CASTROL AGAIN A MAJOR SPONSOR AT HISTORIC RACE MEETINGS
Castrol, the global lubricant specialists, will once again be a major sponsor of the upcoming international Passion for Speed race meetings for historic cars and motorcycles. This year the very popular event will be staged only in Gauteng and will extend for 10 days, kicking off at Zwartkops Raceway on February 2-3, and concluding at Kyalami the following Saturday (February 9).
In the past there was a weekend of races at Zwartkops followed by a weekend of racing at Killarney in Cape Town, but now it will be a bonanza for Gauteng enthusiasts with many out-of-town visitors expected for the spectacle.
Castrol, which has been involved in motor sport and record breaking since the company was founded more than 100 years ago, has been an intrinsic part of local motor sport since the founding of Castrol SA in 1929, following its involvement with Sir Malcolm Campbell’s unsuccessful attempt on the land speed record at Verneukpan with his Bluebird car.
“We are very aware of Castrol’s heritage in motor sport and the technological benefits we enjoy as a result of our involvement in this high tech area of competition,” commented the public relations and sponsorship manager of Castrol SA, Nandi Canning.
“South Africa has a wonderful motor racing heritage going back to the 1950’s and ‘60’s including the Nine Hour Races and Grands Prix for both cars and motorcycles. The annual Passion for Speed serves to highlight the amazing cars and close racing enjoyed in those days, when Castrol was very involved too.
“This makes our involvement as a sponsor of events at the annual Passion for Speed historic motor race meetings a natural for us and we enjoy an excellent working relationship with Peter du Toit, of Zwartkops Raceway, and his team.”
This year Castrol Edge will sponsor the SA Tourist Trophy for cars and the races for International Sports Racing Prototypes which is for pre-1974 cars, as well as races for cars that were seen at the Grand Central circuit and in the early days at Kyalami.
All these events have attracted excellent entries with several coming from overseas.
In addition Castrol will sponsor the Day of the Champions for racing motorcycles on Sunday, February 3, as well as the SA Tourist Trophy for motorcycles, which will take place over three rounds, the first at Port Elizabeth on January 26, followed by a round at Zwartkops on February 3 and culminating with races at Kyalami the next Saturday, February 9.
The Pre 1966/68 Le Mans/Sebring sports and GT cars that will contest the Castrol Edge Tourist Trophy are the best ever seen at the Passion for Speed race meetings. There will be no less than seven Ford GT40’s headed by two European entries including the famous car that the Alan Mann team raced at Le Mans.
They will be matched by two Lola T70 Spyders, Chevron B 8’s, Daytona Coupes and a whole group of cars of all shapes and sizes from big 1967 Sebring Camaros to the little Mini Marcos and SA-built GSM Darts.
The Castrol Edge International Sports racing Prototypes will see the return of the big, black McLaren of Michiel Campagne. At Zwartkops this car could be challenged by the nimble Chevron B19’s one of which comes from the Netherlands and is a very quick motor car. Other contenders in this race will be Porsche 917 replicas and thundering V8 Lolas.
The Castrol Day of the Champions, which is being staged at Zwartkops Raceway for the sixth time on February 3, will have a more structured programme than in the past with events scheduled from 08:00 to 17:00.
The motorcycles taking part in the Castrol SA Tourist Trophy will be split into three categories: up to 1975, from 1976-1984 and from 1985-1988, which spans a golden era for this motor sport discipline. There will be two races at each circuit and the overall winner will be awarded the SA Tourist Trophy, which dates back to race of that name organised by the Rand Motoring Club in 1922.
There will also be Castrol Day of the Champion parades for riders who have won world, international or national championship titles or Isle of Man races. They will ride classic or historic racing motorcycles up to 1992, with two “demonstration” outings at each circuit.
The calibre of the riders is once again of a very high standard, with more than 75 of them entered, including many former world or national champions, hence the name of this race meeting – Castrol Day of the Champions.
Many of the motorcycles that will be ridden at these race meetings are real collectors’ items, with a good influx of overseas machines again. The include Team Classic Suzuki which is sending the reigning British classic 500 grand prix champion, Sean Emmet., a former team mate of Kevin Schwantz. He will tide a 1976 Suzuki RG500.
Emmet will contest the SA TT series which was won last year by Mick Grant on a similar machine of 1984 vintage. This is, in fact, one of the Suzukis ridden by former world champion Barry Sheene in his last ever GP season.
There will, of course, be a host of South African champions and many of them will ride motorcycles of the type they raced so successfully in years gone by.
Enthusiastic Ian Groat will again be keeping the flag flying for famous British racing motorcycles of the past with his team Incomplete, which now includes two Manx Nortons, an AJS 7R, Matchless G50 and Norton Domiracer in addition to a screaming, four-cylinder 250cc Honda to be ridden by multiple world champion Jim Redman and a classic Ducati.
“This year’s double header at Zwartkops and Kyalami is going to be a real bonanza for Gauteng racing enthusiasts and we are very proud that Castrol will again be very much a part of this tribute to world and South African motor racing heritage,” added Castrol’s Nandi Canning.