24 Oct MAGNIFICENT CLIMAX FOR POWER SERIES AT KILLARNEY – Review of 20 October 2018
The eighth and final round of the Wingfield Motors Power Series at Killarney International Raceway, themed as the Pink Power Series in support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, delivered a magnificent climax to an often dramatic season with ultra-close racing in perfect weather, and a level of support for the Cancer Association of South Africa that proved motorsport enthusiasts have their hearts in the right place.
They poured on to the Kfm Straight for the lunchtime Fan Walk to meet the Formula Libre drivers and have a closer look at the cars (or, for a few lucky fans, a selfie sitting in one!). Very few left the circuit with their hair the same colour as when they’d arrived, thanks to the Cansa volunteers with their spray-cans of pink and silver hair colouring.
The closest racing of the day, however, was provided by the Burly Pro GTI Challenge brigade; after early leader Francois van Tonder (VW Polo 6R) dropped out, Jurie Swart and his two-litre Polo came home unchallenged in Race 1, with Colin Nicholas Meder (VW Polo 6R) second and Eden Thompson (Golf Mk1) third – less than half a second ahead of Gideon Serfontein’s 1.8-litre Golf 2.
The second race was a real humdinger, with Van Tonder, Swart and Meder swopping places on every lap before finishing in that order with 0.034sec covering all three.
The Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons fielded the second-largest grid of the day with 36 starters for Race 1 and again the hot racing was at the sharp end of the field as Mansoor Parker (BMW 328), Mike Venlet (two-litre VW Golf Mk1), Anwar Levy (BMW 325) and Jurie Parker (Nissan Skyline R33) battled it out for line honours, finishing in that order within 3.3 seconds.
Race 2 was even closer, as Danie van Niekerk (BMW 325) beat Michael le Sueur to the line by just 0.188sec, with Basie Burger a distant third in his VW Golf Mk1.
The biggest grid was that of the Shatterfix Fine Cars and Classic Cars, with a near-record total of 40 starters for Race 1. Nevertheless, there was no stopping the indecently rapid Ford Escort Mk1 of Franco Donadio, who led every lap and won by 3.4 seconds from Robin Forbes’ thundering 5.7-litre Corvette Stingray, with Trevor Momberg third in his 3.4-litre Ford V6 Capri.
Deon Joubert drove the irreplaceable ex-Hennie van der Linde Sabat Skyline 2.8 GTX to a conservative fourth in Race 1, but elected not to come out for Race 2, which saw Donadio extend his advantage to nearly 15 seconds from Forbes, Momberg, Eric van der Merwe (Porsche 944) and Eric Mouton’s 6.3-litre Chev De Ville – all four of whom crossed the line within less than seven seconds after nine flat-out laps.
The Index of Performance for Fine Cars was won by the VW Passat of Maurizio Toscano, with Niel Mouton second in a 1972 Alfa Giulia and Sakkie van Zyl third in his three-litre Ford 20M.
Defending champion Fabio Tafani lost out to Sean Moore by just 0.570sec in the first V8 Masters race, but avenged that unusual defeat in Race 2 with a hard-fought win by just 0.332sec from Moore, with Marcel Angel a further 0.451sec adrift in a thriller finish.
Jaco Lambert and Jarryd Evans led home the charge of the Makita Supercars in Race 1, finishing just 0.122sec apart after a superb tussle with Ryan McCarthy and Martin Bensch in the early stages; by the end, however, Lambert and Evans had stretched their advantage to almost 15 seconds, just two seconds behind the back of the V8 pack.
McCarthy romped away to win the class in Race 2 by almost five seconds, while Lambert and Glen Phillips disputed second, finishing .222sec apart after eight torrid laps.
Clinton Thorne’s Toyota-engined Birkin 7 qualified on pole and led every lap of both Pirelli Sports & GT races, followed home in Race 1 by Gary Kieswetter’s Porsche 911 GT3 RS, while the debate for third was decided between the Nissan Shelby Canams of Mike Verrier and Martin Pugh.
In the absence of the Pugh Canam, Verrier and Kieswetter followed Thorne home in Race 2 with Louis de Jager’s Lola T212 a distant fourth.
Dee-Jay Booysen (Formula RM 08) and Josh Dolinschek (Formula Ford Mygaler) put up a superb dice for the lead in the first Formula Libre race, finishing in that order less than a second apart, well ahead of Sean le Riche’s Formula Renault. In Race 2, however, Booysen got the bit between his teeth and walked away to win by almost four seconds from Dolinschek and Le Riche.
The RST Suzuki South Superbike races produced the dice of the day between brothers Brandon and Bernard Haupt, on the Fueled Racing R1s, who swopped places at least once on every lap until Bernard slid off at Turn 5 on lap eight. He remounted to finish 14th as younger brother Brandon, already the 2018 Regional champion, cruised home ahead of Gerrit Visser (Samurai R1).
Quintin Ebden (Milu R1) got the best of an epic five-way dice for third with Malcom Rapson (Kawasaki ZX-10R), Jean-Baptiste Racoupeau (Gaming Guru ZX-10R), Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R) and Mark van den Berg (Suzuki GSX-R1000) who finished in that order within 0.807sec!
Bernard was back to lead Race 2, until Brandon pulled the pin with four laps to go and pulled away to win by more than four seconds, with Racoupeau third, just ahead of a Master Class showdown between Rapson, Cragg, Van den Berg and Ebden, who came home in that order covered by just more than a second.
Jos Troch (Apex CBR1000 RR) finally got the better of giant-killer Joske Kotze’s Kawasaki ZX6R to win the first Clubman’s race by a scant 0.122sec, with early leader Bronte Heinrich (Ducati 996) a distant third and Nathier Taliep the best of the Breakfast Runners in seventh overall on his Suzuki GSX-R750.
The second race, however, produced the closest finish of the season as Troch sling-shotted past the smaller bike on the line to win by 0.002sec. Heinrich was third again, with Shaun Mackrill (Kawasaki ZX-10R) a surprise fourth to lead the the Breakfast Runners home.
Chris Williams, Mike van Rensburg and Paul Medell, all Kawasaki-mounted, dominated the Powersport races, with Medell taking the first by 0.051sec and Williams the second by not much more. Newly-crowned SA Super300 champion Kewyn Snyman on the Mag Workshop RC390 led the Class B field (and three Class A bikes!) home to finish fourth in both races.