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Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Sun 13 Apr 2008, 12:14
by 72XYGT
One factor that goes hand in hand with Time is Change. But there is no reason why we should forget the history of our South African Race tracks. I would like to ask all members to try and contribute whatever info they have on our various race tracks across the country. I want to concentrate mainly on circuit race tracks. I think we have enough members that will have some info about the past and history of these race tracks. Please feel free to contribute whatever info you have.

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Sun 13 Apr 2008, 12:16
by FairmontGT
Nice idea Daan - there probably are quite a few that dont exist anymore?

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Sun 13 Apr 2008, 12:25
by 72XYGT
Hence my reason for asking! East London for example had the Buffalo pass as part of there race track back younder and F1 races was run on that track. When I told my wife about that whilst travelling that stretch of road she couldnt believe it. So, yes, any info on those that dont exist anymore is just as important

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Sun 13 Apr 2008, 12:59
by Killarney Racer
Yes this is a nice thread - I will do some digging

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Sun 13 Apr 2008, 20:55
by Hi-Fi
A very interesting thread. To kick off, Cape Town had a famous track situated in ZA Perana's back yard. This was known as the Grosvenor Circuit and it became famous due to the promoting and organising of a Grand Prix in 1939, just before WWII, by a British jounalist by the name of Brud Bishop, who was stationed in Cape Town at the time. Bishop was a motor racing enthusiast and had followed the activities and victories of the Germans. He felt there was a need for the great Auto Union D-Types to visit these shores. He tried to get the Mercedes Team to come but they would not.

The circuit was situated in parts of Kirstenhof, near Muizenberg and stretched into the area which is now Pollmoor prison. The race was run on a handicap because of the huge difference in speed between the German cars and those raced locally. A few British drivers were imported to race in that, the first South African GP, known as the Grosvenor Grand Prix. Very interestingly, about five years ago, I happened to bump into a couple in the suburb in which I live, who, as kids used to cycle to the Grosvernor Circuit from Plumstead and Wynberg respectively. The main road leading to Muizenberg was dirt in those days. Apparently they witnessed this GP and said the noise from those Auto Unions was incredible. Needless to say Von Delius and Rosemeyer who drove those cars walked away with the winners laurels.

I dug this picture out from I don't know where. Note the Swastika in the crowd!!

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Mon 14 Apr 2008, 19:19
by zahistorics

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Tue 15 Apr 2008, 16:38
by Fairlane 500
Any comments on Phisantekraal, Sachs Circle, Paarden Eiland, Gunners Circle or Eerste Rivier?

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Thu 17 Apr 2008, 22:05
by Hi-Fi
All I know about Fisantekraal is that it's on the Wellington road on the other side of Durbanville. It was an old bomber base during the war and is used today as a glider airstrip. I don't know what they raced there, or when it was used.

Oh, we also used to ride out there on our bonies with our chicks on the back in the 80's!

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Thu 17 Apr 2008, 22:37
by Killarney Racer
My Dad took us to Fisantekraal once, I think we were just passing by when some racing happened to be on. I remember very little except there were some saloon cars racing but I think my Dad was more interested in the gliders taking off and landing than the racing!

Re: Historic Race Tracks in South Africa

Posted: Fri 18 Apr 2008, 19:53
by ZA Perana
Just a bit more about the Pollsmoor circuit I beleive that the one section of the N3 was once the main straight used on the track....strangely enough its also the place where I like to put my foot down a bit... :D