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Zwartkops races worth staying home for

Race fans need not bother plan to go away for the Youth Day long weekend Friday and Saturday 16-17 June — rather stay in town to enjoy the thrills of a race meeting with a difference when the Extreme Festival heads to Pretoria’s Zwartkops Raceway to deliver an exceptional long weekend on track. 

The two-day Extreme Festival spectacular features drawcard national championship races with the Sasol Global Touring Cars, Engen Volkswagen Cup and the Investchem Formula 1600s get racing bright and early Friday, before the regular regional roadshow headed by the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, Volkswagen Challenge and a national championship Formula Vee race among others, tops a just as exciting Saturday bill.

Should you stay in town, be sure to be at Zwartkops early enough Friday morning to enjoy a full race program that starts at 09h40 and which will be run by mid afternoon. There you can expect fireworks as the GTCs, Polos and F1600s deliver seismic racing on the short and twisty Zwartkops. The Sasol GTC sparks will fly between the likes of champion Michael Stephen and championship leader Gennaro Bonafede, Audi, BMW and Volkswagen and will the Minis have one over the Golf GTIs again in GTC2?

The Engen Volkswagen Cup is the home of the majority of SA’s future racing talent — Kelvin van der Linde was racing there just a few years ago and he’s just won the Nurburgring 24, so expect the likes of Devin Robertson, Jeff Kruger and Shaun La Réserveé to mix it up with testosterone-charged kids Clinton Bezuidenhout, Matt Shorter and others keen to follow his path. 

The rest of SA’s top racing talent has taken the single seater path and you will find the likes of Julian van der Watt, Stuart White and Cameron O’Connor dicing flat out for top honours in that wings & slicks formula come Zwartkops’ Youth Day Friday races. Could one of them be the next Jody Scheckter…?

Friday’s Extreme Festival national roadshow will be supported by two intriguing races with the SKF Legends of the 9 Hour - which are exactly that — cars that once raced in that classic Kyalami endurance race — and the Bridgestone Challenge bikes sharing the program with the big guns. Remember racing starts early at 09h40, with racing until 3pm before practice starts for Saturday’s races. You can also catch GTC, Polo and Formula 1600 qualifying from 15h00 Thursday afternoon.

Saturday 16 June will then dawn an all-new raceday headed up by the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, a round of the National Sports Car Challenge, the Volkswagen Challenge, 111 Sports & Saloons, autObarn SuperHatches, a round of the Hankook Formula Vee National Championship and a pair of Bridgestone Thunderbike and Sub-10 Superbike races.

Saturday’s race action starts at 13h00 and you can expect among the highlights to include the fastest racing Ferraris, Porsches, Lamborghinis and McLarens in SA, while all three saloon car classes are guaranteed to deliver entertainment of the highest order — as they always do. There will be much ado throughout the weekend at Zwartkops too, starting with Grid Walks amongst the Sasol GTC machines Friday and the G&H Extreme Supercars Saturday.

Add abundant trackside entertainment with a food market, live entertainment and specialist stalls behind the pits and much more to do around the track. Entrance is R110 for adults, R90 for students with a special deal of R170 or R120 for students for two-day packages. Under-12s enter free. Buy tickets at online.computicket.com/web/event/extreme_festival/ or at the gate. Zwartkops is on your left heading north on the R55 just before Laudium, Pretoria.
Call 012 384 2299 or email info@zwartkops.co.za for more info.

So there you have it — there’s no reason at all to fight the traffic or sleep in a strange bed to get away for the long weekend, especially with top drawer racing action going down at Zwartkops. See you there!