Nascar Arrives in South Africa

NASCAR ARRIVES IN SOUTH AFRICA Colin Windell Nascar has arrived in South Africa. Nascar SA is official and is starting in the year 2000. In addition to Nascars, plans are afoot to also run Nastax for Taxi racing and Natruck concurrently in...

NASCAR ARRIVES IN SOUTH AFRICA

Colin Windell

Nascar has arrived in South Africa. Nascar SA is official and is starting in the year 2000. In addition to Nascars, plans are afoot to also run Nastax for Taxi racing and Natruck concurrently in the same series.

The first official testing of a Nascar in South Africa takes place at Phakisa's Oval in Welkom on Wednesday 17 November by a test at the Cape Town's Killarney Circuit the following week on Tuesday 23 November. Sarel van der Merwe will be the driver at both circuits.

The V-8 Nascars will be constructed locally by Hi-Tech Auto in Port Elizabeth, who have an agreement with Chas Howe to build their cars under license. "The idea is that we will race the same cars in the USA, the UK and Germany, so international competition both on our shores and with our drivers participating overseas will soon become a reality," said Hi-Tech's MD Jimmy Price. Both Ford and Chevrolet cars will be raced powered by 460 horse power American V8's.

South Africa''s first oval is waiting at the Phakisa Freeway to be . tested and raced on Because only one oval exists for Nascar racing, in. its first few years South Africa will race a form of Nascars designed . for both oval and circuit racing. But looking into the near future, . Nascar SA are presently investigating constructing ovals in Cape Town . on an old airfield, in Gauteng and in KZN .

"I am of the firm conviction that oval track racing is the future of motorsport world-wide. With the introduction of Nascar Racing in South Africa, drivers will for the first time in some 20 years be able to participate in a class which is raced internationally. And far from being confined to the States, ovals are being constructed in the UK (Rockingham) and in Germany," said Peter Lindenberg, who was the first driver to sign up in the Nascar SA Series. He participated in his last modified saloon car race at Kyalami on Saturday 30 October.

The Board of Motorsport South Africa in August gave its official go-ahead for the commencement of the new series. Twelve Nascar events have been sanctioned for the year 2000. Six will be held at the Phakisa Freeway and the other six at flat circuits in South Africa and in Mozambique.

Already 10 drivers have signed up to buy Nascars from Hi-Tech. The cars will cost in the region of R290,000. The new drivers will receive free tuition for themselves and their teams on the setting up of their Nascars by Chas Howe early next year.

GoodYear - who make tyres for oval track racing in the USA - has confirmed that it has tyres for both oval and circuit racing. The tyres will be some 30 - 40% cheaper than those used for the modified saloon car series.

NASCAR SA PROVISIONAL CALENDAR 2000 To get the Nascar up and running, we will hold a few races between February and June 2000 as follows: (dates to be confirmed by MSA)

# DATE CIRCUIT 1 February 2000 AA Kyalami 2 March 2000 Phakisa Freeway Oval 3 April 2000 Maputo 4 May 2000 Phakisa Freeway Oval 5 June 2000 Phakisa Road Course

NASCAR SA PROVISIONAL CALENDAR 2000/2001 SEASON # DATE CIRCUIT 1 August 2000 Phakisa Freeway Oval 2 September 2000 Phakisa Freeway Oval 3 October 2000 Phakisa Freeway Oval 4 November 2000 AA Kyalami 5 December 2000 East London 6 December 2000 Port Elizabeth 7 January 2001 Cape Town 8 February Kyalami 9 March 2001 Phakisa Freeway Oval 10 April 2001 Mozambique 11 May 2001 Phakisa Freeway Oval 12 June 2001 Phakisa Freeway Oval

The Nascar drivers are drawn from as broad a base as possible. The age of those competing varies from the youngest, Drivers who have committed to racing in Nascar and have ordered cars are:

Peter Lindenberg Gugulethu Zulu Sarel van der Merwe Jurgen Zu Bentheim George Fouche Neville Rossouw Fanie Theron J J Maree Pierre de Waal Johan Fourie

The launch of NASCAR SA series will take place late January 2000 in Johannesburg. This launch will be linked to the launch of the TV game NASCAR 2000 by Electronic Arts, which is to incorporate in the future SA Nascar drivers, sponsors and circuits.

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About this article
Series Stock car
Drivers Sarel van der Merwe , George Fouche , Peter Li