Racing fever hits Buffalo City on Saturday as the SA Endurance Series takes to the East London Grand Prix Circuit with more than 29 teams taking part in round two.
Some high-powered, superfast cars will be participating on the day including Porsche Supercup GT3, Ferrari 360, 430, and 458, Aston Martin, Lamborghini Aventador and Backdraft Cobras.
In addition, there will be several LMP2 type sports and GT cars, as well as regional modified saloons and historic saloons.
The SAES series cars participate in sprint races in the morning sessions and then the main feature race in the afternoon is a four-hour endurance race, with compulsory pit stops and refuelling.
Some of the country’s best drivers will be racing it out. One of the marquee drivers will be racing legend Tschops Sipuka of Stradale Into Africa. He will be partnering with Xolile Letlaka and they will be driving the 2019 Lamborghini Huracan GT3.
Sipuka, who won back-to-back SA championships in the Engen VW cup in 2002 and 2003, commended the formula and the standard of cars that will be on show in the Roger Pearce brainchild series.
“It is one of the strongest formulas on a higher level in SA, primarily because there are wealthy people behind it; who have money behind them to buy a race car at that level and race it,” Sipuka said.
“There are FIA approved cars that are racing in Europe. The guys that can afford them, buy them in Europe and all over the world, and come race them in SA.
“This is saying to the rest world, that Africa can do it as well. Because the spec of these cars is the same as the one in Europe, though it would be a year older.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has rocked many sports in the world with motorsports not exempt.
The Qumbu-born icon elaborated on how the pandemic strangled his beloved sport and provided a way forward to finding its feet.
“As the motorsports industry, the pandemic hurt us, it hurt us in many ways,” Sipuka said.
“We still have people who are solid, who are robust and still want to be involved in motorsport; those who have the capabilities and the means.
“It is on its way back, not to its glory days but it is holding its own. I think the series that will be in East London will make a big difference, generally in motorsport.
“It’s what we have been waiting for, in terms of having the right calibre of cars, that are on an international platform.”
One of the realities that motorsport has had to grapple with in the pandemic era, is the absence of fans.
The popular driver said he felt for the fans, wishing they would get to experience the racing live, instead of catching it on a live stream.
“I think spectators would enjoy watching the calibre of cars, but the fact is that they can’t go to the track.
“There will be a live stream viewing but it is not the same as feeling, touching, and seeing the cars.”
Racing starts at 10am and the event will be live-streamed on the SA Endurance Series Facebook page.