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The History

1968 - 1995

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In October 1995, the Cape Hell Drivers had their first race meeting at Killarney. Just imagine, a tar track and only a small vibracrete wall, on the now called “Engen Corner”, was all that protected the spectators from the icy wind that we’ve all become accustom to. With many of the drivers, unfamiliar with tar set ups, you can just imagine the chaos at the first race meeting. Tyres screaming, cars spinning, man, it must’ve bee a serious learning curve. In December 1998 Abie Drotschie put word out that the Club intended to move the Grandstands from Goodwood and relocate them to Killarney. Tandem Cranes and Nato Transport jumped to the challenge.                                                                                                                   

All the guys and girls involved with the club, arrived at the Goodwood Show Grounds, with their 10 pound hammers, for a “Work Party”. They were ready to break down the stand for relocation. The hard work was far from complete! Every thing was demolished and moved to Killarney. In those days things looked completely different to what they are now. The pit area was situated behind Fontini Corner and the Start/Finish line was opposite it’s current location. The control tower was on the opposite side of the track. In January 1988 the Cape Hell Drivers invited some British Drivers to Goodwood, to compete against our drivers.                     

This was exceptional entertainment for all, including the drivers. So when the club decided to invite them a second time in January 1998 to the tar, they were more than eager to take our boys on. Since the Cape Hell Drivers have been at Killarney, there have not been to many changes in the Chairman positions, Andrew Fontini, Kieth Bateman, Andrew Fontini, Ernie Kleyhaus, Martin Neethling, Andrew Fontini and currently Andre Welsh is the chairman. Stock Cars, are no longer Stock Cars on tar, it is now referred to as “Oval Track Racing”. All the bumpers are gone and with this change, came a whole new look; the cars are now well prepared and  look very “Snazzy”.                                                                                                     

Things are definitely faster than in years gone by. This attracts a lot of speed freaks, who use the opportunity to rid themselves of day to day driving in the traffic. Let’s just make a point, a similar size dirt track, has a lap time of +/- 21.5 sec. On tar, the same class, averages a lap time of around 16.8 seconds. A rather large difference in speed! The club took a bit of a knock in numbers when they moved from gravel to tar, but have gradually increased them over the years. The Cape Hell Drivers are now running 7 different classes, consisting of: Hotrods, 2.1L Modifieds, 1660’s V8’s, Midgets, Mini’s and the newly established “Clubmans” class. The Mini Class is aimed at a new generation of Oval Track drivers. This class is for scholars, between the ages of 10 and 18. This class has grown extremely fast, and is very competitive amongst the youngsters.                                                                                      

Some of these drivers have moved on to the 1660 and V8 classes and are among the front runners in the class. The club has gone from strength to strength since its doors first opened. We are proud to say that the Cape Hell Drives is one of the few Clubs that still belongs to the drivers.

The following is an extract from the CHD website  setting out the clubs more recent history since the relocation from the Goodwood venue in 1995. It vividly describes the “metamorphosis” the club underwent when all racing become tar based as opposed to dirt in the past. The change being made, has seen the club go from strength to strength and with a lot of new blood.

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The Cape Hell Drivers are alive and well and can be seen in action at the Killarney Tar Oval Raceway. There’s much to be said about The Cape Hell Drivers during the Goodwood era, the atmosphere, the heroes of the time and, and, and….. and that’s the “history” and the purpose of this website, an account of the then and with recognition of the illustrious history of the Cape Hell Drivers that must surely create a sense of pride for members and drivers past and present. The relocation and subsequent setup at Killarney has ushered a new generation of racing drivers and opened doors for youngsters to participate and show their metal and possibly become the racing greats of tomorrow.

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