In 2003, a group of Alfa Romeo enthusiasts got together at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria and established an informal race series for pre 1985 Alfa Romeo cars. With Zwartkops at the time running monthly “Hi-Speed Trials” open days, the perfect opportunity arose for these amateur racers to strut their stuff. With entrants ranging from standard road going Alfas from the Giulietta series of the 50’s, through to full race modified GTV 6’s, with a few Giulias, Berlinas and Suds thrown in the mix, things were bound to get exciting.

After a few events at Zwartkops and Midvaal run on a primitive handicapping system, order was required, and the Alfa Romeo Club of South Africa (ARCSA) stepped in. With the club only too happy to once again be involved in motorsport, the Trofeo members were welcomed with open arms. As things progressed, and the racing circuits had to concentrate on MSA (Motorsport South Africa) sanctioned events, opportunity to race on a casual basis became few and far between for the keen band of Trofeo drivers. Taking the bold next step, the Trofeo management stepped up to the MSA plate and took a swing. After a few months of negotiations, rules and regulation writing and submission, MSA approved the series as a sanctioned Club Championship Series, run under the control of MSA’s Northern Regions Committee. This lead to a professionally run series with clear aims and objectives. With the demise of MSA affiliation provided by association to ARCSA due to circumstances out of the Trofeo’s control, the Trofeo was incorporated into Zwartkops Racing Club (ZRC) in 2007.

The series is open to any pre-1985 Alfa Romeos (special dispensation is made for newer Alfas with notable history or race credentials, as well as other Italian Marques on application) and drivers who are paid up member of ZRC, and holders of current valid MSA Club Motorsport licences. The field is divided into 3 main classes, Ti, for standard road going vehicles with only safety based modifications, Veloce, for modified street cars, and GTA, for full blown race cars. As the series is run on a handicap system developed by the Trofeo members themselves, the chances of seeing a standard Sud going home with the laurels ahead of a 200 hp GTV on race slicks are guaranteed. Competitors are encouraged to drive their cars to and from race meetings (streetability permitting), and race budgets range from R 500.00 upwards, depending on individual needs. Ladies are also welcomed, and have provided some notable performances in the series over the past few seasons. Most Trofeo racers are avid motorsport competitors, and won’t easily let the opportunity to race slip by. Seeing a handful of Giulias chasing down Mini Coopers and Lotus Cortinas during the “Legends of the Nine Hour” series, or Alfetta GT’s and Juniors doing battle with Anglias and Escorts in HRCR Historic Touring Car events is common. Many of the Trofeo drivers have evolved from armchair racers to seasoned competitors, with one driver having made it to National Production Cars with notable success.

Trofeo drivers, however, remember their roots, and will always be at hand when saving the odd rust bucket is required. A few forgotten Alfas have been rescued and transformed at reasonable cost into competitive race cars. The Trofeo members’ love for all things Alfa is foremost, and racing, although close and competitive, would never intentionally lead to bumping and barging. A generous “parts bin” has been established informally amongst the members, with used parts often being swapped out in order to ensure these cars stay on the track. Race days are notable for their camaraderie as fellow competitors assist with mechanical repairs, racing tips, or just plain casual banter. Their aim is to see these cars with inherently sporting performance, handling and power put to good use over weekends, in the hope the passion never dies.