Execuline Pre-1966 Legends of the 9 Hour™ Production Cars - Photograph by Paul Blackburn

Sarel van der Merwe will defend his honour as one of South Africa’s greatest racing drivers when he returns to the track this Saturday at Zwartkops Raceway’s Passion for Speed International Historic raceday.

Supervan will again pilot his big red Ford Galaxie in a race of champions against the likes of other big names in local motorsport such as Hennie Groenewald in a Richard Petty replica Plymouth Fury, Jaki Scheckter in another Galaxie, Franco Scribante in a tidy orange Mustang, and Leeroy Poulter in a Ford Thunderbolt.

All the V8 power at the front of the grid won’t have it easy however, with pestering smaller cars like Trevor Tuck’s Alfa Giulia and Denzil Bhana’s Ford Anglia nipping at their heels all the way in the Legends Production Cars heats.

The Pretoria circuit’s outright lap record will also be under threat on Saturday, as no fewer than three Formula One cars take to the track for demonstration sessions.

Zwartkops’ current fastest lapper, a Dallara Cosworth driven by Andre Bezuidenhout, will again be attendance, with Michael Schumacher’s ex-Benetton in the hands of Dutch F1 driver Jan Lammers, and Jean Alesi’s 1993 Ferrari with Peter Bailey at the wheel.

The Passion for Speed event will also host races for regular historic racing categories, including Pre-1977 Touring Cars, Pre-74 Trans-Am, Pre-68 Little Giants, Alfa Trofeo, Historic Single-Seaters and Marque Cars.


Historic motorcycles will also get the Zwartkops track to themselves this weekend for an event dubbed The Day of the Champion on Sunday.

Here we’ll see Suzuki RG500 square fours, Kawasaki 750 HIR Triples and Honda SNR 500 GP machinery backed up by some superb forgotten era classics like the “Team Incomplete” Matchless G50, Norton Manx and Honda CR 163 250cc four cylinder machines.

Sunday will also see demo runs from the international Inex Legends series looking to take off in South Africa, where 5/8 scale cars dressed up like 1930s hotrods with wicked 1300 bike motors battle wheel to wheel at surprising pace.

lSaturday’s Passion for Speed show will also be held the following Saturday, February 9, at Kyalami circuit in Midrand.

Double-header tickets for both weekends are R220 for adults and R140 for kids over 12 if bought through Computicket or at Zwartkops, or R130 and R80 per event separately.

Gate prices are R150 for adults and R100 for kids. Under-12s get in for free. Sunday-only tickets for The Day of the Champion are R80, but they are included free with a Saturday ticket. -Pretoria News Motoring