The Emerald Resort and Casino in Vanderbijlpark, Johannesburg will be a hive of activity this coming weekend as it hosts the inaugural Emerald Speed Fest. The event will comprise of modern road cars, racecars and supercars competing against the clock along a 1,6 km (one mile) custom-made racetrack on the premises. The quickest car/driver combination of the weekend will be crowned Master of the Mile.
There will be five classes to compete in at the Emerald Speed Fest. These are: Historic Cars, Road Performance and Supercars, Modified Saloon Cars and Sportscars. The final class is called Master of the Mile and will comprise of competitors from all the categories. The overall winner will be determined by the fastest times recorded and will walk away with the Master of the Mile Trophy as well as a trip for two to Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Motorsport fans who attend the event can expect to see several historic racers and built-for-purpose machinery vying for top honours. Among the contenders are former winners of the Simola Hillclimb Franco Scribante and André Bezuidenhout, the latter happens to be a friend and supporter of this very site. Watch our exclusive interview with the multiple King of the Hill at the bottom of this post.
Click here to see our bespoke image galleries from the 2019 Simola Hillclimb.
Bezuidenhout will be driving his Martini Porsche RSR in the Historic Cars category said: “The organizers of this event have gone out of their way to attract a quality field and all the competitors are really looking forward to show their skills and equipment. I predict that the event will go from strength to strength.”
Another highlight for many fans will undoubtedly be the outrageous Nissan GT-R of Franco Scribante. With outlandish aero addenda and an abundance of power, the all-wheel-drive turbocharged monster is a crowd favourite and stands a good chance to take the overall crown.
Said Scribante, “We’ve been waiting for an event, like this, to take place in Gauteng. I’m excited about the challenge, because it’s an even playing field as none of us has raced on this high downforce circuit before”.
Open pit area and entertainment
The pit area will be open to the public across all three days. Fans are encouraged to take loads of photos of their favourite machinery and interact with the racing drivers. Attendees can expect to see hot action on track and plenty off it, too. Among the activities will be classic car displays, lifestyle retail exhibitors, live music and a beer garden. There are also big screens for fans to watch all the racing action.