|For the first time in South Africa, Al Paterson and Craig Strydom put together a 1/24 Historic "Springbok" Series for drivers interested in trying to get up to the same levels as the International Racers. Using the KISS principal, entry level Plafit kits, lexan bodies with as much detail as possible, and managed Tech Control, the event was a huge success.
South Africa has long since been involved in active Slotcar racing, with clubs dating back to the 70's all around the Country. While the majority of the classes raced at Club and National level consisting of 1/24 Production type Slotcars, GRP 12's and 1/32 Specials, there's also the "plastic" 1/32 classes, which through the years have also developed into high-cost, entry-level classes. Since attending the IMCA worlds back in 2002, I immediately saw the huge potential for modelling 1/24 Scale cars here in South africa, and started doing various proposals and enquiring with our NationalOrganization about getting a 1/24 Scale class in to the Calendar. This never occurred and I came to the realization that, in order to get this class up and running, I'd have to do it myself.
Make it so Scotty...
Together with the help of Craig Strydom from Ecurie Elite Model Racing Club in Durban, and after many hours and long discussions, we finally came together at the Durban Club last weekend for the first ever running of a 1/24 scale Historic Model Car event, and, although the class/series is only 6 months old, the quality of entries and final result was awesome. The rulebook was a hybrid, including specs from various different Country's rules, and then tuned to support the local scene. A managed class, with pre-set rules, same for everyone, and especially, cheap and cost effective. We also decided on the 60's and 70's Sportscars using Lexan bodies, because that was the era when the Springbok Series was huge in SA, and all the top manufacturers and dDrivers came to SA to race these awesome cars. In an effort not to have too many duplication of liveries, we also allowed cars which ran at International events, like Mona, Le mans, Spa etc.
The finished result was superb, with first-time cars being shown on the track, looking exactly how they raced on the big tracks from way back when. Although there were only 18 entries at the event, the numbers represented 3 clubs from all over the Country, and included ex-pat Jan Roestorf from Australia coming over to assist and to compete in the class. While they have already been racing these cars for over 3 years, it was clearly evident that the class has huge potential, and the future is very bright for model car racing in South Africa.
Our intention at the end of the day is to get the 1/24 class set as a standard class in the SA National Series, and then work towards getting hard plastic bodies introduced at a later stage, or in an additional class, in order to get the SA drivers up to the same level as our International friends around the world. Based on the Social after the event, it seems the enthusiasm for the class, and the Concept itself has taken root, and will be voted in to a Nats level class at the end of year AGM.
Congratulations to everyone who attended the event, and without a doubt, the future looks good for 1.24 Model Car Racing down in South Africa.