Road­sters add new di­men­sion


The Citizen (KZN) - - Motorsport - An­dre de Kock

Teams from the United King­dom, Swe­den and Dubai join in on ac­tion.

Au­nique South African mo­tor­sport pro­gramme will see the light this year, with the Back­draft Rac­ing com­pany based in Dur­ban to lend 10 race-ready Road­sters to new teams for the 2020 SA En­durance Rac­ing Se­ries.

Back­draft Rac­ing is headed up by for­mer South African Driver’s Cham­pion Tony Martin who says: “Ev­ery­thing I have came from mo­tor­sport, and I feel the time has come to put some­thing back into the sport.

“This is not a gim­mick and the cars are all pre­pared to within a cou­ple of kW of each other and are iden­ti­cal in ev­ery other way. We are loan­ing cars to teams ca­pa­ble of com­pet­ing at this level of rac­ing and all we are ask­ing in re­turn is they guar­an­tee to be ready and present for both prac­tice and the race at each event in the se­ries.”

Apart from lo­cal teams, the of­fer has been taken up by equipes from the United King­dom, one from Swe­den and one from Dubai.

The South African En­durance Rac­ing se­ries con­sists of six events at cir­cuits around the coun­try and are all four-hour races ex­cept for the fi­nal at Kil­lar­ney, Cape Town in De­cem­ber that will be a marathon seven-hour event.

The Back­draft Road­sters are open-top rac­ers pow­ered by a 300hp Lexus V8 en­gine driv­ing the rear wheels through a BMW gear­box and BMW lim­ited slip dif­fer­en­tial. “They are raw, pow­er­ful and pur­pose-built race cars,” says Martin. “There are no elec­tronic aids such as trac­tion con­trol or anti-lock brak­ing. They are true driver’s cars.”

While the com­pet­ing teams are free to bring their own spon­sors on board to cover the gen­eral run­ning costs, they will not be al­lowed to make any mod­i­fi­ca­tion to the Road­sters be­yond ba­sic race-day and han­dling setup.

“We will have a fully kit­ted parts trans­porter at each race with a full range of spares avail­able. Back­draft will have their own ‘po­lice­man’ – Brian Clifton – to as­sist com­peti­tors and to en­sure com­pli­ance to the rules.

“Noth­ing on the en­gine, trans­mis­sion or brakes can be changed – in fact, no per­for­mance en­hanc­ing mod­i­fi­ca­tions will be al­lowed,”Martin says.

Com­pet­ing in the se­ries are a wide range of mar­ques in­clud­ing Lam­borgh­ini, Fer­rari and Porsche along­side sports cars such as Ginetta, Ligier, Nash and Juno.

In all, Back­draft Rac­ing will have at least 13 cars for the 2020 sea­son with es­tab­lished pair­ing Brian Martin and Trevor Gra­ham con­tin­u­ing to cam­paign for their eas­ily recog­nis­able red Road­ster.

A com­pletely new car is be­ing read­ied for Tony Martin and Mike McLough­lin. Cur­rent Kwa-Zu­luNatal Sports Car Cham­pion Dun­can dos Reis will be one of the driv­ers of the new Road­sters along­side Da­mon Parker, while well-known his­toric driver Colin El­li­son will part­ner with Peter Jenk­ins. The UK team will con­sist of Mark Owens with Ital­ian Jean-Marie Gab­biani as co-driver while Thomas Kum­mer­ling and his son Ja­cob will be the Swedish en­try.

Dubai Back­draft im­porter Rudi Pa­tior and an­other will be com­pet­ing. Broth­ers Gary and Nigel

Richard­son will form an­other team as will Gra­ham and Ta­nia du Toit. An­other top KZN driver, Steve Clark still has to an­nounce his co-driver as does Cape Town’s Brian Morgan.

“The spec­ta­cle of these 10 Back­draft Road­sters rac­ing one an­other and the rest of the field is go­ing to add a whole new di­men­sion to the se­ries this year,” en­thuses Martin. “Within the se­ries it­self there will be a Road­ster class – so if any­one has a road­ster and wants to join the fun, they are more than wel­come.”

The sea­son-opener will be a four-hour race at Aldo Scrib­ante near Port El­iz­a­beth on 21 March.

For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Brian Martin on 082 455 3737 or

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