Words by Colin van Son Photography by Racepics.co.za
The BMW Car Club Gauteng made history twice on Sunday the 1st of November 2015. First when we held our very first Bridgestone Track Day at Red Star Raceway in Delmas, Mpumalanga, which was hosted by Auto Alpina Springs. But we were pioneers for a second time and again made history where the Bridgestone BMW Club Racing Series was the first ever car race to be held at Red Star Raceway.
Originally this Bridgestone Track Day was to be held at Kyalami, but with the circuit renovations only likely to be complete in early 2016, we had no options but to look at alternatives and we managed to secure Red Star Raceway.
At the outset, allow me to dispel the myths that the Red Star Raceway circuit is only for motorcycles and is too narrow for car racing. Utter nonsense. The track is 10 metres wide, some 2 meters wider than some other circuits the club has frequented in the past. And this myth was blown even further to smithereens when we had 3 race cars abreast going into Turn 1 with many people closing their eyes and expecting to see car body parts flying all over the show, but this was not the case. At Red Star Raceway, 3 into 1 goes. And despite the tight and twisty nature of the circuit, the racing was incredibly exciting and entertaining, particularly Race 2.
For our first Track Day at Red Star Raceway, we had a fantastic turnout and there was a great deal to do for the spectators. In addition to the well stocked canteen, there were another 3 food vendors to choose from as well as the customary Bridgestone Hot Laps which converts R100 into a smile from ear to ear. A great selection of BMW Lifestyle and Accessories was on display from our sponsoring dealership Auto Alpina Springs. The guys from ZF and Castrol were on hand to demonstrate their product offerings.
The facilities at Red Star Raceway are truly top notch. The circuit is in fantastic condition and is both very safe and very forgiving. Very forgiving in the sense that if you go off you end up doing one or two pirouttes, get your bearings again and get back on track. There is a big swimming pool with a permanent medic to keep the kids entertained for the day. There are also a limited number of chalets at very good prices as well as loads of space to camp or caravan. With Red Star Raceway being a mere 30 minutes from the East of JHB and under an hour from Pretoria, this is very likely to become a mini-family weekend away in the vein of Phakisa with a Braai on a Friday night followed by the Track Day on the Saturday.
I personally can't wait to come back to Red Star Raceway in 2016! See you there!