17 Aug RACE REPORT: POWER SERIES 6 CARS – 7 AUGUST 2021
MIST-DELAYED POWER SERIES RACING WAS WORTH THE WAIT
For the first time in many years racing was delayed by mist at Round 6 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Kfm 94.5 at Killarney on Saturday 7 August – but it was worth the wait as fans watching on live-stream were treated to superb action – and some heart-stopping incidents – across the categories.
The drama in the headline Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons started on the first lap, as Raaziegh Harris’ incredibly quick Panic Plumber Golf Mk1 got into a panic of its own in Interceptor Corner and slid out of second straight into the tyre wall. That left Charl Visser in the Charl Electrical Engineering 350Z chasing Nieyaaz Modack’s MIM Carriers/NSI Racing E46 M3, with Alex Johnson (Executive Decisions A4), Wayne Wilson (DTM Helderberg Maxima), Mansoor Parker (Armien Levy Motorsport E30) and ‘Baby Jakes’ Jacobs (Executive Decisions M5) in hot pursuit.
By lap four, however, Visser’s 350Z was starting to fade and he went out on two laps later, as Modack and Johnson began to pull away from a six-way battle for third. They came home in that order, 2.277 seconds apart – but all eyes were on the fight for third as Parker, Wilson, Ederees Achmat (EA Performance M3), who had sliced his way through the traffic from eighth on lap one, Baby Jakes, Shane Smith (Truckport Logistics E46) and Daanyaal Coetzee in the A&M Plumbing M3 crossed the line within 12 seconds.
Achmat was the first Class B driver home in fifth overall but there were no Class C finishers, while Johno Kirsten (G&A Motorsport Polo Vivo) took Class D honours in 10th overall. Ciara van Niekerk (Wingfield Motors/Best Price for My Car Golf 1 2L) won Class E (17th overall) and Gary Smith’s Truckport Logistics BMW 530 was the first Class F car home in 14th overall.
The Cheaper Cars GTi Challenge turned into a three-way fight between arch-rivals Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart (Alpine Autohaus Polo 6) and arch-rival Marco Busi in the Automan Polo, with Jason Coetzee’s Mint Wrapworks Polo 6 all over them like a cheap suit. Coetzee actually ran second for five laps in mid-race but was mugged on lap nine by Swart, who passed Busi a lap later to take the win by just 0.592sec, with Coetzee less than a second further adrift.
Eden Thompson’s Mad Performance/Somerset Refrigeration Polo 6 won Class B in sixth overall and Kyle Wiltshire (Volkswagen Golf Mk1 1.8L) took Class C honours in 13th overall.
Franco Donadio’s customary domination of the combined SDC Classics and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars in his Ford Escort Mk1 was shaken by a superb effort from Michael Hitchcock in the Cross Cape Forklift Services Mustang, who seemed to have the legs of the formerly all-conquering Escort on the straights and led the first six laps until he was slowed by what sounded like a right front suspension problem and came home 10 seconds adrift.
What should have been an exciting three-way tussle for the lead ended prematurely (in the first corner, to be precise) when Charles Arton spun his very quick Datsun 240Z and wound up stationary in the middle of the circuit, facing the wrong way, with chaos all around him. By a combination of good driving and good fortune nobody hit anybody, and Arton was able to get going again in 14th place.
He then put in the drive of the day to cut through the field back up to third but despite posting the fastest lap of the race on the final tour was unable to catch the leaders, coming home five seconds behind Hitchcock’s ailing Mustang.
Dave Alhadeff (MSP Racing 325is) won Class B in fourth overall, Jonathan Gunn took class C honours in the Killarney Gardens Motor Spare Scirocco with sixth overall, there were no Class D finishers and Niel Mouton’s Alfa Giulia Super was the only Class E finisher in 20th overall.
Arnold Lambert (Lambert Racing Jetta) got the best of three-way fight for the Fine Cars win with Bradley Rowe (Veldt Reared BMW E36) and Robert Toscano (Technoparts MX5) which saw them finish in that order, covered by less than three seconds.
The combined V8 Masters and Makita Formula Supercars race also narrowly avoided a Turn 1 tangle when pole-sitter Fabio Tafani got completely out of shape in mid-corner, but he pulled off the save of the day and went on to win by less than three seconds from Rui Campos, while Sean Moore fought back from sixth at the end of .lap one to finish a hard-earned third.
Meanwhile, Glen Phillips, Alton Steyn, Ryan Kat and Cedric Le Bon fought it out for Formula Supercar honours over 10 thrilling laps to finish in that order, covered by less than six seconds.
The new Thunder Saloons category, in only their second outing, once again lived up to their hype as 13 big-engined, highly-modified tintops traded places (and paint) for 10 hard-fought laps.
Early leader Nieyaaz Modack (MIM Carriers/NSI Racing BMW E46 M3) went out on lap five, leaving Nian du Toit in the NDT Racing/Powerflow Salt River BMW E36 to fend off the attentions of Faizel Coetzee (A&M Plumbing BMW M3), who put in a superb charge from fifth on lap one to run a close second to Du Toit for most of the race, and Danie van Niekerk (Wingfield Motors SuperPolo) who ran a strong third until the final lap when he was pipped to the line by Imaad Modack in the second MIM Carriers/NSI Racing BMW, as the two crossed the line just 0.12sec apart in the closest finish of the day.
Josh Broome’s fast but fragile Spitfire Radical SR8, which is powered by a 2.7-litre V8 made by combining two Suzuki Hayabusa motorcycle engines on a common crankcase, delivered a faultless performance to win the Sports & GT race by 7.133 seconds from Steve Humble’s Opel-powered Harp Motorsport Mallock Mk14B.
The highlight of the race, however, was the battle for third between Gary Kieswetter’s Advanced Packaging Technology Porsche GT3 Cup and Francis Carruthers in the Harp Motorsport Pilbeam MP84, which ended with Kieswetter in front by just 0.080sec after 12 intense laps.
Martin Pugh in the Appleberry Shelby CanAm took Class B honours in fifth overall, veteran Louis de Jager (Lola T212) was the only Class C finisher in 10th overall and Arno Church’s Ford-powered FVH 7 was the top dog in Class D, just behind the Lola.
The Formula Libre drama started before the race even began, with top contender Byron Mitchell in the Dolphin Engineering Formula VW starting from pit lane. Then Bertus Engelbrecht stalled the CS Cleaning Solutions/TRUSC Speads RM08 on the start line and got away stone last, setting the scene for a dramatic chase as Mitchell’s arch-rival Dee-Jay Booysen took off from pole and immediately opened a gap over Troy Dolinschek’s Industrial Abrasives Formula Ford.
Mitchell set out like a man on a mission, carving through the Formula Vees to 10th at the end of lap one, sixth at the end of lap two and fourth on lap three. He was closing on James Beaumont’s iSquared Technologies Reynard when Engelbrecht spun the RM08 in Kfm Corner, taking Kelly Fletcher in the Dolphin Engineering Forza with her and bringing out the red flags.
The re-start put Mitchell in a much better position, as he was now fourth in the grid, while Engelbrecht slotted in at 11th, which is where he was at the end of lap three. Sadly, Fletcher’s Forza was damaged in their altercation and she didn’t make back it to the grid.
Mitchell put in a superb drive from the restart, moving up to second on the opening lap and finishing only three seconds behind Booysen, with Beaumont a distant third.
As always, however, the fun was in the midfield, with Zane Amundsen (Repsol Lantis), Engelbrecht, Cyril Somerville (Dolphin Engineering Sting 1.4L), Elroy Vice (Dolphin Engineering Forza), Damian White (Draken Racing Ray) and Donovan Ramsay (Dolphin Engineering Rhema) finishing in that order covered by six seconds.