Evapco HRSA Youngtimers deliver Zwartkops thrills
The Evapco HRSA Youngtimer Historic Touring Cars served some passionately close racing up to an appreciative crowd as the fledgling series commenced its 2024 season at the 23rd Passion For Speed races at Zwartkops this weekend past. Whilst 2023 Youngtimer champion Mike O’Sullivan claimed the overall victory in his All Things Motoring Honda Ballade, it was not without a fight, over two heats of intensely entertaining racing.
Racing behind the U2 and Little Giants category, traffic would always present a challenge to the quicker Youngtimers, while an unusual starting grid determined by the cars’ competition numbers brought even more intrigue. Which meant that car double-zero, Stewart McLarty was on pole on his Mazda Etude alongside Rob Clark’s Containerforce Honda Ballade. Andre de Lange’s similar Mosport Roofsure car, O’Sullivan, Edward Nel’s Remax Ballade, and Jonathan Visser Auto Express VW Jetta stacked up behind them.
With double yellows banning overtaking for the first two corners, McLarty led the pack before all hell broke loose when racing started in earnest from turn 3. Clark, de Lange, and a determined O’Sullivan squabbled for the lead, while Nel and Visser engaged in their own private battle, and debutant Nel got to grips with the lay of the land. The leading Youngtimers were amongst the Little Giants by lap three, which brought its own challenges and led to a few deft overtaking manoeuvres.
Wily old Group N fox O’Sullivan despatched with de Lange Heading into lap 5, and was onto leader Clark’s bumper, when the safety car stopped play as marshals extracted a U2 competitor from the turn 4 kitty litter. It was in too deep for a quick solution, causing the race to finish under the safety car leaving Clark to take the flag from O’Sullivan and de Lange. Visser meanwhile edged Nel to take fourth, with McLarty sixth.
Race two brought the same starting grid as race one, but without any yellow flags to dampen spirits into turns one and two. De Lange took advantage to immediately launch down the inside of McLarty off the line, with Clark taking the outside line, three abreast into turn 1 and O’Sullivan in close attendance. Visser and Nel were also right in the mix heading into turn 2, by which time de Lange led the three Hondas out front.
The three of them duked it out for three laps before O’Sullivan finally found a way past both Clark and De Lange. Slower traffic once again played a role, as Clark used the backmarkers to best effect to put one over da Lange. Further back, a steadily improving Nel kept Visser honest as their private battle continued through the race. O’Sullivan meanwhile scampered off to take the flag and also the day over Clark, De Lange, Visser, Nel and McLarty.
With a steadily increasing grid to be joined by a few Nissans, more Hondas an Opel, and an Alfa Romeo for the red-blooded fans, the Evapco HRSA Youngtimers will soon be headline news in their own races.
An inexpensive, close and exciting way to go racing in classic Touring Car and Group N style, contact Rob Clark at email@example.com or visit HRSA Classic Youngtimer Touring Cars 1990-1997 on Facebook for more information on Evapco HRSA Youngtimers racing.
Issued on behalf of HRSA Youngtimers
|Passion For Speed Report
|Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
|Saturday 27 January 2024
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