Many years ago, in fact 46, a group of enthusiasts who due to their age and sign of respect will at this point remain nameless, got together discussing a way to participate in motor sport. Interestingly, even at that point there was a wide variety in the cars that they owned, a fact that had persisted within the Series. What then developed was the Castrol Clubmans. The original form of the races was strictly handicap racing. the competitors used to start off at timed intervals determined by the lap times set in practise. In theory if the timekeepers had done their job to perfection, all the cars would then finish at the same time. Fortunately there were many factors that prevented that, but there were some very exciting finishes. In the early days it was not unusual to see some 60 or so cars lined up at the old Kyalami to start the race.
Moving along the first real format change came about due to the size of the Clubmans fields at the original Zwartkops Drive In track, where all the cars could not be accommodated at the same time. This led to the cars being split into three groups, known as A, B and C which was very slightly based on lap times. This of course led to the fastest and slowest competitors of Group B being moved up and down all the time as well as the slowest of “A” and fastest of “C”.
Something had to change, and this was the first introduction of capacity classes, I must add that by this time the category had already abandoned the handicap single file starting system and had introduced standing start sprint races. Also around this time the first of the series name changes came about, and it became Castrol Super Saloons. Later when Castrol decided after almost 35 years of supporting the series that their marketing was going to be moved to different forms of sport and for the first time the series was without a series sponsor the name was changed to Le Mans Legends and Thundercars.
Needless to say this mouthful was rapidly shortened to Thundercars and the series ran as such for a few years up to the end of 2005. At a members “noggin” , a term used to describe the social gathering after each event where the competitors meet to discuss previous and forthcoming events, a suggestion was made that Thundercars did not really describe the wide variation of cars participating in the series. This was at the end of 2005, and the name Super Saloons was then reintroduced for 2006. Now, I have gone on record at Motor Sport South Africa meeting, saying that I cannot believe that only a name change to a series could make much difference, but I have to concede that in this case the name Super Saloons has been so much more popular that it is hard to believe.
2006 has seen a great increase in the membership with competitors from all sorts of other categories joining. One thing that has remained throughout all this is that the Association is and will remain the Clubmans Association.