Sunday 12 August 2012

Cape Towns Killarney Race Circuit, a day at the races.

This was February of this year and Eric wanted to leave Hout Bay by 7.30am, I was ok with this but thought it an early start non the less. It soon became clear to me that this was a correct decision, we had all the time in the world to see the cars and to meet some of the drivers.

All pictures by R McBride

Over the noise of Ford racing engines, Eric talks to Sarel Van Der Merwe, one of the top South African rally and race drivers with expriance overseas, Le Mans,France and Watkins Glen,USA, come to mind?

As you can see, some conversation was reduced to hand signals.

Sarel van der Merwe
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Sarel van der Merwe
Nationality South Africa
Born(1946-12-05) December 5, 1946 (age 65)
Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Championship titles
1975, 1977-1985, 1988

1994, 2001
South African Rally Drivers Championship
South African Saloon Car Championship
South African Modified Saloon Car Championship
Springbok Colours
South African National Colours
MSA Lifetime Achievement Award
Sarel Daniel van der Merwe (born December 5, 1946) is a South African former rally driver, who was a multiple South African Rally Drivers Champion. He is sometimes referred to as "Supervan".[1]
Van der Merwe won the South African Rally Drivers Championship a record eleven times in 1975, from 1977 to 1985 and in 1988. Van Der Merwe also drove one NASCAR Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen for Hendrick Motorsports #17 Tide Chevrolet Lumina team in 1990 while the team's regular driver, Darrell Waltrip, was recuperating from a severe leg injury a month earlier, where he finished 24th.[2] He also held the SA Saloon Car Championship (1994), SA modified Saloon Car Championship (1994 & 2001), and won the 1996 Castrol International Rally in Swaziland. He received his Springbok Colours in 1976 and his South African National Colours in 1997. In 2002, van der Merwe was awarded the Motorsport South African (MSA) Lifetime Achievement award.[3]
Van der Merwe began his racing career in 1967 racing saloon cars. His international career took off in 1983 in the IMSA series in the USA, with his most notable win in the 1984 24 Hours of Daytona race driving for Kreepy Krauly Racing, an all-South African team in a March 83G-Porsche. He shared the win with Graham Duxbury and Tony Martin. Van der Merwe did exceptionally well in the 1984 24 Hours of Le Mans where he finished 3rd on debut. In the 1986 Le Mans race, Sarel pulled in a lap early and Jo Gartner took over. A lap later the suspension broke and the car veered off the Mulsanne Straight in the middle of the night and Gartner was killed.
He retired from competitive motor racing on November 23, 2002 after Round 12 of the Vodacom Power Tour at Kyalami.[4]  my thanks to Wikipedia for publishing this information.

Sarels drive for the weekends event, I think the car is 46 years  years old!

Note, it is in fact a 1966 Ford Galaxy Coupe, entered and owned by Lindenburg Racing/Lazerus Ford, one of the faster cars on the day for sure.

Sarels Ford V8 waits to be unleashed onto the tarmac at Killarney.