Completely unpredictable weather, with bright sunshine interspersed with bouts of heavy rain, played havoc with Round 8 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors at Killarney on Saturday 16 October, especially the motorcycle categories.

It was also the first time in 19 months that Killarney was allowed to admit spectators, and the fans who braved the conditions were treated to some enthralling racing.

Jacques Ackermann on the South/Barker/Stepp Durbanville ZX-10R pulled a perfect start in the first South Superbikes race to lead the field into Turn 1, but by the end of lap one David ‘McFlash’ McFadden (StuntSA/RPM Center ZX-10R) had steamed past to take the lead, with Malcolm Rapson’s Racebase GSX-R1000 a close third.

Rapson grabbed second on lap two, but Ackermann wasn’t giving up and the two were less than a bike-length apart when Gavin Louw, who was disputing fifth with Lubabalo Ntisana (Kawasaki ZX-10R), Michael du Toit (DMR/Quick Pos R1) and Mike Hunter (LLG Properties/HRT ZX-6R) suffered a huge endo under braking for Interceptor Corner, bringing out the red flags.

McFlash was uncharacteristically slow off the line at the restart, slotting into third behind Rapson and Ackermann. A lap later he was up into second but was unable to get close enough to challenge for the lead. On the final lap, he suddenly sat up exiting Turn 2, clearly unhappy with the Kawasaki, and cruised round to retire while Ackermann blitzed Rapson in the final corner to take the win by less than a second, with Ntisana a distant third.

McFadden didn’t come out for Race 2, leaving the three veterans to deliver a superb race in treacherous conditions. Once again Ackermann took the early lead, holding the advantage until the second last lap, when Rapson made the decisive move. A lap later Cragg pushed Ackermann down to third and that’s how they finished, covered by less than four seconds.

The combined Clubmans, Classics and Breakfast Run category produced the biggest upset of the day as a late entry, 17-year-old Zimbabwean Jessica Howden, put her Ducati 955 Panigale V2 on pole and ran away with Race 1 to win by six seconds from Deon Ebel (Maui Jim/Edel Bros CBR1000RR), class doyen Wayne Arendse on the JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R and hot rookie Reginald Seale (CX International/AllMoto R1). Howden was then hit with a 30 second penalty for jumping the start, however, which demoted her to sixth.

Wayne Gresse, on a Kawasaki ZX-10R, was the first Breakfast Runner home in 11th overall, while Hilton Redelinghuys, the only Classic rider in the field, retired his 1997 888 Motorcycles/HM Shifters ZX-7R on lap three with a nasty misfire.

Redelinghuys got the old Kawasaki running on all four for Race 2, pulled a superb start and led the field into Turn 1 in pouring rain, closely followed by Seale and Howden. Howden moved into second by the end of the lap, setting up a cliff-hanger dice between the youngest rider in the race on the newest machine and the oldest rider on the oldest motorcycle.

The Zimbabwean teen put in an aggressive overtaking move into Fastron Corner at the end of lap two and led Redelinghuys by a second over the line – but then it all went pear-shaped at the start of lap three as Howden got spat off in a huge high-side coming out of Turn 1, bringing out the red flags.

Redelinghuys went straight back into the lead at the restart with Seale, Jamie Hall (Master Glass R1) and Nick Benn (Two Wheel Solutions GSX-R1000) in hot pursuit. Seale briefly took the lead on lap three, but Redelinghuys was soon back in front – only to be mugged by all three on the final lap! He came home fourth behind Seale, Hall and Benn with all four riders covered by just 1.3 seconds.

The first Powersport race lasted bare seconds before rookie Adrian Solomon (RST Ninja 300) fell off on the start-line and the red flags came out. At the restart normal service was resumed, however, as Short Circuit hotshots Slade van Niekerk (Project Sixty60 ER650) and Jason Linaker (RST Ninja 650) romped away at the front and Rob de Vos (MSA/Mag Workshop ER6) disputed third with veteran Lance Jonas (Samurai/BMW Accident Repair Centre SV650).

There was no catching Van Niekerk as he took more than a second a lap out of Linaker to win by 11 seconds, while De Vos passed Jonas two laps from the flag to take third by less than half a second.

But the closest finish of the race was the fight for Powersport 300 honours, where Tristin Pienaar (KTM RC390) got the better of a race-long dice with Nicholas Hutchings (HSC RC390) to take the class win by just 0.015sec.

Race 2 was run in the heaviest shower of the day, in conditions so bad that even Van Niekerk was forced to slow by more than 12 seconds a lap. Nevertheless, that didn’t stop him and Linaker from dominating proceedings, finishing only 0.168sec apart after eight sodden laps, with Jonas third, 34 seconds adrift.

Astonishingly, Adrian Solomons, having crashed on a dry track in Race 1, came back in the wet to win the Powersport 300 Class in fourth overall, well clear of Gareth Lindemann on the GM Contractors R3.