03 Feb RACE PREVIEW – POWER SERIES #1 – CARS – 4 FEBRUARY 2023
The 2023 Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors takes on an international flavour with a number of international entries from Sweden in the Spitfire Sports & GT category, among them Lennart Bohlin in a McLaren M6B, Jan Kling and Kennet Persson in a pair of Ford GT40s and a Lotus Elan in the hands of Lars Bandesson.
They’ll face off against local heroes and Harp Motorsport team-mates Steve Humble (Opel Mallock Mk14B) and Francis Carruthers (Pilbeam MP84), as well as a somewhat unexpected contender in the shape of Clinton Thorne’s Toyota-powered Fulloutput Lotus 7.
If we had to pick a dark horse, however, it would be Dawie Joubert’s Rembrandt Racing/Wildrose Gin 911, which has done a 1:13.9 in practice and could just spring a surprise this weekend.
The headline Thermo Fires Clubmans Saloons are led by Shane Smith in the first of the Truckport Logistics BMWs and Raaziegh Harris in his giant-killing Cooltouch Racing Golf, with veteran Jesse Huggett (Rico Barlow Racing/Philwest Jetta 2), Charl Visser’s Charl Engineering 350Z and the Armien Levy/Jive BMW E30 of Mansoor Parker to keep them honest.
Keep an eye out however, for Andre van der Merwe and his Chrysler 300C V8, and Ciara van Niekerk, out for the first time in a brand new two-litre Wingfield Motors/Best Price for My Car Golf 1.
Expect fireworks in the Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge as defending champion Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart (Bullion IT Polo 6) and arch-rival Marco Busi (Automan Polo) take up where they left off in 2022 – battling for the lead, with Colin Meder (International Tube Technology Polo) and Nathan Victor (Summit Racing Polo) to keep them honest. But the biggest dice of the race is likely to be in Class C, where no less than 14 closely matched VW Golf 1’s will be banging doorhandles and trading paint as they debate class honours.
Multiple Laude Classic Cars champion Franco Donadio and his superbly prepared Ford Escort Mk1 faced a huge challenge in 2022 from Michael Hitchcock in the Cross Cape Forklift Services Mustang, and that challenge looks set to continue this year as the two face off again at the top of the category, with Andrew Honeywill in his Porsche 944 Turbo and Erik Mouton’s Chev De Ville ready to climb in should either make a mistake on the day.
We also welcome the return of Jacques Mouton and his 1958 Studebaker Silver Hawk and Flat Four Racing’s Dave Rowley, in a very quick 2.4-litre VW Beetle – but the dark horse in this category is Nian du Toit, out for the first time in a Ford Escort Mk1. Du Toit has proved that he is quick in (or on!) anything with wheels and an engine and will bear watching.
The big news in the V8 Masters pits is that Fabio Tafani’s AP347is no longer carries the No.1 plate – which puts a big target on the boot-lid of 2022 champion Sean Moore, and introduces an entirely new dynamic into this closely fought one-make series. Both Tafani and top contender Rui Campos will be out to prove a point this weekend, while Marcel Angel will be hoping to leave the gremlins that plagued him in 2022 behind him and get back on terms with the leaders. Expect fireworks.
Byron Mitchell and the Dolphin Engineering Formula VW is ready to set the pace in the Formula Libre races – but Dee-Jay Booysen (Dico Racing/Burner Factory VW Reynard) and Andrew Rackstraw (VW Reynard) will have something to say about that. In the Formula Vee ‘brat pack’, however, Kelly Fletcher returns in the Dolphin Engineering Forza after an impressive rookie season to mix it with rivals Zane Amundsen (Repsol Lantis) and Donovan Ramsay in what is likely to be an eight-way fight for class honours.