Round 3 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Smile 90.4 FM at Killarney on Saturday 1 April delivered world-class racing – tight, intense and very, very close – from the very best of local motorsport talent.

In the headline Thermo Fires Clubmans category, Steven Heydenrych in his GC Tuned/FAT Racing Skyline GTR fought it out in  Race 1 with oval track veteran Jesse Huggett’s Rico Barlo/Philwest Jetta 2 and young gun Cody Alberts in the Avid Security/JVG Roofing/GT Wraps BMW 330i for the first six laps. Sadly, Huggett went out on lap seven, opening the door for a late charge by Clint Rennard (G&A Motorsport Golf 2), who finished second, less than two seconds behind the Skyline, with Alberts third, just ahead of A&M Plumbing’s Daanyaal Coetzee (BMW E46) and Basie Burger (Italoven Pizzeris Civic 2L).

Huggett did not come out for Race 2; Alberts got the hole-shot ahead of Coetzee, Heydenrych and Rennard, who jostled for second while Alberts established a crucial early lead. Heydenrych and Rennard soon relegated Coetzee to fourth, only for the Skyline to go out on lap three.

Then the G&A Golf went sick and dropped back through the field, as Alberts romped home to an emphatic win from Coetzee and Paul Munnik (Audi VW Auto Clinic Golf GTi), with Class D favourite Ciara van Niekerk an astonishing fourth overall, just 0.269sec behind Munnik after a superb drive.

The Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge is known as a contact sport and Round 3 of the series certainly delivered on that, with plenty of bumping and boring throughout the 22-strong field. Defending champion Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart in the Bullion IT Polo 6 took a lights-to-flag win in Race 1 but five seconds behind him it was ‘elbows out!’ as Clinton Bezuidenhout (Progress Precision Engineering Polo), Kai van Zyl (Unlimited Auto Angri Polo 6) and Nathan Victor (Summit Racing Polo GTi) debated second.

Bezuidenhout went out on lap two, however, and Victor’s race only lasted another two laps, as Swart posted a solid five-second in over Van Zyl and Dillon Joubert (Euroblitz/TacSteel/Powder Coating World Polo 6R).

The Progress Precision Polo was back for Race 2, as Bezuidenhout took the early lead from Swart, Joubert and Victor. Swart went to the front on lap four but was unable to pull away as Bezuidenhout, Victor and Joubert gave it everything they had to stay with him. Then Bezuidenhout threw it completely sideways going into Hoals Hoek at the start of lap six and was T-boned by Victor as Dillon dived inside to grab second.

But Bezuidenhout pulled off a miracle save and exited Hoals in third, still ahead of Victor – who returned the favour and passed him a lap later to come home a hard-earned third, just 0.069 sec behind Bezuidenhout.

The Laude Classic Cars produced the biggest field of the day and some superb racing, with the emphasis on the Ford vs Ford clash at the sharp end as defending champion Franco Donadio and his Escort Mk1 faced off against a herd of Mustangs, led by Arnold Neveling and Cross Cape Forklift Services’ Michael Hitchcock.

Neveling grabbed the hole shot and led the champion for two laps; after Donadio passed him on lap three he hung on and even briefly retook the lead in mid-race. But Donadio was not to be denied and came home 2.5 second as ahead of  Hitchcock as Neveling dropped back in the closing stages.

Neveling got his revenge in Race 2, moving up from third behind Hitchcock and Donadio on lap one to take the lead on lap four. Even then Hitchcock kept him honest, until the Cross Cape pony car suddenly slowed in the closing stages, leaving Donadio and a distant Jarryd Evans (Cape Eye Laser Skyline) to follow Neveling home.

The first combined Kaltron Formula Supercars and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars Race was a cracker as Andrew Moffitt and Glen Phillips fought it out all the way to the line, finishing in that order just 0.291sec apart, while Jaco Lambert (Volkswagen Jetta) and Gunther ‘Spiderman’ Appelgryn (BMW E36) led home the Fine Car in seventh and eighth respectively.

Race 2 started in fine style, with Moffitt, Phillips and Yaseen Damon fighting for the lead, only for Moffitt to fall by the wayside on lap five, and Damon to go out a lap later as Michael Nel charged through the field into the lead. Phillips then recovered to grab the lead on the last lap, winning by 1.5 seconds from Nel, with Carel van der Merwe a distant third.

Lambert didn’t come out for Race 2 so the Fine Cars honours were fought out between Appelgryn, Robert Toscano (Technoparts MX) and Coenie Matthee’s Porsche 928 – all of whom finished in that order covered by less than a second after a superb tussle.

Defending champion Sean Moore and 2021 title-holder Fabio Tafanis fought it out for line honours in two intense Pirelli V8 Masters confrontations, with Moore in front when it counted both times. WPMC vice-chairman Mark Ridgway was third in Race 1 but had to give best to a charging Marcel Angel in Race 2.

Byron Mitchell in the Dolphin Racing Reynard pulled his usual disappearing act in both Formula Libre races, winning Race 1 by 24 seconds and Race 2 by 17 seconds – but behind him things were not so clear-cut, as Dee-Jay Booysen (Dico Racing/Burner Factory) and Storm Lanfear (AMD Engineering/RDSA) fought it out for second. Booysen was ahead by 0.054sec at the line in Race 1, only for Lanfear to take his revenge in the second outing, leading Booysen home by less than half a second.

The midfield Formula Vee bunfight was just as close; Andrew Le Riche (Lantis) took class honours from Zane Amundsen (Repsol Lantis) by 1.754sec in Race 1 and by 1.647sec in Race 2, with Richard Carr just 0.246sec further adrift in the second outing.