Round 8 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors at Killarney on Saturday 16 October was memorable for two reasons: The first time since lockdown in March 2020 that the circuit was allowed to admit spectators, and the crazy weather.

There were bouts of heavy rain throughout the day interspersed with short periods of bright sunshine, which made the racing unpredictable for the competitors but very exciting for the spectators.

The 33 starters in the headline Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons created a high-speed traffic jam into Turn 1 as Nieyaaz Modack (MIM Carriers/NSI Racing BMW E46 M3) grabbed the Race 1 hole shot from Cody Alberts (JVG Roofing/Stylesy/GT Graphics BMW E46 330i), Achmat Achmat (Meta Machine & Tools BMW135) and Raaziegh Harris (Panic Plumbers Golf Mk1).

Modack was pulling away at more than a second a lap, but a lap later Stacy Wilson rolled the second DTM Helderberg Maxima no less than five times exiting Turn 2, bringing out the red flags. Wilson walked away with bruises but the car was wrecked.

Modack repeated his hole shot move at the restart and held the crucial advantage for six laps to win by 1.345 seconds from Alberts, with Clint Rennard (G&A Promotions/Speed Precision Golf Non T) third after Harris’ super-quick Golf went sick on lap four. ‘Baby Jakes’ Jacobs (Executive Decisions M5) was the first Class B finisher in eighth overall while his team-mate, Class F driver Andre Johnson in the Executive Decisions Polo 6, raised a few eyebrows by beating all the Class C, D and F drivers to finish 11th overall.

John Kirsten (G&A Motosport Vivo) headed Class C in 13th overall and Ryan Large (Akwasol Golf Mk1) took Class E honours in 18th overall.

Race 2 was another Modack benefit as he led from lights to flag, coming home almost 15 seconds ahead of Alberts, Jess Huggett (RBR Racing/Philwest Jetta) and Achmat after Rennard went out on lap four. Jacobs headed Class B again, in fifth overall, Kirsten led Class C (ninth overall), Ciara van Niekerk aced Class D in 12th overall and, in the absence of non-starter Johnson, Darrell van Niekerk (Wingfield Motors Golf 1) was the first Class F finisher in 19th overall.

Franco Donadio romped away to win the first combined SDC Classic Cars and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars race in his Ford Escort Mk1, after top challenger Charles Arton (Datsun 240Z) dropped out on lap four, leaving veteran Dave Kopke and his Mazda R100 rotary to chase the Escort all the way. Third was a photo finish between Trevor Momberg’s Ford Capri and Andrew Honeywill’s Porsche 944 Turbo, with Momberg ahead by less than second when it counted.

Arnold Lambert’s Volkswagen Jetta was the first Fine Car home, followed by Theo Claassen in the Yesterday’s Heroes Skyline GTX, after Melani Cook, from whom great things were expected, spun her Volkswagen Fox in Turn 2 in the treacherous conditions and rejoined at the back of the field.

Arton did not come out for Race 2, but Kopke made up for it with a superb drive, passing Donadio two laps from the flag to take the win by 0.655sec, while the gap between Momberg and Honeywill in third and fourth respectively was even closer – just 0.470sec at the flag.

Lambert’s pastel blue Jetta was the only Fine Car not lapped by the leaders; Claassen, second in class, was a lap down at the finish.

The first Cheaper Cars GTi Challenge race was a classic, as Marco Busi in the Automan Polo, Jason Coetzee (Mint Wrapworks Polo 6)  and Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart (Alpine Autohaus Polo 6) fought it out for eight cliff-hanger laps, finishing in that order in less than two seconds, while a few seconds further back the gap between Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Technology Polo) and Jano van der Westhuizen (Volkswagen Polo 6R), in fourth and fifth respectively, was even closer at just 0.035sec.

Next was reigning champion Eden Thompson in the Mad Performance/Somerset Refrigeration Polo 6, heading Class B in fifth overall, with Kyle Wiltshire (VW Golf Mk1 1.8L) taking Class C honours in 10th overall by just 0.105sec from Chase Herholdt’s Volkswagen Golf Mk1.

Swart got his revenge in Race 2, however, leading from lights to flag, with Busi all over him like a cheap suit to finish less than a second adrift, while Coetzee managed to stay ahead of Meder in the fight for third.

Giordano Lupini (Bullion IT/Banhoek Chilli Oil Jetta) led Class B home, finishing sixth behind Van der Westhuizen and little more than a second ahead of Thompson, but was penalised for jumping the start, which dropped him out of contention. Wiltshire had to work very hard for the Class C win as he, 15-year-old international karting star Tate Bishop in the Angri Golf, Nathan Victor (Volkswagen Golf GTi) and Alfie van Zyl (Volkswagen Golf 1) crossed the line covered by less than two seconds after the dice of the race.

Reigning V8 Masters champion Fabio Tafani, who actually lives in Gauteng, won the first combined V8 Masters and Makita Formula Supercars race after a superb dice with Richard Schreuder, Mark Ridgway and late entry Marcel Angel, while Nian du Toit was seven seconds clear of Glen Phillips in the Makita Formula Supercar category.

A wet Race 2, however, saw three lead changes in a race-long four way dice that saw Angel, Sean Moore, Rui Campos and Tafani finish in that order, while Du Toit was the only Supercar to finish on the lead lap.

Byron Mitchell and the Dolphin Engineering Reynard ran away with the first Formula Libre race, winning by 28 seconds from late entry Dee-Jay Booysen, also in a Reynard, and the Investchem/RDSA Reynard of Andrew Rackstraw. As however, the cut-and-thrust action was in the midfield where Class C hotshots Elroy Vice (Dolphin Engineering Forza), Zane Amundsen (Repsol Lantis), Cyril Somerville (Dolphin Engineering Sting 1.4L) and Bertus Engelbrecht (CS Cleaning Solutions/TRUSC Speads RM08) finished in that order covered by little more than three seconds

Rackstraw held off Booysen’s challenge to take second behind Mitchell in a wetter and much closer Race 2, with class A rivals Troy Dolinschek (Industrial Abrasives Ze Tech) and James Beaumont (Formula VW Reynard) the only other finishers on the lead lap. A lap down however, it was ‘anything goes’ in Class C as Vice and Amundsen took it all the way to the flag, with just half a second in it at the line.

Craig Jarvis, always up for a real race, had persuaded Harp Motorsport boss Steve Humble, who prepares Jarvis’ all-conquering Ginetta G57, to park his beloved Opel-powered Mallock Mk14B in favour of his Pilbeam MP91, powered by a 3.4 litre Judd V8 engine delivering more than 380kW, for the Laude Sports & GT races. Add to that a late entry from Johannesburg driver Simon Murray in an all-black G57, and the stage was set for an incredible showdown between three of the fastest cars in the country, each capable of lapping Killarney in less than 70 seconds in the dryu

But as they went out for Race 1 the heavens opened. Only a handful of cars stayed out on the circuit to form up on the grid in pouring rain and the race was abandoned in favour of a 15-lapper later in the day, when conditions would hopefully be better.

And they were – by late afternoon the clouds had cleared the race was run in warm spring sunshine. Humble came off pole into an early lead that was never seriously. The Ginettas of Jarvis and Murray ran second for most of the race, until Murray began to fall back in the closing stages, losing third to a late-charging Class A driver Nick Adcock in the AidCall 247/SB Racing Ligier JS 53 EVO 2.

Fifth was Josh Broome in the Spitfire Radical SR8, the last runner on the lead lap, with Gary Kieswetter in the Advanced Packaging Technology Porsche GT3 Cup second in Class A in sixth overall.

Nian du Toit (BMW 328) made the early running in the Thunder Saloons race, until Nieyaaz Modack’s son Imaad turned up the wick on his MIM Carriers/NSI Racing BMW E46 M3 on lap four and walked away to win by 25 seconds from Du Toit and Faizel Coetzee in the A&M Plumbing BMW M3, who got into a splendid dice with Raaziegh Harris’ indecently quick Panic Plumbers Golf until the Golf went sick and eventually retired on lap nine.

Mansoor Parker (Armien Levy Motorsport BMW M3), Achmat Achmat (BMW 135) and Ederees Achmat (EA Performance BMW M3) were the last three runners on the lead lap in fourth, fifth and sixth respectively.