Cape Town - The city’s Killarney International Raceway faces a double-barrelled bike racing invasion this weekend at the second leg of the 17th annual international Passion for Speed festival of historic racing.
Not only will the some of the country’s top former champions be bringing their robust brand of racing back to the Cape on a variety of big Japanese four-bangers from the golden era of muscle-bikes, they’ll be bringing with them a strong contingent of international riders to take up the International Classic Tourist Trophy battle where they left off last weekend at Zwartkops in Pretoria.
Leading the charge will be Johannesburg’s Noel Haarhoff on a very well-sorted late mid-1980s Suzuki GSX-R1100. Haarhoff won both ICTT races at Zwartkops and must start as favourite on Saturday.
The fastest of the overseas visitors are likely to be Scottish riders Robert Burns, on a Suzuki XR69, the factory endurance racer on which the iconic GSX-R750 of 1985 was based, and Fergal McAdam on a Suzuki Katana 1100.
Keeping them honest will be Gauteng riders Iain Pinkerton (Suzuki GSX-R1000), Leon van den Berg on a Yoshimura Suzuki 1100, Gary Edwards (Suzuki Katana 1100) and Etienne Louw on a Yamaha FZR1000 ‘Stealth Bomber.
John Kosterman, who put in a sterling performance at Zwartkops, is likely to be the fastest of the locals - or is he? A surprise entry is that of Norman McFadden, the father of international rider David McFadden, who has only recently retired from Superbike racing in favour of a vintage Suzuki GSX-R1100, while for sheer presence (and an amazing soundtrack!) keep an eye, and an ear, out for Timothy Romans’ six-cylinder Honda CBX1000B.
The supporting races for classic motorcycles are going to bring back a lot of memories among those old enough to remember what Yamaha’s publicity material used to call ‘the smell of the two-stroke, the roar of the crowd’, with a number of road-based Yamaha twins, as well as Alan Tuners immaculately prepared and pedigreed TZ250 Grand Prix machine.
But the star of the show - and the motorcycle with the most authoritative voice, bearing in mind that it predates the advent of noise regulations - will be the oldest bike in the field, Casey Wolters’ raucous late 1960s Kawasaki H1A triple, rescued from rotting under a mopane tree in Zimbabwe some years ago and painstakingly restored to better than new condition by Wolters and a bunch of ‘stroker friends.