07 Aug RACE REVIEW – POWER SERIES #7 CARS – 29 JULY 2023
With their numbers boosted by a near-record local entry as well as a number of up-country visitors to 26 cars on the grid, the Formula Libre open-wheelers fully justified their headline status at Round 7 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Smile 90.4 FM at Killarney on Saturday 29 July – and then sealed it by delivering the two closest finishes of the day.
Byron Mitchell in the Dolphin Engineering Reynard got his usual clean start to lead the opening lap in Race 1 but was unexpectedly mugged by Andrew Rackstraw’s Sparco/RDSA Reynard on the second lap; Mitchell, who is accustomed to having a clear track ahead of him, chased Rackstraw all the way to the line but was unable to a move that would stick, taking the flag just 0.102sec in arrears after 10 epic laps. Storm Lanfear (AMD Engineering/RDSA Reynard) finished third, almost a minute in arrears, while Dee-Jay Booysen (Dico/Burner Factory Reynard) was a lap down in fourth.
Kelly Fletcher (Dolphin Engineering Forza) led a huge midfield battle to take the Formula Vee honours ahead of Class C driver Haydn Ellwood (Swift SF92F), Zane Amundsen (Alpha Precision Engineering Lantis) and visitors Ludovickus Gerber (Class B Namib Biltong Formula M Honda) and Herman Krige (Class A Speed RM08).
Mitchell grabbed the early advantage in their second outing and held off everything Rackstraw could throw at him to come home 0.121sec ahead, after the two leaders had lapped the entire field! Third was Gauteng visitor Allen Meyer (Liqui Moly Formula VW 221) with Class C driver Darren Liebenberg fourth in a Formula M.
Amundsen got the best of the Formula Vee bunfight, leading Fletcher home by a quarter of a second, with Andre le Riche (Racelab Karting Lantis) third in class.
Imaad Modack and the MIM Carriers M4 stamped their authority on the Thermo Fires Clubmans Saloons races, leading Race 1 from flag to flag to come home 17 seconds clear of the battle for second between Shane Smith (Truckport Logistics E46) and Cody Alberts (Avid Security/JVG Roofing/GT Wraps 330i), which ended in Smith’s favour by a narrow 1.5 seconds.
Yusuf Hendricks (MYH Auto BMW Specialist E36) was the first Class B driver home in fifth overall, Gary Smith led Class C in the Truckport Logistics 530, Class D honours went to Charl Opperman’s Torq Lubricants Golf 1 and Andre van der Merwe took Class F in the monumental Huguenot Vallei/M Water Chrysler 300C.
Daanyaal Coetzee (A&M Plumbing E46 M3) grabbed the hole shot at the start of Race 2 but soon had to give best to Modack; three laps from the end he was relegated again, to finish third behind Modack and Shane Smith. Father Gary in the second Truckport Logistics BMW was the first Class C finisher in sixth overall, one place ahead of Class B leader Hendricks. Class D was led by Oliver Hintenaus (BMW E36) and Van der Mwerwe rumbled home for another Class F win, in 15th overall.
Franco Donadio and his Ford Escort Mk1 dominated the Laude Classic Cars category in the treacherous conditions, coming home nine seconds ahead of the Class C Cape Eye Laser Escort of Brian Evans in Race 1, with Martin Bensch (Class C Compact Robotics Capri) in third and Wynand Nel (Class C Ford Anglia) fourth. Bruce Avern-Taplin’s Toyota Corolla was the first Class B finisher in fifth overall, Robert Rowe (Veldt Services 325) led Class D and Neil Mouton (Alfa Giulia Super) took Class E honours in 15th overall.
Donadio romped way to win Race 2 by 47 seconds from Avern-Taplin, who put in a late charge to take second way from Bensch by the narrowest of margins. Rowe moved up to ninth (and first in Class D) while Mouton led Class E in 13th overall.
After arch-rival Andrew Moffitt went out on lap three of the first combined Kaltron Formula Supercars and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars race, Glen Phillips left the field for dead, pulling away to win by almost a minute – but behind him it was musical chairs as first Kyle Hallick and then Yaseen Damon ran second before going out on successive laps, promoting Fine Cars leader Jaco Oosthuizen (Ravenol Conquest) to second overall. Even then the drama wasn’t over as Coenie Matthee (Porsche 928) put in a late charge to take second two laps from the end.
Race 2 was a far more conventional affair as the Supercars went out ahead, led by Phillips and Moffitt, while Coetzee and Oosthuizen debated the Fane Cars honours – until Damon’s Supercar stopped in a dangerous position going into Sarel’s Sweep on lap six, bringing out the red flags. The results were taken as at the end of lap five, handing the win to Phillips by half a second, while the Fine Cars honours went to Coetzee’s Porsche.
Fabio Tafani led the first Pirelli V8 Masters race from lights to flag, followed home at a respectful distance by Marcel Angel. Barry Ingle ran third for the first two laps but was then relegated by Denis Gaiduk. Race 2, however, saw Ingle take the lead from Tafani on lap two, only to be blitzed by a late-charging Jason Ibbotson two laps from home.
Ingle finished second, less than a second behind Ibbotson, with Mark Voget a distant third, just ahead of Ken Finneran.
Thanks to Patrick Vermaak for the brilliant photograph.