Killarney Raceway celebrates 70th birthday with Heritage Day

Killarney Raceway celebrates 70th birthday with Heritage Day
Motoring writer and racer Adrian Pheiffer (86) left with fellow Killarney International Raceway Veterans Denis Joubert (82) and dr Harry Wade (89) who received special service awards at Killarney’s 70th birthday celebrations over the weekend.

Killarney International Raceway this weekend celebrated its heritage and seventy years of racing since 1947.  Four veterans who helped to develop the track were honoured with special service awards.

Alderman J-P Smith, City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Social Services, unveiled a special commemorative board depicting the track’s history.  Springbok Sarel van der Merwe, eleven times SA Rally champion and international racer at Le Mans and Daytona, delivered a special birthday message.

More than hundred guests who had raced at Killarney or had some connection to the track, gathered at the Clubhouse for the awards presented to Adrian Pheiffer (86), Denis Joubert (82), dr Harry Wade (89) and Brian Hoskins (70).  Chairman of the Western Province Motor Club (WPMC), Gavin Cerff, and Killarney’s executive manager, Des Easom, presented the awards.

Ald Smith congratulated Killarney as “one of Cape Town’s assets, built, financed and expanded without support from government or the taxpayer.  He praised Killarney for “its extraordinary commitment to road safety by working with the City of Cape Town to provide opportunities for street racers to race under safe conditions at Killarney, instead of endangering themselves and bystanders with illegal street racing”.

The City of Cape Town is a partner of the Gumtree World Rallycross Championship to be held at Killarney on 11 and 12 November and for the next five years.  He expressed the hope that WRX would become one of Cape Town’s signature events.  Killarney offers job opportunities, especially for Dunoon residents who work at the track and also act as race marshals. ”I hope Killarney will continue its service to motor sport in Cape Town and South Africa over the next seventy years.”

Sarel van der Merwe, honorary member of Killarney, said this special racetrack helped to shape his own racing career and that of other champions like Koos Swanepoel, Denis Joubert, Deon Joubert, Peter Gough and Johan Fourie. Killarney and Zwartkops racetrack in Pretoria build and feed SA motor sport.  Rallycross will be a successful new motor sport formula, rather than an expensive Grand Prix that would take much needed sponsorship money away from South African motor sport. “Killarney, Ferrari and I have something in common – we are all seventy years old!” said the champion, widely known as “Supervan”.

Adrian Pheiffer, who still works at Killarney as motor writer and historian, was chairman of the WPMC and its predecessor, the Metropolitan Motorcycle and Motor Club (“Mets”).  He arranged the Goodwood Motor Show that saved Killarney from bankruptcy, launched go-karts in South Africa and Motocross at Killarney.

Denis Joubert, an architect and president of the WPMC, was honoured because all of the buildings on the Killarney site started on his drawing board.  He championed new facilities for income and the track’s sustainability.  He was secretary of the Mets and WPMC and WPMC chairman from 1970 to 2006.

Dr Harry Wade was recognised for his many years of service behind the scenes for any medical emergency and care at the track. Brian Hoskins was vice-chairman of WPMC for 16 years, a motorcycle racer and arguably the most knowledgeable clerk of the course in South Africa.

Killarney has become a multi-purpose race track for racing, sports and classical cars, motorcycles, go-karts, a large annual motor show (on 15 October), cycling, running and chairty events.

Guest were shown a preview of the WRX championship on 11, 12 November at Killarney.  Some of the world’s top rally drivers will compete: Johan Kristoffersson, Sebastién Loeb, Mattias Ekström, Andres Bakkerud, Ken Block and two SA rally stars, Mark Cronje and Ashley Haig-Smith.

RX cars accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in 1,9 seconds – Faster than Formula 1 cars.  They race on a tar and dirt track in amphitheatre style before an expected weekend crowd of 30 000, able to see all the action virtually all of the time.

RX is the fastest growing facet of motor sport.  The SA event will be broadcast to 160 countries and the RX racers have more than 7 million followers on social media.  Tickets are available at ticketpros.

Issued on behalf of Killarney International Raceway


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