UK bike champions to make pitstop at Zwartkops tomorrow

SIZZLING SUPERBIKE: The racing Norton V4 has competed in the Isle of Man TT races and helps to develop the handling of the range, which gets transferred into the road-going Norton machinery

IT’S that time of the year again when history on wheels and the sounds of long-forgotten era race bikes will fill the air.

Mick Grant’s touring team of British champions have been coming for a sunshine tour around South Africa’s race tracks for almost a decade and this year his visiting team of former champions and friends will be out on the tarmac once again.

The two-leg series will start in Gauteng at the Zwartkops raceway tomorrow.

The day of champions will see parades at the classic race, which has become the biggest drawcard of the year on local racing calendars.

Sunday’s programme will be a full 16-race and parade calendar that will see some of the most exotic Suzuki, Norton, Honda, AJs, Matchless Ducatti Grand Prix motorcycles from the golden era of racing.

The show will move to the Cape a week later to complete the two-leg series for the SA TT Revival.

The big news is the participation by Norton Motorcycle Ltd, from the UK.

They will be sending a selection of famous Norton race bikes to the event for this special day.

Owner and CEO of the re-incarnated Norton motorcycle company, Stuart Garner, who will be there as well, says this is because South Africa played a unique part in the history of Norton motorcycles, and will always have a place in the future plans for the famous marque.

“After all,” Garner said, “South Africa was the breeding ground of so many famous Norton riders, with men like Jim Redman, Gary Hocking, Paddy Driver, and many, many more learning their craft on Norton’s and then arriving in Europe and successfully taking on the world’s best.

“We want to celebrate that, and what better way than by taking part in the wonderful event put on every year by Zwartkops.”

This historic rotary engine Norton superbike that won a British Superbike championship and also starred in many Isle of Man TT races will be there.

The V4 engined SG1 TT race bike will also be seen on track during the day.

The new 900cc Commando Sport and Commando Café Norton models will also feature.

They will be available in very limited numbers in South Africa next year.

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