Laude Classic Cars Class A
Charles Arton had the Ford fans sit up and take notice of the fact that the Datsun 240Z was back, on pole by 0.267sec, and that straight six was purring with intent. Franco Donadio might have been unhappy to find himself second on the grid, but as a veteran of many categories of very competitive motorsport relished the fact that the Donadio Plant Hire Ford Escort MkI 1 2.0 Pinto finally faced a fair challenge.
Charles Arton did not disappoint from the start with Franco tucked into the boot of the Z for most of the opening laps and then coming out of Malmesbury Sweep / Turn 4 the Datsun acted like a Ford and expired with oil starvation problems.
Franco pretty much on his own could control the pace and entertained with a mixture of clean hard driving and a touch of oval track entertainment. What was clear however was that this was a driver enjoying every second behind the wheel of a really well sorted race car.
Eric van der Merwe is quite the opposite as the Lynx Motorsport Porsche 944 Turbo rarely steps out of line and second place was well dserved after another squeaky neat drive from lights to flag.
Michael Hitchcock brought a touch of Shelby magic to Killarney and the Cross Cape Forklift Services 1967 Ford Mustang V8 was driven a measure of caution as the handling was still considered slightly unpredictable.
Dave Alhadeff and his Tony Viana lookalike MSP Racing BMW E30 325iS could not live with the flying Scirocco but fourth in class was adequate reward for a neat drive with the Gulf liveried Porsche 944 Turbo of Andrew Honeywill completing the class A result.
Heat 2 started minus the Arton Datsun and Honeywill Porsche with Franco Donadio playing to the delight of the many spectators enroute to another dominant victory. Now who will drive the Escort when Franco eventually finishes the much anticipated Chev Can Am!
Eric van der Merwe again kept his nose clean in the Porsche with Hitchcock third and Alhadeff fourth. This also the overall order after two heats.
Laude Classic Cars Class B
Jonathan Gunn placed his VW Scirocco on pole with Ferdi Mouton second in the red Ford Mustang in what was to be a slight mismatch in performance.
The light, nimble and extremely quick Scirocco truly running like the Libyan wind, chasing after the overall front runners, finishing a mighty fourth in Heat 1 whilst the Cross Cape Forklift Service Ford Mustang V8 showed a lack of pace, trailing a smoke screen and eventually dropping out after six laps.
Having suffered a cracked engine block during the finale meeting of 2021 the new engine is still in process and the interim engine simply could not deliver the same performance. Retirement in heat 1 was due to a faulty coil.
Heat 2 and the Scirocco failed to start, leaving the ailing Cross Cape Forklift Services Ford Mustang V8 of Ferdi Mouton to win as it pleased.
Somehow the Scirocco will probably return even faster and hopefully reliable to sneak into class A eventually whilst the Ford will be back on all eight cylinders for April in anticipation of the returning Chevrolet threat
Laude Classic cars Class C
Layne Hutchings beat Trevor Hutchings by a mere 0.713sec after nine laps of door to door racing in Heat 1. Trevor started from pole in class C with the always immaculately prepared HSC Racing Jagermeister VW Scirocco with the Volkswagen Motorsport replica Volkswagen Golf MkII GTi of Layne Hutchings in hot pursuit of his father and slipstreaming past at the chequered flag.
The Lucky Strike Racing liveried Compact Robotics Ford Capri of Martin Bensch quietly circulated to third spot and though it may lack the V8 grunt of it’s senior contemporaries this car always reminds of the Kyalami 9 Hour when Jochen Mass and Dieter Klemser raced the Lucky Strike Ford Capri RS2600 in the Springbok Series.
Jan-Willem Andrë de la Porte had to change the headgasket on his Datsun 240Z coming into the event and he drove the neat Z to fourth in class.
Heat two saw Trevor Hutchings run away to a 16.074sec victory over the Capri of Martin Bensch. Unfortunately the challenge from Layne Hutchings faltered after four laps and the 240Z could only complete four laps.
Overall Trevor Hutchings and the Jagermeister Scirocco took line honours from Martin Bensch and the Lucky Strike Ford Capri with Layne Hutchings in third and De la Porte fourth.
Expect the family challenge to continue in April!
Laude Classic Cars Class E
Better known as the driver of a very visually appealing Chev Can Am V8 getting behind the wheel of a Morris Minor 1275 could not be considered much of a challenge – but you are wrong!
With no reserves in power chipping away at the fastest time becomes incredibly challenging as most of those tiny improvements relate to input from the driver. Understanding the how what where and when of this immaculately built classic has Anton working extremely hard to break through the 1min37 bracket in the Rob Tissington machine.
A persistent misfire did frustrate the little green machine on the day but two finishes and another sixteen laps experience behind the wheel has Anton confident that he will be coming back quicker in April.
Laude Classic Cars Class X
Vance Kearney made it worthwhile to visit from the Uk when he claimed victory in Heat 1 with the yellow VW Jetta MkI, 5.456sec clear of the 2nd placed Alfa Romeo Bertone Sprint driven by Ernst Viljoen.
Deven Pillay third in his black Porsche 944 Turbo with Melt Carstens fourth in the Koos Swanepoel replica Ford Cortina MkII.
Sadly Hamilton Goode suffered a blown clutch on lap three in the Ian Thompson owned Ingvar Carlson rally replica Mercedes Benz 280 CE. This one powered by a V8 engine, but virtually standard otherwise.
Ingvar Carlsson is a Swedish born (2 April 1947) rally driver who passed away in Nykoping (28 October 2009) aged 62. Carlsson started rallying in won two World Rally Championship events in 1989 with the Group A Mazda 323 4WD (Sweden and New Zealand). On both occasions his navigator was the totally unrelated Per Carlsson.
Vance Kearney repeated the feat in the second heat with Deven Pillay slotting into second spot and Ernst Viljoen dropping to third place. Melt Carstens demonstrated the term understeer out of Patemina Fastron / Turn 5 and would eventually finish fourth in class.
Class X caters for new combinations and includes cars that do not fully comply with the Classic Car rules but may compete on invitation. Inevitably class X will always remain non scoring with respect to championship points and a very mixed entry.
It never the less opens the door for future classic drivers / cars to test the water and as such forms a valuable part of the Laude Classic Car structure.
Vance Kearney the comfortable overall victor in the nimble and quick VW Jetta with Ernst Viljoen in the classic Alfa Romeo second and Deven Pillay third in his neat Porsche. Melt Carstens and the classic Ford Cortina MkII home in fourth.
It is anticipated that a number of new combinations will making their class X debut during the April meeting, including the much anticipated Jaguar XJS duo.