Port Elizabeth race fans have a fun-filled day of track action to look forward to for the whole family, when the 2019 Eastern Province circuit racing championships blast into action at the weekend’s season opener at the Aldo Scribante Racetrack Saturday 16 February. To make it even more exciting, several top EP racers are keeping plans close to their chests in the lead up, so it’s all quite mysterious as the cloak and dagger progresses…

Top of the bill promises to be the Eastern Province Saloon Car Championship with over 34 cars expected to fill the grid, but never forget the rest of the EP race highlights including the super-quick Unlimited Motorcycles as well as the Historic, PSP and Breakfast Run bikers, while back on four wheels the exciting Sports & GT cars and always entertaining and Coastal Saloons, Classic and Street and Fine Cars will be doing their thing too.

While details remained a bit sketchy at the time of writing, it will be all to play for at the sharp end of the EP Modified Saloons grid now that 74-year old Class A champion Celso Scribante has retired from racing. Son Aldo will however be out to take on Nick Davidson’s similar Audi S4 and Bevan Schwartz’ Corvette up front, while new to the Bay cars are said to include an Audi TT and a Toyota Celica and we hear of a former GTC Chevy Cruze set to run interference too.

Class B champion Ian Riddle will be out to defend his title in his BMW 328i, but he should have Kevin Kelly’s now orange Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Deon Slabbert’s Polo and Thys Geyser’s Golf among his rivals to deal with, while overall champion Gordon Nolan and his red Polo will have the BMWs of James Mattison and Anthony Bridgett on his case too.

Champion George van Baalen, Richard Rath (Nissan), Jeff Guscott (Porsche 928S) and Stephan Aucamp (Jetta) should star in Class D and Derik Gouws (BMW), Neil Roos (Polo), Michael Hart (Golf) and Daniel Bright (Golf) will be out to start their Class E titles in style. Fanie Aucamp (Jetta), Ryan Britton (Golf), Wickus Basson (BMW) and Theo Scholtz (Polo) will also fight it out in baby class Class F.

The two wheel battles will see the likes of George rider Ricardo Otto (Yamaha) out to beat Regardt Koen (Yamaha), while  Masters rider Roberto Jonker (BMW) can be expected to take up battle with Daryl Norton (Yamaha), Rudolf Kleinhans (Yamaha) and Ivor Vermaak (Kawasaki).

Masters B man Gerrie Havenga (Yamaha) took the smaller-bore bike laurels last time out and he should have lady racer Zante Otto (Honda 300), Chad Bilsbury (Honda 400), Historics champ Jaco Scholtz, 650 Twin rider Paul Jansen (Kawasaki),  Ray Wood (Honda) and Breakfast Run race Mark O’Keefe to keep him honest.

Back on four wheels, PE’s wild and wonderful sports cars will be out as usual, where Tanya Watts and her Shelby will want to start her new Sports & GT season up front, where she left the last one off, but Alwyn Kretzmann, Kean Barnard and Fred Ballinger’s Lotus 7s should be among the men out to prevent that from happening.

The Club Saloon classes will see historics racer Johan Barnard (Kadett) keen to get out front, but Coastal Challenge men Rane Berry (Skyline), Ian Thompson (Rekord) and Joel Steenekamp (Kadett) are out to stop him while Darryn Vice (Anglia), Gordon Bennett (Rekord), Alfa couple Paul Griffin and Angelique Griffin, Ronald Scott (Escort) and Ari Bezuidenhout (Alfa Romeo) will do battle in the classes.

The Street & Fine Car races always deliver excitement and variety at Aldo and Saturday should be no different, with BMW trio Francois and Tertius Wium and Shaun Benn dicing Riaan Van Huyssteen (Citi Golf), Robin Venter (Conquest), Fred Ballinger (Birkin 7), Andrew Greenland (Datsun) and Gordon Nicolsan (GT-R), among others.

Guaranteed to be a fun-filled day for the whole family, pack your gazebos, cooler bags, braai and deckchairs early Saturday morning 16 February and head for Aldo Scribante Race Track on Kyalami Road, Coega — that’s just off the N2 on the R335. You will pay R50 per adult at the gate, kids are free and good food and refreshments will be available as always, qualifying starts 8am, with three races per class from 09h45. See you there!