RACE REPORT BY HAYLEY – Cape Town brings on the Spirit with Mischief Garage’s iLamuna 9hrs held at Killarney – 06 July 2024

Mischief Garage’s iLamuna 9 hours held at Killarney International Raceway in association with Dunlop, Eezi Parts, ATS Motorsport, Do Epic Shit Adventures and Bumblebee brought on some mischievous racing to the Cape on Saturday, 6 July 2024.

This will be the fifth time this very race format has been used since the inaugural race in October of 2022. All previous races were held at Redstar Raceway in Delmas and now for the first, but hopefully not the last, the race has brought its way to the city of Cape Town.

The target of the race is to assemble a team of two, three or four drivers with volunteering pit crew and find a race car in what an average race team would call an ugly duckling. Then the fun begins! Teams are then allowed to transform their lemon, even if it’s their wife’s old hatchback, into winner-worthy material as long as they don’t go over the budget of R55k. Safety Equipment such as a roll cage, racing seat and seatbelt, fire extinguisher and cutout switch are excluded from the budget.

The race is a never ender, with the odds of a breakdown and cars posing a threat to the other drivers during the 9-hour, red flags never bring the race to a stop – instead, yellow flags are brought into the solution and the cars form behind a safety car whilst marshals and the rescue team clear the track of all danger and debris. Racing will then restart with the wave of a green flag once the safety car has entered the pits.

With spirit and determination, the winner of the endurance race will be the team with the most completed laps and all teams with a lap time faster than 1 min 35 seconds get their lap deleted as penalty. Bonus laps are also given to teams if they had the ‘gees’ Mischief garage was looking for as that is the aim of the game.

The debut Cape Town endurance race kicked off on Saturday with a rolling start at 10:15 sharp. With 36 of 38 lemons lined up, engines revving, they started the race behind the pace car for a formation lap before rolling into the zest of things. Teams – Mad Spanners and Lemon Kush – did not start, with hopes that both teams would be up and running sometime soon. 

Three yellow flags were brought into the mix before the 2-hour mark, whereby Team Ironhide withdrew from the competition because of problems with their car and therefore decided to climb into their spare car to complete the 9hr for fun and was not included in the results. Along with team Ironhide, team Kompresshaar withdrew from the race as well.

Speedy fish racers took their name a bit too seriously encroaching the 4-hour mark as they needed a recovery vehicle to tow them back to the pits. A safety car had been deployed and the yellow flag was called for. Unfortunately, Harp Motorsport received a -1 lap penalty for overtaking under yellow.

Following Speedy Fish Racers, Optimus Lemon needed a straight-forward tow as well, deploying the safety car. Recovery and the safety car had been told to stay out as team Mischief Garage needed some help behind the old stock car pits on the exit of turn 1.

Noise levels went up when team Warm Wiele had lost their exhaust pipe exiting the main straight and continued without a spare the rest of the race. Not only did they raise the noise, but the ‘gees’ too. Warm Wiele won the Best Team Spirit award at prizegiving.

Soon later, Warm Wiele had to unfortunately withdraw due to a burnt-out valve which caused them to run for an hour on 3 out of 4 cylinders before their head gasket blew. Warm Wiele comprising of Kieran Stadler, Adrian Stadler and Marthinus Wolmarens finished 33rd overall.

The Smurfs, a team consisting of only rookies – Johannes Cloete Snr, Johannes Cloete Jnr and Raynier Cloete – who know the track well, finished the race with a surprising 8th place result. This was four places behind their competition, Delta 4, who consisted of professional racing drivers – Yanni Hatzi, Divan Wentzel, Kosie Swanepoel and Jacobus de Kock – who finished the race in 4th place overall.

Nearing the finish, team Circuit Breakers started leaking fuel on track resulting in the car coming to a halt on the exit of turn 1. This brought out the full course yellow flag and safety car.

A few minutes later, a pit marshal had reported that the car of DD Racing had gotten stuck in the entrance to the pits and called for the marshal to give him a boost back onto the main straight.

Optimus Lemon came to a stop at Killarney’s oval track, however, managed to rejoin a bit later with a half an hour left to go and entered the pits. While exiting the pitlane the car suffered some engine difficulties and although made their way onto the straight, had to pull off on the exit of turn 1. A safety car and yellow flag had been called for the final time within the 9 hours.

As the fireworks were set to go off Eezy Peezy Lemon Squeezy crossed the finish line in 1st place with 307 laps, Boetfighters following in 2nd with 304 laps and Suur Lemoene in 3rd with 301 laps.

Along with the Top 3 prizes, came the also very impressive awards. The Most Legendary Team award went to Induction Noise, while Dewaldt Nascar received Best Team Theme, Team PolypINK as Best Lemon Ever and the Best-Looking Lemon Award to Acme Racing.

The 9hr of Lemons mischievously  brought out the fun and uniqueness at Killarney.

A huge thank you to the event’s sponsors, to Killarney International Raceway for hosting, but most of all to the racers, pit crew and supporters. Cape Town’s first race was epic!

We hope to see a few of Killarney’s local racers at the next round of iLamuna, a 24hr, at Redstar Raceway on 1 – 3 November 2024.

Image and Text by Hayley Zaayman