06 Jun POWER SERIES ROUND 5 RACE REPORT
POWER SERIES ROUND 5 RACE REPORT
Cooler track temperatures failed to dampen the ardour of the competitors in the fifth round of the Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors, with media support from Radio KFM, and it turned out to be one of the most exciting meetings of the year.
While Garth De Villiers finished well ahead of the field in the first single seater Formula Libre event, after Dee-Jay Booysen’s early retirement, there was a great battle for the next three places. Fought out between Richard Carr, Byron Mitchel and Blaze Nicholas, they passed and repassed one another several times before finishing in that order. Booysen recovered to finish second behind De Villiers, but ahead of Mike Verrier in the final.
Although Ryan McCarthy took an early lead in the Makita Formula Supercar category, Jarryd Evans and Michael Nel stayed on his tail. So much so that they both passed him with two laps to go. Nel then went wide and dropped back, leaving Evans to win from McCarthy with Nel in third. The second race was even closer with Andrew Moffitt, Glen Phillips and Evans finishing in that order.
Masters V8 championship leader, Fabio Tafani, had a surprisingly poor start in the opening race and Mark Ridgway shot into an early lead. While Marcel Angel spun off, Tafani recovered well but was unable to get past the flying Ridgway and finished second, with Charles Arton grabbing third. Ridgway had to settle for second behind Angel but ahead of Brian Evans in the next race.
The first Bold Marine GTi Challenge was another thriller. Unfortunately, an accident involving Wayne Field’s Golf brought out the red flag. The race was then abandoned with victory going to Jano van der Westhuizen, who finished ahead of Shane du Toit and Jacques Geldenhuys. In the second race Jurie Swart came through snatch second behind Van der Westhuizen, but ahead of Du Toit.
Then, although Dawie Joubert set the quickest laps in his Lotus Exige turbo, in the opening Crossley and Webb Sports & GT event, it was the more consistent Marcel Angel (Ferrari 458), who was first across the finish line. Recent multiple winner Johan Engelbrecht (Porsche GT2-R), was third. There was no stopping Joubert in the second race however that he won by the narrowest of margins, with Angel and Engelbrecht filling second and third.
The Midas Clubman Saloon contest was another double for the spectacular Danie van Niekerk (BMW 325), with the fast improving Jean-Michel Masue (BMW M3) and Jesse Huggett (VW Jetta) filling the lower positions on the podium in both races.
Franco Donadio (Ford Escort), was an early leader in the first Access Auto Classic Car race, that was combined with the Kent Homes Fine Cars. Anthony Corin (Ford Capri), soon took up the chase however and eventually passed Donadio on the fifth lap. They went on to finish in that order, with Eric vd Merwe (Porsche 944 T), in third place. Donadio and Van der Merwe filled the same positions in the final, but this time with Dave Kopke ahead of them.
Deon Conradie (Toyota Rsi T/C), finished ahead of Arnold Lambert (VW Jetta) and Robbie Toscano (Mazda MX5), in the Fine Car category.
Round 5 of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles regional series, on Saturday at Killarney, delivered plenty of drama and some of the closest racing of the season so far.
The drama actually started two weeks earlier at Zwartkops when David ‘McFlash’ McFadden’s BMW S1000RR was skittled and written off in a multiple pile-up at a rained-out SuperGP meeting that was later abandoned. McFadden refused to commit to riding at Killarney until he was sure the new bike was ready, but in the event, it must have been, because he “got out of the right side of bed this morning” and put it on pole with an electrifying 1m10.871 qualifying lap.
Then Ronald Slamet on the IS Freight R1 jumped the start big time and immediately stopped holding up his hand. Several other riders – among them McFadden – also stopped, expecting a false start to be declared, but as Trevor Westman led the field down to Turn 1 on the Mad Mac’s ZX-10R, realised that it wasn’t going to happen and set about making up for lost ground.
Up front, Westman led veteran Malcolm Rapson’s older, family-funded Kawasaki ZX-10R and Gerrit ‘the Ginger Ninja’ on the Samurai R1, while Slamet battled to close them down and McFadden sliced through the midfield in a furious attempt to get back on terms.
By the end of lap three Rapson and Slamet were debating second when Rapson got high-sided into Turn 5 and came down hard, bringing out the red flags and the ambulance.
Since less than 25 percent of race distance had been completed, that meant a new race, with McFadden back on pole – and he pulled brilliant start to lead off the line, followed by Westman, Slamet and Visser in a thrilling four-bike train, battling it out all the way to the flag, with Slamet actually leading one lap in mid-race before being bounced back to third.
Visser dropped back in the closing stages, but McFadden, Westman and Slamet finished in that order in less than 0.2s – only for Slamet to be penalised 30 seconds for the earlier jump start.
The talented Namibian’s woes weren’t over yet; he got a disastrous start – later traced to a launch control fault – in the second race, but was back up to fourth behind McFadden, Westman and Alex van den Berg (Auto Watch CBR1000 SP) by the end of the first lap. A lap later, he was up to second as Westman battled to stay with a fired-up McFadden.
But it was Westman’s ZX-10R that decided the issue for him, picking up a fuelling gremlin in the second half of the race that dropped him to a distant third behind McFadden and Slamet. Dale Field held off a determined challenge from Van den Berg to claim fourth by 0.071s.
JP Friederich on the Calberg SV650 led every lap of the first Powersport race, pulling away at about a second a lap to win by almost nine seconds, but behind him veteran Paul Medell (Kawasaki ER650) and Chris ‘the Green Goblin’ Williams on the Trac Mac ER650 battled it out for second, swopping places on virtually every lap, with Medell ahead by just 0.202s when it counted. Max Mandix brought the ASAP ER650 home a distant fourth.
Diminutive Sam Lochoff (he’s actually 10 years old but looks about eight!) on the Samurai RC390 was the first Powersport B rider home, eight seconds ahead of Gareth Dawson and short-circuit veteran Tony Sterianos, each on a KTM RC390.
Medell pulled a superb start in Race 2 and sliced across the noses of his two rivals in Turn 1, only for Williams to strike back and lead at the end of lap one, while Friederich held station in third.
The championship leader was back in front at the end of lap two, however, and proceeded to make the race his own – but the spectators’ attention was focused, as before, on the fight for second.
Medell got ahead of Williams in mid-race and held a small, but crucial, advantage until the final lap, when an all-out effort from Williams (and a too-early gearshift by Medell on the run to the line) saw the Green Goblin take the honours by the smallest margin of the day – 0.002s! – while another steady run from Mandix brought him home fourth, 12 seconds adrift.
Lochoff’s KTM had popped a head gasket in Race 1, leaving Dawson and Sterianos to lead home the Powersport B pack, with Saul Turvey and Junior Joubert disputing third right down to the line; Turvey was in front by a scant 0.387s when it counted.
The sixth round of the Power Series is due to take place at Killarney on Saturday, July 1.