Killarney 70th


In late September, Killarney hosted a breakfast to celebrate its platinum anniversary. Sponsored by Crossley & Webb, the event brought together many celebrities who have been involved with the circuit’s seven-decade history. It all started in1947 when the Divisional Council bypassed a section of the main road to Malmesbury and allowed the Amateur Automobile Racing Club (AARC) to use the old road for motor sport. Before long, the Metropolitan Motorcycle and Car Club took over the responsibility and in 1950 purchased 51 hectares of adjoining land to develop a circuit. The initial track was just 1 km in length, but was soon extended to 1,85 km. In 1954 it was increased to 2,687 km and in 1960 to its current 3,267 km. In 1965 the Mets, AARC and various other clubs amalgamated to form the circuit’s present-day owners, the Western Province Motor Club (WPMC). Over the years the facility has been expanded to include kart, short circuit, tar oval, drag, robot, drifting and off-road racing and, this year, rallycross as Killarney prepares to host the final round of the World Championship on November 11-12.

SA racing legend Sarel van der Merwe was present and in his speech mentioned that Killarney and Zwartkops were the only two circuits in the country that actively provided much needed feeding channels into motor sport, and praised the Cape circuit for its contribution to the country’s motor sport heritage. Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security Alderman J-P Smith also commended Killarney for its development, glamour and economic contribution to tourism, and support of the local community and Cape charities.

Four stalwarts of Killarney were honoured at the function – Adrian Pheiffer, Denis Joubert, Dr Harry Wade, all of whom were instrumental in establishing and developing the circuit from the outset, and Brian Hoskins. At the end of the function, a commemorative plaque was unveiled in the grounds of the clubhouse in honour of what has become not only the home of motorsport in the Western Cape, but an international multi-purpose event facility.