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The African 6 Hours - P&Q Gallery
Photography by Oliver Hirtenfelder
     

Happy Visitors. Expat German Stefan Puschavez is the owner of this two car team. He invited two well-known drivers from the old country down for a holiday in the sun.
 
Hot and Cold Running Porsches. The number 194 RSR ran quite well during the race until it suffered two driveshaft failures. The ancient Porsche 910 was never able to fully cure a series of fuel system problems. Nevertheless both cars finished the race.
 
Backed Out. The two Backdraft entries are supposed to be Cobra replicas. However, their wider bodies, use of modern equipment, and decidedly non-Ford Toyota motors have earned expulsion from South African historic racing.
     

Back to Square One. The Backdraft team had a largely wasted meeting. They were the last to arrive at the circuit and completed few practice laps before the start. Both hit troubles early in the race and neither finished.
 
Results of an Evil Spell? There was to have been an historic Can-Am McLaren entered as well, but after being washed it was left too long in the African sun.
 
Parallel Lines. There are actually three straights at least partially in this view. There is the pit straight where cars travel away from the view towards start/fnished. Obscured by the guard rails is the longer “back” straight where cars travel toward the camera. To the far right is the banked straight of the rarely-used oval.
     

Happy Visitors. Expat German Stefan Puschavez is the owner of this two car team. He invited two well-known drivers from the old country down for a holiday in the sun. Frank Nöhring, crouched in front along with Michael Tischner crouched in rear drove the number 911 RSR while Puschavez ahead of him and Sean Pearce (in blue), son of race organizer Roger, co-drove in the number 119 RS. Number 911 led the race for several laps.
 
Tuscan Resurrection. The Lobb family did expect much from their newly rebuilt TVR. Phakisa was the car’s first outing after a 2011 shunt. Darryn Lobb reeled off some of the fastest laps among the production entries but the car wasjust not ready for full grind.
 
Past Perfect. All of the Porsches in the race may have been of ancient vintage but the teams were among the best run and most professional in the field.
     

Strengthening the Survivor. Spray lubricant is the generic cure-all for what ails most older cars--stubborn parts fused together. A mechanic applies some of the substance for the eventual 5th place car. There was a scramble of drivers before the race as the Scribante team’s other car blew its motor and Dino Scribante and J. P. Brendenhann jumped across to this one.
 
A Good Day . . (Gone Bad). The rest of the livery reads “To Die Hard”—a promotional for the film. This indeed was the case for the rotary-powered Lola. While it showed burst of speed it generally lagged behind the three other entered sports-racers.
 
Truth in Labeling? Johan Coetzer has perhaps just had a meal of dubious origin and awaits the outcome.
     

Filling space. As DailySportsCar was the only media outlet in the world covering the race, the lone scribe was housed in the timing tower while the erstwhile media centre was used for the drivers’ meeting. Francois Pretorious, leaning on the table, lays out the law to the teams.
 
Quiet in the Sun. Practice day was a leisurely affair. The lone session began in the afternoon. It was five hours long, leaving ample stretches with little action. The TVR is the only resident on pit lane during one of the down times.
 
Easy Riders. The course workers are transported in a locally sponsored pick-up. The South African Rand trades about 10 to the US dollar making the country a good bargain but a rebate of $280 not all that enticing.
     

Racing to Run the Race. Race director Roger Pearce shepherds a group of marshals to their posts. The event was a contrast in ages. Many of the drivers were “of a certain age” whilst most of the technicians and service people were in the first flush of youth. The younger cohort collected at the race ending rock concert while the more sensible ones retired to the canteen to swap tall tales.
 
Rainbow Design. The field was diverse not only in terms of machinery and age, but also with respect to the liveries. The bright magenta of number 75 evoked the Porsche IROC cars of the 1970s.
 
Literal Backdraft. The number 22 Cobra-esque entry experienced two fuel spills, this mild one in practice and a 10-liter loss during the race. The sloppy pit work led to several penalties.
     

Snake Pee. The crew tries to ignore the obvious. The pit floor is awash and needs tending to.
 
Pointing to the Future. Built for the oval track the hospitality suites were used just once. There are plans to refurbish them for future endurance races and the hopeful return of the Moto GP.
 
Aging Historics. After nearly 40 years of action the old girl is putting on some weight.