Racing Legends Honoured At Concours

South African racing legends Sarel van der Merwe and Ian Scheckter will be guests of honour at the 2017 Concours South Africa at Sun City on 4-6 August 2017.

The multiple race and SA rally champion van der Merwe , who attended last year’s inaugural Concours South Africa event for pristine classic cars, will be joined at this year’s gala motoring event by six-times South African Drivers’ Champion and F1 racer Ian Scheckter.

Sarel van der Merwe driving a genuine D-Type Jaguar at the Franschhoek Hill Climb

And the big question everyone will be wanting to ask these two brilliant drivers will be: “What happened back at Kyalami in 1980 when you two guys tried to kill each other?”

That accident – at the so-called Jukskei Sweep – at the old, original Kyalami, was arguably the most well-known incident in South African sport in the 1980’s.The reason for this was that the SABC showed re-runs of the clash at the start of their sports round-up programme each week for over two years!

At the time these two drivers were in a class of their own in South Africa. Sarel van der Merwe would go on to win 11 SA National Rally Championships, while Ian Scheckter won six Drivers’ Championships here in the likes of Formula One Lotus and Tyrrell cars, and in fact had gone on to drive for the (sadly uncompetitive) March team for a full season in Formula One, in 1978.

Ian in BMW 530 and Sarel in V6 Escort enjoy their most famous meeting at Jukskei bend, Kyalami, May 1980

The crash in question saw Sarel’s super-potent V6 racing-engined Ford Escort being shoved into the earth bank at the fastest corner on Kyalami by the equally potent and wildly modified BMW 5 Series, driven by Scheckter.

If there’s anything that binds these two drivers closely together it is that they both have a wild streak. Sarel had written off two of his own Datsun SSS road cars and was paying off a third on hire-purchase while making his name in the South African Rally Championship. And Ian was banned from taking part in his first four-wheel race at Kyalami (he was a top motorcycle racer before switching to cars) after destroying an imported Mazda rotary car in practice for the annual Nine Hour race.

He subsequently crashed a replacement car again in practise, and the Clerk of the Course adjudged that the young East London would-be-ace was driving “absolutely recklessly, and would not take part in the race”.

The hospitality area at Concours South Africa – wondreful cars, wonderful people.

And adding an international flavour to the event will be overseas Concours judges Robert Coucher, founder of the internationally acclaimed Octane magazine, and Chris Routledge, CEO of the International classic car auction house, Coys of Kensington.

Both Routledge and Coucher have enjoyed widespread experience at some of the most prestigious Concours d’Elegance events in the world, and both are internationally-respected experts on classic cars. The panel of judges for 2017 will be once again headed by Wayne Harley, Curator of the Franschhoek Motor Museum.

“Perhaps one of the most attractive aspects of Concours South Africa is that is a social as well as a motoring event,” says organiser Paul Kennard.

“For this reason we have created a number of exciting hospitality areas which have been well subscribed to for this year’s Concours. These hospitality packages, targeting companies wishing to give their clients an unforgettable weekend, can be arranged through our co-ordinator, Sabrina Morris, who has a wealth of experience in arranging events at this level.

“Anyone interested in arranging hospitality for their clients should contact Sabrina Morris at Sabrina@eventoptions.co.za, or Sabrina@concourssa.co.za or by telephone on 082 902 6244.”

A veritable art gallery of moving exhibits will grace the lawns of Sun City for Concours South Africa 2017 with cars ranging from a humble (but perfectly restored!) 1949 VW Beetle to classic Porsches, majestic Mercedes, legendary Lamborghinis and famous Ferraris!

Concours South Africa 2017 at Sun City runs from Friday 4 August to Sunday 6 August, 2017. The event opens on Friday with the HAGI conference on Value in the Classic Car Market www.vccm.co.za

While this conference will undoubtedly attract collectors entering their cars in Concours South Africa 2017, it is open to anyone interested in classic and collectable cars from an investment point of view. Already a coterie of portfolio managers and hedge fund gurus are registered!

For more information on how to enter your car in Concours South Africa 2017, how to sign up for the HAGI VCCM conference or to book the deluxe hospitality packages on offer at the Sun City event, visit the website www.concourssa.co.za

Alternatively e-mail co-organiser Paul Kennard on paul@concourssa.co.za or call Paul on 082 851 3300

Pictures: Motorpress