08 Dec Killarney is now World Class
Killarney is now World Class
The 2017 motorsport season in the Cape has undoubtedly been the most successful since the opening of the Killarney circuit 70 long years ago. And the year closed with the biggest and best of them all — the last round of the 2017 Rallycross World Championship.
The near capacity crowd that implanted themselves at Killarney that November weekend, was treated to possibly the finest display of high speed motor racing on the ragged edge, South African spectators have ever been privileged to see.
It attracted the largest crowd to any event ever staged on the Cape’s west coast. And despite it being the first year of our participation in rallycross, the overseas drivers rated the new circuit — that is adjacent to Dunoon — as the second best of the 12 they raced on in Britain, Europe and America, during the recent world series.
As a result IMG, the world rallycross controllers in Britain, had no hesitation in awarding Killarney a contract for future championship events and plans are already going ahead for the last round of the 2018 title chase, to be held here late in November.
And with the public having been so enthusiastic about the first one, there seems no doubt that even bigger grandstands are going to have to be constructed for the next thriller.
But of course, that’s not all we did. The Killarney Motor Show was a very different event. No racing and no noise, but there were literally thousands of cars, motorcycles, tractors and anything else with wheels, all on display together with a number of wacky stunts that entertained the relaxed and appreciative crowd.
One of the best of these was the Titan Monster Truck. Now while Monster Trucks are hugely popular in America, this is the first vehicle of this type to be seen in South Africa. With its big 7-litre Ford V8 motor transmitting the power through a Mercedes automatic gearbox to the giant, chest high wheels, it has no trouble driving over and crushing ordinary motor vehicles.
And that’s what it did at the Killarney Motor Show.
But although essentially a motorsport complex, the committee at the circuit remains conscious of the needs of the local populace. The majority of the Killarney staff members are from Dunoon, while when extras were needed during the construction of the rallycross circuit, they were recruited from the same area.
Then Wingfield Motors, a company that sponsors the local Power Series and has a strong association with Killarney, has launched a unique scheme to help Dunoon youngsters get a start in motor racing. Targeting the Mini class on the stock car circuit that is limited to entries from boys and girls aged from 12 to 18, they have entered two suitably modified and maintained Minis, exclusively for the use of Dunoon scholars.
Clubman champion Danie van Niekerk is among the experts who help teach the pupils the basics of motor racing. The result is that the scheme has been enthusiastically received and is going from strength to strength.
Finally, with only the traditional Streetfest still ahead on Dec. 27, everyone at the Killarney International Raceway is looking forward to an even better season in 2018, than the one they are about to leave behind. .