Written by Gerard Rissik
Sadly racing is not as well supported as it might be and COVID restrictions don’t help much but it is a great day out. There really is no way to bring the excitement that the mix of sights, sounds, smells and atmosphere of the track generates to you in a dry article. If you love cars and driving you need to visit a racetrack at some stage. Obviously at the moment because of Covid, we can’t get out there right now, but thanks to Youtube we can watch it live. I was fortunate enough to be able to be a Zwartkops racetrack to witness the Extreme Festival on Saturday 13 March.
The days racing included The Bridgestone Challenge Series which is designed to introduce people of all ages and with different types of bikes to the sport of motorcycle racing. Whether you ride a fully prepped race bike or you want to put your daily ride on the grid it is possible. Obviously, there will be some prep work to be made to make your ride safe for the track. Also because Bridgestone sponsors the series only Bridgestone tires are permitted to be used, the benefit from this is great race tires at reduced prices including fitment. Over the years bikes ranging from Z1000 naked bikes to Suzuki Katanas, brand new road bikes to old school race bikes have shared the grid.
The Formula Vee series had their first race for the season, this again is a great way for aspiring racing drivers to get onto the track. The Formula Vee series has been running since 1965. The idea is to introduce drivers to single-seat driving and help them to develop into the champions we might find in the bigger formulas. Check out www.formulavee.co.za for information on how to get involved. It is exciting racing in open-wheel racing cars.
What is for me a favourite was the Marlboro Crane Hire Pre-1966 Sports and Legend Saloon Cars, which was run with The Car Care Clinic 111 Sports and Saloon Car series. These races were exciting with the thunder of the huge V8s echoing around the track as well as the more nimble smaller sports saloons all sweeping around the track.
No less exciting was the Saloon Car Sprint. When I tell you that the race was won by a Golf GTI, followed by a Porsche 925 with third place going to a Lexus you will understand that this is the one most people will relate to because these are often cars which you might see on the streets every day. A GTI also took top honours in the 45 minute 111 Endurance race, it was followed home by a BMW Z4 with a Honda Type R taking 3rd place.
All in all, I do miss racing and I can’t wait to speed through the tracks again soon.