane analysts, Is whether the lengthy BMW overall domination of the popular Midas Clubman category by drivers like Roshan Khan, Shureez Brenner and Ashraf Ariefdien, is finally under threat?

Because while regular spectators in the bleachers on the outside of the perimeter fences may not have noticed it yet, there is a small cloud on the horizon. And although currently no larger than a man’s hand, it’s getting bigger.

The impending weather change is due to Andre Johnson’s progress in his new turbocharged Audi A4 that has been meticulously prepared by tuning wizard Brian Maunder. Starting from the back of the grid so to speak, at the beginning of the year, Maunder stripped the German car down to its last G-string before subjecting it to a complete rebuild to his own microchip standards.

And in a particularly shrewd move, once this had been completed there was no great rush to get among all the bulging biceps being flexed by the front runners. Instead Johnson worked it the other way round. So much so that when the powerful 260 k/W motor came off the dyno, it was actually detuned to just over 200 k/W, to avoid placing any unnecessary strain on the relatively standard brakes and suspension during the first shakedown events.

He then got his feet wet in the non-scoring class X, before moving up to classes D and C, with an elevation to class B due for the next Killarney meeting on June 5. And so far everything has gone according to plan. There have been no teething troubles and Andre has been able to finish -- and score points in his class -- at every meeting.

The next step in this fascinating progression is going to entail further modification of the Audi’s brakes and suspension, before stepping up the engine power. But before that, his main opposition next week is likely to come from fellow class B exponents Jeremy Smith (Polo Classic) and Gavin Cerff (VW Golf), both of whom are ahead of him on the championship table.

Not short of experience, Andre has been racing for eight years in a variety of Volkswagen products. Starting with a Golf 1 in the GTi Challenge Series, he graduated to Clubman racing in the ex Jesse Huggett Polo Classic, before acquiring a VW Jetta formerly campaigned by Stuart Gatland.

His progress in the Audi turbo will be monitored with growing interest from now on.

CLUBMAN REVIEW - Posted:27/05/2010

With the Midas Clubman chasers back in the limelight after missing out on the most recent regional contest, interest in next weeks (June 5), meeting is growing rapidly.

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the current championship leader is popular veteran Mark Smith in an aging 1996 VW Golf 1 that was originally campaigned by wacky Springbok biker Mike Cameron. A model of consistency, Smith has been able to build up a small but nevertheless significant lead over a pair of more glitzy BMWs in the hands of Shureez Brenner and Ashraf Ariefdien.

A long time, but so far unsuccessful competitor in Clubman events at Killarney, Smith’s performance is seen as a giant killing act and he has had no lack of crowd support for his effort.

More importantly, he also has the benefit of the class system. With 169 registered drivers, the Midas Clubman category is easily the most well liked grouping in the Western Cape – possibly even in the country. And although not all of them are currently racing, it nevertheless still justifies a breakdown into six point scoring classes.

But while these are all equal, there are some that are more equal than others. Maximum points are only awarded if at least five cars in the class start the race and drivers in less well supported smaller categories often suffer at crucial times.

Then as has happened in the high profile class A, Brenner and Ariefdien with occasional assistance from fellow Beemer top gun Roshan Khan, have been sneaking points away from one another and all three have suffered as a result. While Smith is in class C which always has its full quota of entries, his main problem seems likely to come from reigning champion Peter van der Poel, whose Midas Toyota Conquest was classified as a new entry and began in the non scoring class X, before being reclassified in class C.

Andre Johnson’s magnificently turned out new Audi A4 turbo, could also pose problems later in the season. Johnson is another who began in class X before graduating rapidly from D to C. He is now due to start next weeks clash in class B for the first time, with talk that his ultimate objective is a place among the hard chargers at the head of the field in class A.

It all sounds like a meeting not to be missed.

EXCITING RACING AT KILLARNEY - 8 MAY REVIEW – 16/05/2010

Saturday’s Western Cape championship race meeting at Killarney got off to an exciting start in perfect weather, with Martin Richards (Datsun 140Z) and a Porsche 911 in the hands of late entry Keith Rose making the running in the opening Execuline Classic Car event.

Starting from the back of the grid, Richards set the fastest lap time and closed on the leaders rapidly enough to be within spitting distance of the tail of the Porsche in the final laps. Unfortunately (for him), the traffic density as they threaded their way past slower cars being lapped, prevented any further overtaking and Rose was still marginally ahead when the flag came out.

Trevor Momberg filled third in his V6 Ford Capri ahead of Charles Arton and Alan Dike, Class B went to Sandro Biccari (VW Scirroco) with Ian Richards (Datsun GX), Keith Andrews (Alfetta GTV), Peter Harrison (Renault R10) and Billy Matthee, taking classes C, D, E & F.

Richards led the next round from the start and was some distance ahead of Rose at the finish. But with the two leaders in class X, overall victory belonged to third placed Arton. Classes B & C went to Biccari and Ian Richards again, with Shaun le Riche (Seleka Escort) and Ernie Leite (Fiat 128 Rally) taking D & E.

A depleted field in the first Industrial Abrasives and Tool Supplies, Sports and GT race, saw victory go to an impressive Steve Humble (Mallock Mk.14), who finished ahead of Wally Dolinschek’s Ford Mustang GT.

Veteran Louis de Jager (Lola T212), Francis Carruthers (Juno S2000), JA Engelbrecht (Porsche GT3 RS) and Arnold Lambert (Mercedes SLK), claimed the honours in classes B, C, D & E.

The second heat was delayed while marshals busied themselves with an oil spillage that while no threat to sea birds in the Gulf of Mexico, nevertheless took some time to clean. Once the track was open again, Lola T86 driver Nick Adcock apologised for failing to finish the first race, by dominating the final.

Classes B, C, D & E went to Gary Kieswetter (Porsche GT3), Ray Farnham (Lotus 7 ), Craig Harper (Harper Type S) and Martin Coward (Birkin 7).

It was not quite the mixture as before in the opening one make Makita Supercar event when Brad Wadeley grabbed third behind the immoveable Neil Hawkins and Jesse Huggett but ahead of fourth placed Vito Marzocca, with Richard Schreuder somewhat surpringly, down in fifth.

There was real drama in the final when reigning champion Hawkins suddenly slowed inexplicably and dropped to eighth place. Victory then went to Huggett from Wadeley and Andrew Moffitt.

A large entry in the first VW GTi Challenge race was forced to remain behind Bryan Morgan who was using Killarney as a warm-up event for his assault on the national series. Farhaan Khan was not far behind in second with Raymond Johnson taking third. After his recent run of rather rotten luck, Brett Roach did well to finish all eight laps and take second in class P. Class B went to Jacques Geldenhuys with class C going to Guaulib Salie.

Morgan was relegated to third in the next event, behind Andries van Eeden and Khan, but ahead of Roach.

Reg Anderson (Formula GTi Ray) and Heider Kiala (V6 Reynard) swapped places several times in the opening Shark Cage Diving Formula Libre event, before finishing in that order. Egmont Baumgartner filled third.

While their duel continued after the second start, Kiala asserted his superiority fairly early and remained ahead to the finish. Didier Koeul filled third in his Formula GTi Swift.

FIRST RECIPIENT OF MOTORSPORT SOUTH AFRICA’S ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD – 22/04/2010

Killarney is a winner

Brian Smith (centre), Chairman of the Western Province Motor Club receives the Motorsport South Africa Environmental Award from Marius Matthee, President of MSA’s Environment Panel. On the left is Dave Malan, Western Province Representative of the MSA Environment Panel, with the Environmental Charter for Circuit owners.

The Killarney Circuit (Western Province Motor Club) recently became the first recipient of Motorsport South Africa’s Environmental Award. MSA initiated an annual award that will be presented to the circuit, organizer, club or individual who have taken the most care of the environment during the course of the calendar year – either at motorsport events, or for general environmental protection.

Nominations for the Environmental Award were submitted to MSA’s Environment Panel who decided that the 2009 award would be presented to the Killarney Circuit for their continued efforts and dedication to provide an environmentally friendly race venue which is in compliance with MSA’s strict Environmental Code.

Sporting events worldwide are getting bigger by the day and they are seen as an important economic factor in society, but so too are the negative effects associated with them. The concern for the Environment and the planning and staging of environmentally-friendly sporting events is thus essential. This will increasingly become a matter of course for many sporting codes.

The Killarney Circuit has proven itself to be a reliable stakeholder for environmental awareness and protection. Their commitment was reiterated when the Chairman of the Western Province Motor Club, Mr. Brian Smith, also signed an Environmental Charter for Circuit owners at the presentation ceremony.

WC REGULARITY RALLY – 11/04/2010

The 2nd round of the WC Regularity Rallies of the year takes place on 17 April 2010 in Worcester, Cape.

It is a fun easy and cost effective form of Motor Sport that gives the novice team as much chance of getting into the prizes as the experienced ones.

Cost: R 150.00 per driver and navigator team and R 10.00 per competitor (SARRA membership per annum).

For a measly R 170, you and a buddy go racing in your road car in a MSA sanctioned event with a chance at prizes and a great prizegiving party and supper afterwards.

This event is open to both sighted and blind navigators.

It starts from the Kleinplasie Showgrounds, Robertson Road, Worcester on Saturday 17 April with the first car away at 14h00.

This year's event will be a blast from the past with just over half the 120 km route on gravel. In fact the route is based on the awesome route first plotted by Sonny Bonafede and Derek Sturgess for the 1990 event. It swoops up the Doorn River Valley on roads used as Special Stages by the Audi Quattros and Skylines back in the 80's.

Imagine really motoring along these winding undulating roads however, sadly the set speeds are such that drivers and navigators will have time to chat.

The Regulations and Entry Form for the Rally may be downloaded from the SARRA web site, www.sarra.co.za, under Events Calendar.

Should you require any further information please either E-mail Roger Manton at rally@mantons.net or phone Roger on 021-554-5949.

The rallies are "sealed Oedometer" events. Any competitors, novice to experienced, with a normal Roadworthy car are used. The rallies run to the standard rules of the road. (No speeding and reckless driving)

The Navigators use a route schedule and give their driver the directions and instruct on distance and speed. The object is to keep as close as possible to the route schedules directions, distance and speed. At selected locations along the route, marshals and check points are placed and competitors are "clocked" at these sites and are then penalised points for being either early or late. The team with the lowest number of penalty points wins.

The after event prize giving includes a lovely supper by the local Lions International club, providing for all competitors and officials.

We have also started a Series for sighted navigators to attract both competitors who previously enjoyed regularity rallying as well as new people who would like to give this type of motor sport a go and find out more about it without spending too much money.

Should you require any further information please either E-mail Roger Manton at rally@mantons.net or telephone Roger on 021-554-5949.

The Regulations and Entry Form for the Rally may be downloaded from the SARRA web site, www.sarra.co.za, under Events Calendar.

KILLARNEY MAIN CIRCUIT – OPEN PRACTICE DATES – 25/02/2010

Wednesdays 2pm till 6pm
Pay the marshals before going onto the circuit:

3rd March
7th April
28th April
26th May – T.B.C.
21st July
25th August – T.B.C.
22nd September
13th October
17th November

Please note that these dates / times above can change as required by the club. We will advise any changes as best as possible via the clubs email distributions and web site.

CAPE TORQUE, 2010 WESBANK REVIEW – 25/02/2010

Following my comment about the opening round of the national Wesbank Super Series at Kyalami, in last weeks column, this event has now come and gone with results that bode well for what should be an exciting second leg here at Killarney on March 13.

The revamped Bridgestone Production Car Championship probably occupied pride of place. For the first time it was run as a three race promotion – two six lap sprints followed by a 10 lap feature event. The back to back six lappers took place consecutively in the middle of the day, while the longer race brought the curtain down at the end of the programme. An interesting feature of the sprints was that the cars were placed in quarantine after the first, during which time the teams were not permitted to work on them.

Unfortunately it was not the greatest day for Indy Oil Audi A4 quattro driver Johan Fourie. The Cape’s reigning champion actually did well to finish as runner-up in the opening event, just a split second behind Anthony Taylor’s flying Afrox BMW 335i – but that was his only appearance on the podium.

Taylor on the other hand was in fine form, and although beaten into second place by Michael Stephen’s Audi A4 in the second sprint, after paying the price of his initial victory and having to start well back on a partially inverted grid, he recovered well and was first across the line again in the final event.

Rookie Bridgestone driver Gennaro Bonafede provided the sensation factor in classT. After finishing second behind Graham Nathan’s Indy Oil VW GTi in the opening sprint events, he then stalked his mentor and team-mate in the longer third race before nipping past under braking on the last lap. It was the climax of a magnificent display by both drivers, and much appreciated by the crowd.

There was an upset in the big Wesbank V8 Supercar category when the favoured 18 year old whizzkid Brendan Auby appeared to slow on the last lap of the first race and the Free States’ Jaco Correia was able to sneak through and take the chequered flag.

With another inverted grid marking the start of the second event, it wasn’t long before the track resembled a battlefield. Early leader Terry Wilford soon spun off in his Fuchs Jaguar, while several others retired for various reasons. Correia took full advantage as he went on to record his second victory.

Although the tearaway Kosie Weyers, who is as well known on the Killarney stock car track as he is on the main circuit, was only able to claim a third in the second one make Engen VW Cup Series event, there was nothing to choose between the leading drivers and he could just as easily have been a winner.

In the Interfile Superbike events, local Bikefin Honda rider Lance Isaacs, who is a grizzled veteran despite his still youthful cherubic appearance, gave pre-race favourite Sheridan Morias a scare when he claimed pole position in the first event and then went on to finish just ahead of the hard riding Emtek Aprilia man.

And although Morias came through to claim the honours in the final event, he was made to work all the way.

Fourie, Weyers and Isaacs will all have home circuit advantage on March 13 and it is going to be interesting to see how they fare.

CAPE TORQUE, 2010 WESBANK SERIES – 17/02/2010

With Killarney due to host the second round of the all inclusive, 2010 national Wesbank Super Series on March 13, there is unprecedented local interest in Saturday’s opening salvo at Kyalami.

Reasons include several interesting changes in the regulations, plus the usual musical chairs, as a percentage of leading drivers and riders select their new weapons.

Here, the popular Bridgestone Production Car Championship would appear to have it all with their announcement of potentially exciting new changes to the race format, performance equalisation system and driver line-up.

The Bridgestoners will now contest three races per meeting for the first time, with two back to back sprint events followed by a double point feature race. The second sprint starts from a partially inverted grid, with the quickest guys having to come through from the back.

Although the Cape’s Johan Fourie tops the entry list in the same Indy Oil Audi A4 as last season, Anthony Taylor, his closest rival, has upped a notch from BMW 330i to the latest 335i.

Subaru have recruited the aggressive former Wesank V8 champion Hennie Groenewald, who is going to be making his Production Car debut at the wheel of a new WRX STI.

But easily the most talked about new entry comes from Lotus, who have the experienced Richard Pinard at the wheel of a sleek, two door Exige.

Further back in the field, class B titleholder Kosie Swanepoel is remaining faithful to his Toyota RunX.

But those who enjoy explosive action need look no further than a pair of sharp shooting Kaapenaars in the one make Volkswagen Cup category. Kosie Weyers and Brett Roach are not renowned for taking prisoners and their progress will be progress will be followed with interest.

Other front running locals include Bryan Morgan and Brennon Green, with Morgan seen as a possible threat to reigning champion Matthew Hodges.

Changes to the formula include minor suspension modifications to facilitate even better roadholding and a new Masters Class for drivers over 27.

South Africa’s fastest racing saloon cars – the big Wesbank V8’s – are going to bring a new look to national motorsport this year with the formula now being divided into two classes.

The existing category is to be known as the Super GT’s, with 6-litre Chev or Ford V8 engines producing 600 horsepower but with a rev limit of 7000 rpm. The only exception is in East London where 7200 rpm will be permitted to prevent the engines running out of revs at speeds of around 300 km/h on the fastest section of the track.

A second GT class uses similar V8 motors, but with softer camshafts that develop less power. They are limited to 6800 rpm in the interest of reliability and cost.

A feature of the driver line-up is that veteran Ben Morganrood is making a come-back in a Jaguar bodied V8. Morganrood’s target is undoubtedly going to be Brandon Auby, an 18 year old prodigy who was named Goodyear’s Driver of the Year in 2009.

Among the Interfile two wheelers, reigning South African champion Sheridan Morias has left Kawasaki and will be seen astride an Aprilia Milla 1000cc instead. However his closest challenger, Capetonian Lance Isaacs, has opted to remain with the well organised Brad Anassis Honda outfit.

Barring accidents (literally), all that in one day sounds like the start of a great season.

EXECULINE SPRINGBOK SERIES – 14/02/2010

An excellent weekend’s motor racing during the Execuline Springbok Series at Killarney was appreciated as much for the competition it produced, as it was for the quality and variety of the cars and motorcycles that were involved.

One of the most exciting races on Saturday was undoubtedly when the elderly pre 1966 racers in the hands of Sarel van der Merwe (Chevelle V8) and Mark du Toit (Chev Biscayne V8), finished ahead of all the later model, pre 1977 D,E&F, Classic Touring Cars.

Starting from pole in the second race next day, Van der Merwe shot into the lead with the Biscayne right on his tail. Du Toit then appeared to slow at about half distance as he strugged with gear change problems. This allowed Johan Swart to take up the chase in his VW Scirroco. Third place went to Pierre de Waal (Alfa 2000 GTV).

Others who deserve commendation in this one, include Andre Mouton in a big Studebaker Silver Hawk that cornered like a marshmallow floating in hot chocolate sauce and Derek Wilsnagh, whose Anglia’s fine performance belied its cherubic Sunday School appearance.

Local drivers hoisted the flag during the pre 1977 Touring Car event on Sunday when Keith Rose set the pace in his Porsche 911 RS, ahead of Anton Rollino’s powerful Chev CanAm V8. They were followed home by Gauteng’s Peter Lindenberg in a Ford Capri Perana. Before that, Rollino had won the first leg on Saturday from Lindenberg and Rose.

The Pre-1966 Sports Car podium was reserved for genuine, or lookalike, Ford GT-40’s, with overall honours going to Peter Bailey, Nic and Chris Clark and Francis Carruthers.

The Pre 1984 World Sports and GT events belonged to a menacing Porsche 956 in the hands of Franz Pretorius. He was followed by a pair of older FVH 7’s that were well controlled by Kaapenaars Peter Little and Colin Howard.

With Irvine Laidlaw’s potent Brabham Climax missing from the line-up, overall honours in the three race, Pre 1972 single seater category went to Alan Baillie from Marcus Mussa and Greg Mills.

EXECULINE SPRINGBOK SERIES – 14/02/2010

Despite several retirements, the 1-Hour Endurance Race during the international historic Execuline Springbok Series meeting at Killarney on Sunday proved to be an absorbing contest. Overall victory was eventually claimed by Franz Pretorius in his Porsche 911 RSR. He was followed by Tony Martin and Mike McLaughlin who shared an AC Cobra and Peter Lindenberg (Ford GT-40).

Peter Lindenberg won the Index of Performance Award in his GT40, with the team honours going to Tony Martin / Mike McLaughlin (Cobra), S Puschaver (Mini Cooper S) and Mike Altona (GSM Dart) of the Backdraft Racing outfit. They were followed by the Simons and Midas Team that was made up of Greg Walker / Alan Eustice (CVT Lotus 7), S Balie / Alan Scheckle (Opel GTE) and Ernest “Lightning” Leite (Fiat 128 Sports).

Although Keith Rose (Porsche 911 RS) dominated the first pre 1977 Classic Touring Car A,C&E race that finished, Peter Lindenberg took over in the next, after Willie Hepburn disappeared on the last lap.

Ten lap events appeared to be a little strenuous for several of the elderly vehicles. So much so that of the initial 26 entries in the pre ’66 and ‘77 Classic Touring Car events, only four finished on the same lap in the second heat. Sarel van der Merwe eventually claimed victory in all three in his Chevelle, with second place being split between Mark du Toit, who won two in his Chevy Biscayne, and Johann Swart (VW Scirroco).

Tony Martin (Cobra), won the first pre ’66 Tourist Trophy Sports Car race and seemed to have the second sewn up until he came apart at about half distance. Victory then went to Guy Minshaw (Chevron B8), from Peter Bailey (Ford GT-40) and Nic Clark (Ford GT-40).

Alan Baillie (Cooper T73), Marcus Mussa (Merlyn) and Greg Mills, finished in that order in the first two Historic Single Seater events, with Steve Crook claiming third in the final.

Irvine Laidlaw’s magnificent Ferrari 312 PB was untouchable in the International Sports Prototype races. He was followed across the line by Steve Humble (Mallock Mk.14) and Jonathan du Toit (Chevron B8), in both contests.

Franz Pretorius (Porsche 956) led the FVH 7’s of Peter Little and Colin Howard to the finish, in the pre ’84 World Sports and GT races.

Fine Car drivers Steven David (Marcos Matara), Charles Arton (BMW) and Chris Kotze (BMW E30) grabbed the honours in the first race, with Gert du Plessis (BMW 323), Kevin Taylor and Kearney/Moulden, taking over in the second.

A TRIBUTE TO CHRIS BOSSON – 10/02/2010

We have to assume that someone at that big circuit in the sky needed a performance pipe because exhaust-maker extraordinary Chris Bosson lost his fight with leukaemia on February 9, a month before his 41st birthday. Chris lived his passion for motorcycles in every facet of his life, putting more riding, more racing - and more crashes! - into four decades than most of us could in twice that. For Chris his work, his hobby and his family were all part of the same adventure. His wife Martie is the voice of sanity at Bosson Performance Exhausts but she's also a racer - they've often competed against each other but just as often Chris would step back and act as pit crew for Martie, taking immense pride in her successes. Chris was born in Zimbabwe and began racing motocross there at the age of six. The family moved to South Africa when Chris was 14 and two years later he began racing lightweight motorcycles on Killarney's "K" circuit - and the locals didn't know what had hit them. For four years he was practically unbeatable and when he moved on to the main circuit he dominated the 250/400 Powersport Class in the same way. But he never lost his love of highly-strung two-strokes. Rather than run a 400cc four-stroke, he began importing 125 and 250cc ex-Grand Prix bikes, eventually fielding an ex-works Yamaha TZ125 that weighed less than he did and could go round the outside of almost anything in a tight corner. His crowning achievement with the Yamaha was when he won a (very wet) regional race outright, beating off litre-class bikes in the process. In 1990 he founded Bosson Performance Exhausts, although he'd been making two-stroke exhausts on a semi-professional level for years. He was meticulous in his research, saying that designing an expansion box was not a black art but a science, governed by exact formulas and precise calculations - in fact he was among the first to use computer-aided design in exhaust manufacture Having won everything he could at Killarney, Chris went National racing in the 600cc class, scoring two seconds in his first season. Like many a shoestring racer, however, he had to make up for inadequate financial backing by riding beyond his - and the bike's limits. A series of big crashes put paid to his National campaign and he returned to Regional racing at Killarney, finishing second in the Western Province championship. After a huge crash in 2002 Chris stopped motorcycle racing for several years (he got into oval-track racing instead, but that's another story). He never forgot his love of motocross, however, and when the French passion for riding motocross bikes on tar (they call them Supermotards) came to Killarney in 2004 he was one of the first entries, finishing second in the WP championship in 2005 and 2006, and fifth in the National Masters Class in 2008. He was also involved in the administration of the sport for a number of years, giving freely of his time and expertise to help young riders - but he'll be remembered most for his no-nonsense plain speaking and astonishing lean angles. Killarney will be a quieter, somewhat duller place without him. Our sympathy goes out to Martie and their daughter.

We will be holding a memorial ride around the Killarney track on Friday at 5:30 for 6:00pm followed by a get together at the Clubhouse. Please join us for this occasion.

To all of you with a bike of any sorts , quad, scooter, trail, mx, enduro, motard, adventure,bike please come down and join us for this special tribute to our very special friend and please invite all you know as well

SPORTS CAR ENTRIES – 02/02/2010

Exotic sports cars from motor racing’s golden era, abound among the more than 200 entries that have been received for the Cape South Easter round of the Execuline Springbok Series at Killarney this coming weekend.

And with replicas, many of them even better than the originals, being accepted these days, the age of increasingly valuable oldies being packed in styrofoam and disappearing from active service, is now of lesser concern.

So much so that the Lola factory is currently producing an improved version of their venerable V8 engined T-70, a model that first sprang to prominence at Killarney, when Australian rebel, Paul Hawkins, drove one to victory in the 1967 Cape 3-Hour race.

But the replica record at the local circuit this weekend has been secured by impersonations of the Ford GT-40, a car that dominated the Le Mans 24-Hour race in the early 1970’s. Seven of these sleek, low slung coupes have been entered and with drivers of the calibre of Peter Lindenberg and Peter Bailey, whose company has produced many of them, it will be interesting to see how the honours are going to be divided

But while American V8 engines for the T-70 and GT-40 are still available, the air cooled, flat 12 that motivated the fearsome Porsche 917 have vanished like the Carolina Parakeet and the Dodo. As a result. most 917 replicas rely on other forms of Porsche power. Some have even switched to engines from Nissan and other manufacturers.

However Lord Irvine Laidlaw is someone who still believes in the original product. While no price can be placed on his cars, the rarest and therefore probably also the most valuable of his Killarney entries is his Aston Martin DBR-2/1 sports car.

Created from the shortlived Lagonda project, Aston Martin built just two of these very special cars, DBR-2/1 and DBR-2/2. Searching for reliable power, the V12 Lagonda motor was dumped in favour of a 3.7-litre straight six that was later enlarged to 4.2-litres.

Launched in 1957, DBR-2/1’s most notable success that year was a victory in the Daily Express Trophy meeting at Silverstone in the hands of sports car specialist Roy Salvadori.

A more ambitious programme in 1958 with Stirling Moss at the wheel resulted in it being first across the line in the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood and the British Empire Trophy race at Oulton Park.

Both cars were then sent to campaign in America. Once there 2/1 was entrusted to George Constantine who ensured it notched up two wins in the Bahamas and others in New York, Lime Rock and Marlborough, before being recalled to its home base in England.

Having achieved their objective, both cars were then sold privately, with DBR-2/1 eventually being acquired by its current owner.

The Scottish nobleman is also going to be seen in his red, Ferrari 312 PB. Powered by a flat 12 motor that develops 455 bhp at 11,000 rpm, it is expected to be one of the quickest on the track this weekend.

The Laidlaw 312 PB was one of the Scuderia Ferrari team cars in 1972. It enjoyed a phenomenal run of success in the hands of Ronnie Petersen and Tim Schenken that included first place in the Buenos Aires 1000km and at the Nurburgring. It also finshed second at Sebring and third at Monza, while Jackie Ickx and Clay Regazzoni were second in the Spa 1000km.

The triumphant Ferrari team won its 12th World Sports Car Championship with the 312 PB’s, that year.

The third Laidlaw entry is a single seater Brabham BT7A that was developed for the Tasman Series down under. Racing with a 2.5 and later a 2.7 litre Coventry Climax motor, it enjoyed great success in Australia and New Zealand until it was seriously damaged in an accident in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

It was then returned to Britain during the 1980’s where it was completely rebuilt, expressly for Historic events.

EXECULINE SPRINGBOK SERIES – 02/02/2010

Fresh from a hugely successful meeting at Zwartkops, competitors in the international historic Execuline Springbok Series are all balanced on a knife edge as they await what promises to be an exciting final round at Killarney this weekend.

The shootout among the American muscle cars for instance, is certain to be particularly close. Because with Sarel van der Merwe the target to aim at in his 7-litre Holman & Moody Ford Galaxie that won 23 NASCAR races, as well as the British Saloon Car title, before Bob Olthoff was entrusted to complete a demolition job in it, in South Africa in 1965, the opposition is determined to lower Supervan’s colours.

Leading their attack is Peter Lindenberg, who will be at the wheel of ‘The Animal,” a later model Ford Sierra XR8 that originally acquired a redoubtable reputation in the hands of the ageless Willie Hepburn. Others include the hard charging multiple former Wesbank V8 champion Hennie Groenewald in a Chev Camaro V8, while Mark du Toit has entered a 1959 Chev Biscayne and the brave Andre Mouton is going to be driving his Studebaker Silver Hawk.

Scotland’s Irvine Laidlaw is expected to play a leading role in the sports car and single seater events. His Aston Martin DBR 2/1 in particular, has a proud history. One of only two produced by the factory, it fared exceptionally well in the capable hands of Stirling Moss, during early sports car campaigns in England and America.

Although a last minute withdrawal from the Zwartkops round of the Series, the Aston is confidently expected to be ready for the Killarney final.

Laidlaw’s second car is one of the Ferrari 312 PB’s that formed part of the illustrious team that clinched the 1972 World Sports Car Championship for the Scuderia Ferrari. Powered by a flat, 12 cylinder motor that develops 455bhp at 11,000 rpm, with brakes and roadholding to match, it should be one of the quickest cars on the circuit this weekend.

Finally his open wheel Brabham B17A, with power from a F1 type 2.7-litre Coventry Climax engine of the time, was built for the Tasman Series in Australia and New Zealand.

The sports car entry in general, is particularly strong, with seven Ford GT 40’s, three Porsche 917’s and two Lola T-70’s, as well as a host of smaller cars, expected to face the starter. And while several are replicas, that is not necessarily going to be a disadvantage on the track.

The gates open at 07h.00 on both days, with racing from 10h.50 on Saturday and 09h.30 on Sunday. While adult admission is R80 per day, a discounted R120 weekend ticket is also available at the gate.

Scholars under 16 are liable for R20 pd, but there is no charge for kiddies under 12.

SALOON MUSCLE CARS – 02/02/2010

With a selection of big American V8 muscle cars, setting the pace and making the noise, the saloon car racing during the Cape round of the international Execuline Springbok Series this weekend, promises to be particularly exciting.

The legendary Sarel van der Merwe heads the list in the 427 Holman & Moody prepared Galaxie that was one of a stable first brought to South Africa by Bob Olthoff for the British, Willment Racing Team. Olthoff then stayed on to win the South African Saloon Car Championship in the big Ford, in 1965.

In more recent times, Van der Merwe has had the crowds on their feet as they cheered his sublime control of a car with braking and handling that could never quite match its bulk and straight line speed.

Watersport ace Peter Lindenberg is not far behind in the familiar, but younger Ford Sierra XR8 that was developed from a Group 1 car and then went on to achieve fame as “The Animal” in the hands of the ageless Willie Hepburn.

Other combinations include multiple former Wesbank V8 champion Hennie Groenewald, recently returned from a stint in the United States, who will be at the wheel of a Group 5 Chev Camaro, circa 1969.

Mark du Toit, son of Zwartkops Raceway controller Peter du Toit, has entered a 1959 Chev Biscayne, while a courageous Andre Mouton is driving his 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk.

EXECULINE CAPE SOUTH EASTER PROGRAMME – 02/02/2010

Gates open at 07h.00 on Saturday, with timed practice from 08h.40 until 10h.40, after scrutineering and the competitors briefing.

Racing then takes place in the following order:
1. Pre 1972 Historic Single Seaters – 10h.50
2. World Sports & GT Car Challenge – 11h.25
3. Safmarine Historic Motorcycle Classics – 12h.10

Lunch
4. Execuline Pre 1966 & 1977 Classic Touring Cars, A,B&C - 14h.00
5. Pre 1974 International Sports Prototypes – 14h.30
6. Fine Cars – 15h.00
7. Pre 1966 Tourist Trophy Sports Cars – 15h.30
8. Execuline pre 1966 & 1977 Classic Touring Cars, D,E&F.
9. Historic Motorcycles – 16h.30.

Sunday begins with a church service at the Clubhouse at 07h.30, followed by a succession of warm-up sessions from 08h.30, before the next event.
10. Marque cars – 09h.30
11. Pre 1972 Historic Racing cars – 09h.45
12. World Sports & GT Car Challenge, pre 1984 – 10h.20
13. Pre 1966 & 1977 Classic Touring Cars A,B&C – 10h.55
14. Pre 1966 Tourist Trophy Sports Cars – 11h.40
15. Pre 1966 & 1977 Classic Touring Cars, C,D&E – 12h.10

The lunch break from 12h. 40, is going to include a drifting demonstration as well as a classic car parade.
16. Pre 1974 International Sports Prototypes – 14h.00
17. Pre 1966 & 1977 Classic Touring Cars, A,B&C – 14h.30
18. Pre 1972 Historic Single Seaters – 15h.00
19. 1-Hour Endurance Race – 15h.30
20. Historic Motorcycles – 16h.40.
21. Pre 1966 & 1977 Classic Touring Cars C,D&E – 17h.15.

Static entertainment on the lawns in front of the clubhouse is going to include a classic car display and a concours for cars of the period on Sunday, where there will be additional prizes for appropriately dressed couples. Books, posters, toys and other memorabilia is also going to be on offer.
Daily admission is R80 for adults and R20 for scholars under 16, with kiddies under 12 admitted free of charge. A discounted adult weekend ticket is available for R120.

FACEBOOK – 21/01/2010

Visit for the official Killarney facebook link.

Please note that the WPMC Club members hourly private hire track fees will increase from 1st Feb 2010 to R400 per hour. This is only open to current members of the club who race and hold current MSA licence's. Only total of 3 members for the hour per booking. Other conditions apply.

DRIVE TIMES – 21/01/2010

Irvine Laidlaw’s Aston Martin DBR

Irvine Laidlaw’s Aston Martin DBR 2/1 is seen in the pits at Killarney, prior to a shakedown practice session earlier this week.

The appearance of Irvine Laidlaw’s international historic racing stable during the fourth round of the Execuline Springbok Series at Killarney on the weekend of February 6 & 7, promises to be among the highlights of the meeting.

While no price can be placed on the cars, the rarest and therefore probably also the most valuable, is the Aston Martin DBR2/1 sports car. Created from the short lived Lagonda project, Aston Martin completed two cars, DBR 2/1 and DBR 2/2.

Searching for reliable power, the original V12 Lagonda motor was replaced, initially by a new Tadek Marek designed 3.7 litre straight-6. For the 1958 season this was enlarged, first to 3.9 and later to 4.2 litres.

Before that the cars most notable success in 1957 was a victory in the 1957 Daily Express Trophy meeting at Silverstone, in the hands of sports car specialist Roy Salvadori.

A more ambitious programme in 1958, with the larger engine and the sublime Stirling Moss at the wheel, resulted in DBR 2/1 being first across the line in the Sussex Trophy at Goodwood as well as the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park. Both DBR’s were then sent to campaign in America. Once there, 2/1 was entrusted to George Constantine, who earned laurel wreaths at Lime Rock and Marlborough.

Staying in America in 1959, and with Moss joining Constantine, the cars won in New York and twice in the Bahamas, before being sent back to Britain.

DBR 2/1 was sold privately after its return. It then acquired the coupe bodywork from DB 3/6 for a while, before being reunited with its original open top.

The astute Scot will also be seen behind the wheel of his red Ferrari 312 PB. Powered by a 3-litre flat 12 motor that develops 455 horsepower at 11,000 rpm, it is expected to be one of the fastest cars at the meeting.

The Laidlaw 312 PB was one of the Scuderia Ferrari team cars in 1972. It enjoyed a phenomenal run of success in the hands of Ronnie Peterson and Tim Schenken that included first place in the Buenos Aires 100km and at the Nurburgring. It also finished second at Sebring and third at Monza, while Jackie Ickx / Clay Regazzoni took second in the Spa 1000km.

The Ferrari team won its 12th World Sports Car Championship with the 312 PB’s, that year.

The third Laidlaw entry in the 2010 South African Springbok Series campaign is a single seater Brabham BT7A, that was developed for the Tasman Series down under. Racing with a 2.5 and later a 2.7 litre Coventry Climax engine, it enjoyed great success in Australia and New Zealand until it was substantially damaged in an accident in the Land of the Long White Cloud.

The car was returned to Britain in the early 1980.s where it was completely rebuilt, expressly for Historic events.

DRIVE TIMES – 21/01/2010

With the Cape round of the international Springbok Series due to be the first major motorsport event at Killarney in the new year, interest among followers of classic and historic cars and motorcycles is already building up.

A loose revival of the original series that took place in South Africa during the golden age of motor racing, in the 1960’s and early 70’s, before unsightly wings and ground effect roadholding, they ground to an abrupt halt when the first OPEC instigated oil crisis caused near heart failure among local enthusiasts after all forms of motor sport in South Africa were banned by government decree.

Before that we were privileged to host many of the best sports car drivers in the world, men of the calibre of extrovert Australians Paul Hawkins and Frank Gardner. The British influx included multiple talents like Formula 1 BRM driver Richard Attwood, who had finished second in the Monaco grand prix and multiple world motorcycle champion Mike Hailwood. Sports car stars David Piper, David Hobbs, Peter Gethin and Mike D’udy were also regular participants.

Piper in particular has been indestructible. Despite losing a leg below the knee after a horrific crash at Le Mans while assisting Steve McQueen during the filming of the actor / director’s feature movie of the same name, he has been a regular competitor in recent revivals. Although noticeably slower now than in his prime, he remains a symbol of the era.

The cars were as impressive and included Piper’s awesome Porsche 917. Designed by a team led by the grandson of the founder of the company, Professor Ferdinand Porsche, the revolutionary 917 was powered by a flat 12, air cooled motor.

First launched in 1969, the original normally aspirated 4.5 litre 917 developed 540 bhp. However the final 7.2 litre turbocharged models specifically designed for the lucrative American Can-Am Series, pushed out an incredible 1500 bhp. However they were not easy to control and even Mark Donahue, who was easily the best development driver of the time, described it as a “monster” after his first test drive. Despite that the car proved so successful that -- as so often happens – the rules were changed and it was effectively banned.

Naturally the original Springbok Series also featured a selection of the best from Ferrari, Lola and Ford. The most popular Ford was the GT-40, a car that was commissioned when Enzo Ferrari pulled out of a deal that would have resulted in his company being absorbed into the giant American organisation.

Ford then threw everything into the design and construction of a car that would beat Ferrari in Europe. With assistance from the brilliant Eric Broadley at Lola, they developed the GT-40, so named for its incredibly low roof height of just 40 inches.

That apart, the current series includes several new features. One of these is that Kyalami is no longer one of the venues. Instead, the meeting in Mine Dump Country is now domiciled slightly further north at the Zwartkops Raceway, a complex that was still a drive-in cinema in those far-off days.

Changes to the Cape South Easter meeting on February 6 & 7 include having the traditional 3-Hour race make way for several shorter events, for a variety of cars and bikes, with the longest of these being a one hour event.

CAR TORQUE – 21/01/2010

International motorsport has been so sensational of late, it’s become like a B-grade Quentin Tarantino movie and almost too absurd to believe.

Although he’s no expert, even Tiger Woods obliged us with his impression of an out of control NASCAR driver the other night.

Before that we had the Max Mosley pantomime. What I found amazing about this one was that although President of the FIA, the controlling body of Formula 1, at the time, he didn’t seem too embarrassed about the sordid affair.

Eventually, after pressure from the manufacturers and others forced him to agree to resign, he then threatened to renege on his promise when Luca di Montezemolo, chairman of Fiat and Ferrari, called him a “dictator”. Under the circumstances I thought that was a pretty mild description of the man.

Then there was an emotional Helio Castroneves, who burst into tears as he pulled into Gasoline Alley after his victory in the prestigious Indy 500 at the end of May. While the sobs were partly because he had won, they also had to do with a possible six year prison sentence for tax evasion that he had escaped when the final charge was withdrawn just two days before the race.

Renault boss Flavio Briatore once made deprecating remarks about Jenson Button being a playboy. Which was no more than the pot referring to the colour of the kettle.

Briatore was banned from F1 for life after being accused of fixing the result of last year’s Singapore grand prix by ordering Nelson Piquet Jnr to crash deliberately, in order to facilitate a victory for Fernando Alonzo the team’s other driver.

Now in an unprecedented step, Briatore is challenging the FIA ruling in an open French court. No-one has ever attacked motorsport’s most powerful body in this way before. But as he is already banned, he has nothing to lose. On the other hand if he wins, and he claims he has a strong case, it could open the door for a string of others who feel they have been hard done by. Can the FIA afford that?

There’s also been no positive exhaust note from the A1 world cup of motorsport since the last minute cancellation of the Australian round at Surfers Paradise. And with the South African event scheduled to take place at Kyalami on February 28, one wonders if there is going to be enough time to get the show on the road again.

Still in Gauteng, there was this euphemistically worded media release informing me that Roger Pearce, the Chairman of Motorsport South Africa had tendered his resignation after a disagreement during a board meeting on Monday and that his resignation had been accepted by the Board of Directors. No word yet about his successor.

But it’s an ill wind...

Because with the oil rich Abu Dhabi now having to help bail out their neighbours in Dubai, they have cancelled their Desert Classic in January. This was to have been another no-expense-spared meeting, with many of the events due to be held at night, under lights. It had originally attracted entries from many of the world’s most renowned Historic racers.

But now that it’s been called off I believe several of the guys are saying, “Ah well, we might as well go to Cape Town then. No hotel to drive through and no Tilke designed circuit. But it’s cheaper and its definitely taking place on February 6 & 7.

2010 MEMBERSHIP – 13/12/2009

The 2010 WPMC membership books are now available in the admin office.

Please note that MSA licences can only be renewed online from 15th December 2009, in order to do this please make sure that you request a proof of membership from Celeste in the WPMC Admin office as you will be required to upload this in order to complete your licence renewal. MSA offices will be opening on the 4th January 2010 if you would prefer to do it then.

WPMC offices will be closing for the December holidays on the 18th December 2009, and will be re-opening on 4th January 2010.