GRIZZLED veterans who have more than a few laps under their belts and young lions provide for some interesting contrasts at today’s opening round of the WesBank Super Series at the Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria.
“Photographer Danie van Jaarsveld – Copyright 2012”
There are some yawning gaps in age between veteran drivers who just keep rolling along and youngsters who are starting to make waves at national championship level. Leading the older brigade is multiple former South African champion Willie Hepburn, making a return to action in the WesBank V8 Supercar championship, who will turn 70 in July.
At the other end of the scale are 15-year-olds in Engen VW Cup driver Bevan Williams and Sebastian Lanzetti who will be making his Formula Ford debut. And the list does not end there.
Hepburn is joined in the WesBank V8 series by veteran former SA champion Ben Morgenrood and Franco di Matteo. But nowhere is the gap in age better illustrated than in the Formula Ford championship where Rick Morris is 65 and racing against 15-year-old Lanzetti.
The “Brat Pack” is numerically dominant in the VW Engen Cup where reigning champion Devin Robertson, Dewald Brummer, Kelvin van der Linde, Jordan Pepper, Jeffrey Kruger and debutant Mandla Mdakane are all still in their teens. Van der Linde, whose father Shaun and grandfather Hennie were both South African champions, made history last season when, at the tender age of 14, he became the youngest driver to compete in a national championship race.
Other teenagers in action today will include Ernie van der Walt (Formula VW), Jaques Joubert (Bridgestone Production Cars) and the Supersport motorcycle trio of Brent Harran, Cam Petersen and Steven Odendaal. At 36 veteran Lance Isaacs is the elder statesman of the motorcycle brigade.
The fair sex will also be well represented at Zwartkops. Tasmin Pepper and Vicki Kemp will race in the Formula VW category, Robyn Kruger and Andrea Bate in the Engen VW Cup series and Nicole van Aswegan will be the rose among thorns in the Supersport category.
Seven national championship categories will be in action with the first race scheduled for 10am. Gate entry is R80 per adult and R60 for students with children under 12 free.