RACE REVIEW – POWER SERIES #4 CARs 4JUNE 2022

RACE REVIEW – POWER SERIES #4 CARs 4JUNE 2022

SURPRISES GALORE AT MIDWINTER POWER SERIES

Round 4 of the 2022 Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors at Killarney on Saturday 4 June delivered a day of fascinating racing in perfect weather, with unexpected results and new names coming to the fore in several categories.

The expected clash in the Thermo Fires Clubmans Saloons between Raaziegh Harris’ Panic Plumbers Golf Mk1 and Ederees Achmat’s Beta Machine & Tools BMW 1 Series didn’t happen in Race 1 as the Golf went sick in Qualifying, before he could even post a time.

Neither Harris, Mansoor Parker’s very rapid Armien Levy Motorsport BMW E30, or oval track veteran Jess Huggett (Philwest/Rico Barlow Racing Jetta Cli) made it to the start line, leaving Achmat as the sole Class A runner. So Class B hotshots Bruce Meyer (Cape Industrial Flooring Polo), Shane Smith in the Truckport Logistics BMW E46 and Willem Swart (WFS Motors Jetta CLi) stepped up to challenge the green Beemer.

Meyer got a brilliant start to lead the opening lap of Race 1, and even after Achmat powered past on lap two, he stayed with the BMW to come home just 1.055 seconds adrift after a superb effort. Smith was running a strong third in the early stages, but went out on lap four, leaving Swart to fend off a late charge from Paul Munnik (Audi VW Auto Clinic Golf 1 GTi) as they finished in that order just 0.615sec apart.

Harris, Parker and Huggett were back for Race 2, however, and suddenly the pace at the front was a full two seconds quicker. Harris took the lead from start with Parker, Huggert and Achmat in hot pursuit. Sadly, Huggett dropped out on lap four, as the leading three pulled away from the Class B battle.

Parker pulled off the surprise of the race, grabbing the lead on the final lap to take the win by less than half a second from Harris and Achmat, while Meyer, Munnik and Swart led Class B, finishing in that order within two seconds.

In the absence of an entry from arch-rival Marco Busi, Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart in the Summit Polo 6 set the early pace in the first Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge race but was soon pushed down to second by Jason Coetzee (Mint Wrapworks/CK Coachworks GTi) and then to third by Summit Racing team-mate Nathan Victor.

On lap five, however, Class C runners Ryan van Eden (Volkswagen Golf) and John-Henri Vaughn (Maps Racing Golf Mk1) collided on the back straight – twice! The first impact sent Van Eden into the Armco on the left and Vaughn into the wall on the right, whereupon both cars bounced back onto the circuit and collided again in the middle of the track, leaving the back straight strewn with debris and the marshals frantically waving red flags.

Coetzee got the best of it from the restart, leading Victor and Colin Meder Jr. (International Tube Technology Polo) in a four-lap sprint to the flag, while Swart trailed home sixth.

Race 2 was less dramatic but ultimately more satisfying as Swart passed Coetzee for the lead on lap two and held the advantage to the line, ahead of Coetzee, Victor and Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC Steel/Euroblitz Polo 6). Meder ran third in the early stages but faded gradually to finish sixth.

The combined Laude Classic Cars & Bejo Trustees Fine Cars categories boasted the biggest field of the day, and arguably the biggest upset, as Franco Donadio and the hitherto unbeatable Ford Escort fell victim to first Michael Hitchcock’s CrossCape Forklift Services Mustang and then Charles Arton in his Datsun 240Z in Race 1, trailing home an unaccustomed third.

Ferdi Mouton in the second CrossCape Forklift Services Mustang led Class B in seventh overall, Martin Bensch (Compact Robotics Capri) won Class C in eighth and former single-seater star Ernst Viljoen aced Class D in his Alfa GT Junior.

Theo Claassen aced the Bejo Trustees Fine Cars ‘race within a race’ in the Yesterday’s Heroes Skyline, ahead of Rob Toscano’s Technoparts MX5 and Coenraad Matthee’s Porsche 928.

Things got even worse for the reigning Classic Cars champion in Race 2 as he ran third behind Hitchcock and Arton until the Escort went properly sick with three laps to go and forced him into the pits. Nevertheless, he’d completed more than two thirds of the race distance, so he was classified as a finisher – stone last, which must have been even more galling for him than a DNF.

Eric van der Merwe in the Lynx Porsche 944T followed Hitchcock and Arton home at a respectful distance in third, Class B winner Mouton improved to fifth overall but Bensch went out on lap six and the Class C honours went to Lane Hutchings (HSC Racing Golf 2) in seventh overall, while Viljoen brought the Class D-winning GT Junior home a fine 10th overall.

Toscano gave notice to Claassen that he intends to take back the Fine Cars crown by finishing just behind the Skyline (11th and 12th respectively).

Sean Moore and Fabio Tafani led every lap of the first Pirelli V8 Masters race, finishing in that order just 0.224sec apart after a splendid duel. Mark Ridgway made up for a poor start by passing Alister Brown on lap three and Jason Ibbotson a lap later to finish third, while Menno Parsons led the Silver Class home in eighth overall.

Just two laps into Race 2 the red flags came out when Ilan Kaplan and Stuart Spooner collided in Hoal’s Hook – and two laps into the re-start Mike Brooks and Mark Voget did the same under braking for the same corner, at which point the race was cancelled due to pressure of time.

Byron Mitchell (Dolphin Engineering Formula VW) broke the 70-second barrier with a best lap of 1:09.579 as he romped away to win the first Formula Libre race by 25 seconds from Dee-Jay Booysen (Dico Racing/Burner Factory Reynard) but behind them there was real cut-and-thrust racing in the Formula Vee midfield as Zane Amundsen (Repsol Lantis) Ryno Pentz (Dico 4×4 Accessories Omega) and Elroy Vice (Dolphin Engineering Forza) crossed the line in that order covered by just less than half a second after swopping places on almost every lap.

Mitchell’s winning margin was even bigger in Race 2, but the three-way fight at the top of Class V became a four-way battle as Kelly Fletcher (Dolphin Engineering Forza) joined in running a strong fourth in class for most of the race and finishing just a few seconds behind the leading trio of Amundsen, Pentz and Vice. Picture credit: Patrick Vermaak



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