19th annual Passion for Speed by G-Energy
19th annual Passion for Speed by G-Energy took place on Saturday 8 February at Killarney International Raceway.
Spectators were treated to a day of superb racing, dramatic finishes, and incomparable automotive history, some of it by cars that, had they been human, would have been classed as pensioners.
The true aristocrats among them were the Historic Grand Prix Cars, original Formula 1 racers from the golden era before the advent of the all-conquering three-liter Cosworth Ford DFV V8. They ranged from Christian Dumoulin’s iconic 1954 Maserati 250F to the 1964 Brabham BT11 of John Romano, powered by a shrieking 1500cc Coventry Climax V8.
For all that these irreplaceable cars are valued in the tens of millions of Rand, the HGPCA races were no demonstration parades. They were serious, with close dices throughout the field.
Much to the spectators’ delight, the closest battle in both races was for the lead, between Will Nuthall’s 1960 Cooper T53 and Andrew Beaumont in a 1961 Lotus 18.
Beaumont had a big moment on lap two of Race 1 and dropped back to fourth behind Nuthall, Rod Jolley (1958 Cooper T45/51) and Chris Drake (1964 Cooper T71/73), but made a stirring comeback to post the fastest lap of the race (1min10.706sec) and close to within 2.7 seconds of Nuthall at the flag.
He made no such mistake in Race 2, passing Nuthall for the lead on lap three and holding off a determined charge by the Cooper driver (including a heroic 1min20.776sec final lap) to win by half a second, with Drake third and Steve Hart fourth in a Maserati-engined Cooper 51.
For most of the spectators, however, the main attraction was the thundering V8 Legends of the 9 Hours and Sports & GT Cars.
In an eight-lap prologue to the headline 45-minute SA TT endurance race Swedish visitor Kennet Persson (Ford GT40) romped to a nine-second win over Jonathan du Toit from Gauteng (Shelby Daytona Coupe) with Janne Kling third in another Swedish GT40.
Persson went on to dominate the main ev