Round 4 of the 2023 Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Smile 90.4 FM at Killarney on Saturday 22 April was run in wet weather that became steadily wetter as the day went on – but that just levelled the playing field as the more powerful cars lost their advantage on the streaming surface.

Nevertheless, defending champion Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart Jr in the Bullion IT Polo 6 didn’t put a wheel wrong as he took two superbly judged wins in the headline Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge races. Arch-rival Marco Busi (Simtech Motorsport/Goeiehoop Onderdele Polo) started well but was later demoted to fourth in Race 1 by Clinton Bezuidenhout (Progress Precision Engineering Polo) and Nathan Victor (Summit Racing Polo GTi).

Schalk Geldenhuys (G&A Motorsport Polo 6) took the early lead in Race 2 and even after Swart passed him on lap five, he stayed in contention all the way to the flag, finishing just 0.705sec in arrears and less than a quarter of a second ahead of a charging Busi in a crowd-pleasing final showdown.

Kyle Wiltshire (Wiltshire Racing Polo) took the overall honours for the day in Class B Dylan van Eden (RVE Digital Marketing Golf 1) made a meal of his Class C rivals.

Dawie Joubert was leading the first Spitfire Furniture Sports and GT race when Harp Motorsport’s Francis Carruthers (Pilbeam MP84) and Sandro Biccari (Juno S3) slid into each other going into Quarry Corner on lap six and pirouetted off the circuit in perfect unison.

Biccari got going again without even losing a place, but the Pilbeam was beached half on and half off the track. That brought out the Safety Car – unfortunately missing Joubert as he crossed the line to start lap seven, so he was able to pull out a lead of more than two minutes while the rest of the field cruised round behind the Safety Car for the final three laps of the race.

Gary Kieswetter’s Advanced Packaging Technology Porsche GT3 Cup was classified second, with Steve Humble (Harp Motorsport/Ravenol Mallock MK14B) third.

Humble took the early lead in Race 2, refusing to settle for second after the hugely powerful Porsche got past and hung to finish just 0.112 adrift of Joubert, with Kieswetter a full 20 seconds behind in third.

But the surprise of the day was undoubtedly Class C runner Janni Hatzi and his Nissan 514 200SX. He ran as high as second early in Race 1 before dropping back to finish fourth, and was all set to do the same in Race 2 when he lost it on the Porsche Straight at the end of lap one, spinning into the wall and out of the race.

The hugely powerful AP347is’ of the Pirelli V8 Masters were at a severe disadvantage in the treacherous conditions on the day, constantly and unpredictably breaking traction on the wet circuit – but that didn’t stop them from putting on one of the closest and most eventful races of the day, as every single competitor changed places at least once during the eight laps.

Nevertheless, it was Carl Nel who was in front by 1.4 seconds from former champion Fabio Tafani when it counted, while current champion Sean Moore got the best of a three-way fight for third with Marcel Angel and Jason Ibbotson by a scant 0.010sec (one hundredth of a second!)

However, by mid-afternoon it was raining too heavily for the Masters drivers to see where they were going so it was decided not to run Race 2.

Storm Lanfear in the AMD Engineering/RDSA Reynard qualified second on the grid in Formula Libre, but failed to complete the first lap of Race 1, leaving Dee-Jay Booysen and the Dico/Burner Factory to walk away to an unchallenged 14 second victory. Behind him the Formula Vee ‘brat pack’ had a field day, with slides and spins galore, as Byron Mitchell (Dolphin Engineering Forza) and Andre Le Riche (Racelab Karting Lantis) set the early pace.

Le Riche got it wrong on the very last lap, however, and was demoted to fifth overall and fourth in class behind Richard Carr (Rhema) and Zane Amundsen (Alpha Precision Engineering Lantis).

Lanfear was back for Race 2, and chased Booysen all the way to the flag, finishing just 0.145sec adrift after an inspired drive in difficult conditions. Darren Liebenberg was third in his Formula M, while Mitchell, Carr and Ms Kelly Fletcher (Dolphin Engineering Forza) led the Formula Vee bunfight, finishing in that order.

Michael Nel took an emphatic win in the first combined Kaltron Formula Supercars and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars race, followed home by Glen Phillips and Andrew Moffit, who finished less than two seconds apart after six exciting laps. Fourth overall and first of the Fine Cars was Jaco Oosthuizen’s Ravenol Conquest. Phillips took the early lead in Race 2, but had to give best to Nel on lap four, while Oosthuizen improved his standing to finish third overall and first in Fine Cars.