6 Petrolheaded Activities for South Africans

Pablo Clark

We've all been starved of fun experiences during this dreadful COVID19 pandemic, so as more opportunities open up to move around and "live" again, what should be on your shortlist as a South African petrolhead? We take a look at 6 musts.

By: Wilhelm Lutjeharms
Pictures: Supplied 

Track day: Pablo Clark Racing

Pablo Clark Racing

Who wouldn’t want to experience a Ferrari racing car? Ferrari specialist Pablo Clark offers track days at Zwartkops Raceway. They have a fleet of Ferrari 360 Challenge cars at their disposal and you can either opt to be driven around the track with an instructor, or you can take the wheel yourself. Packages start at R9 775 and go up to R20 650. 

Website: http://www.pabloclark.com/#services

Passenger laps costs: R9 775 (four high-speed laps)

Self-drive costs: R20 650

How often: Around 4 times a year at Kyalami as well as at Zwrtkops when possible.

Supercar Gift Experience

    Ariel Atom

    This company offers a very wide variety of options, even including some off-road excursions, for the more gravel-oriented among you. What got our attention is the option to drive five supercars in one day... The list includes cars such as the Ferrari 458 Spider, Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4, Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Carrera S and even an Ariel Atom. You will drive a total of 15 laps. You will also receive on-track tuition and have a professional driving instructor to assist you. 

    Do note that the company offers various options. You can select to only experience passenger laps, or drive a single car, or only drive the Lamborghini and Ferrari.

    Website: www.giftexperience.co.za

    Costs: R7499 (several options)

    How often: Several times a year in Gauteng and Cape Town.

    Road trip

      Roadtrip Hartbeespoort

      We reside in arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world for a proper road trip. Whether it is for 150 km or 1 500 km, South Africa offers a myriad of options across a vast road network and an everchanging landscape.
      There are numerous websites that make booking accommodation easy and affordable and then there are also the quirky farm stalls to stop at along the way. If your car (or motorcycle) can do gravel driving, it opens an even wider selection of roads and places to visit. 

      Advanced driving courses


        BMW driving course

        When it comes to advanced driving courses and a product offering that cuts across several market segments, BMW ranks at the top in South Africa. Based at Zwartkops Raceway, there are a host of safety, skid, performance and off-road courses on offer. Some of these courses are also available for their Mini products, while there is even a trip you can book to drive in Namibia. You can also buy a voucher as a gift for a loved one.

        Website: BMW Driving Experience and My BMW Events

        Costs: R2 500 to R8 000


        VW T-Cross skid pan

        Another local manufacturer that offers regular and rather thorough driving courses is Volkswagen. You can choose from safety driving courses in cars from nearly their entire line-up, as well as high-performance driving courses in either the Golf GTI (GTI 8 from late next month) to the Golf R. Each course takes a full day and includes lunch as well. 

        Website: vw.co.za

        Costs: R3 130 to R4 350 


        Mercedes-AMG driving course

        Also based at Zwartkops Raceway, Mercedes-AMG offers a wide selection of courses. There is a strong focus on safety, high-performance driving and a combination of both. The cars on offer range from the Mercedes-AMG A45 S, C63 S to the hardcore Mercedes-AMG GT-R. Having personally experienced the manager of these courses, Clint Weston, behind the wheel, I can vouch for it being an unforgettable thrill.  

        Website: amg.mercedes-benz.co.za

        Costs: R3 650 to R15 850 

        Go karting

          Rental Karts

          Most Formula One drivers cut their racing teeth in these little machines, and there are good reasons for that. So, why not find out where your nearest karting arena is and take a few friends with to figure out who is best? It will be some of the best fun you can have on four wheels. MCP Rental Karts is based at Zwartkops Raceway and they offer a wide variety of options, from racing for the little ones and introductory courses to full-on wheel-to-wheel action for adults. 

          Website: rentalkarts.co.za

          Costs: R400 to R7 500

          How often: Contact for more information 

          Visit a museum


            It might be useful to contact certain car clubs and ask them about small, possibly private motoring museums to visit in a specific area. However, less than an hour’s drive from Cape Town, you will find the Franschhoek Motor Museum. It offers four halls housing a rich history spanning around 100 years of automotive heritage. The museum guides know the history of each car and the small restaurant is perfect for a bite or a drink afterwards. Also watch out for events that are held at the museum throughout the year. 

            If you want another interesting experience, you can book a “classic drive” in one of the cars for a bargain price of R80. It is up to the museum to decide which car, based on availability.

            Website: www.fmm.co.za

            Entry fee: R60 – R80

            Note that booking is essential

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