Circuit racing is officially returning to KwaZulu-Natal and the Alfa Romeo badge is making a comeback at this weekend’s African Endurance Series’ 1-hour endurance race, to be held at the Dezzi raceway on the KZN South Coast.
Although there have been several street races in Durban over the years, KwaZulu-Natal has not had a dedicated race circuit since Pietermaritzburg’s Roy Hesketh track closed in the 1970s, but that’s all set to change with the weekend’s inaugural meeting at the brand new Dezzi Raceway near Port Shepstone on the South Coast.
TWISTY NEW TRACK
Saturday’s meeting will be the first at the twisty and undulating brand new facility owned and built by arch-enthusiast Dezzi Gutzeit.
Constructed over the past few years and already well established as a drifting track, the facility has now been completed as a circuit that plays host to that historic first meeting this weekend with the African 1 Hour the highlight of a race program that includes Historic, Legend and Trans Am Saloon Cars and Single Seaters set to deliver a varied and exciting show to race-starved Natalians on Saturday.
ALFA IS BACK
But Natal circuit racing is not the only comeback being celebrated this weekend with the Alfa Romeo badge returning to the track with the entry of a GT racer for John MacLaghlan in the African 1-hour. This is sure to evoke memories of great racing Alfas in the hands of racing legends like Arnold Chatz, Basil van Rooyen, Nicola Bianco and Abel d’Oliveira.
The new Alfa GT has been built, developed and prepared specifically for endurance racing and the new Africa Endurance Series, which started at Phakisa in March, travels to Dezzi for this weekend’s historic meeting, before heading to Kyalami, Killarney and back to Phakisa before the halo 9 hour at Kyalami in November.
The new Alfa has a pretty compelling field of rivals to deal with on the South Coast including pukka sports racers in the form of Duncan Vos’ Juno SSV6, Dino Scribante’s Tiga and Greg Mills’ Ward Mk8. James Forbes’ ADR MCE3, Peter Jenkins’ Chevron B19 and Steve Pickerings’ Porsche 910 should add to the spectacle.
Daytona 24-hour winner Tony Martin leads a team of hometown Backdraft Cobras and Craig Harper will likely drive his Harper Type 5 to and from the race and there will be a swarm of Porsche 911s, Loti and Birkin 7s to contend with.
The Alfa’s main competition should come from saloon racers such as ‘wild Frankie’s’ Corolla, Fred de Kock’s Nissan 370Z and a gang of VW Golfs, among others.
Original source: Circuit racing returns to KZN