Defending Laude Classic Cars champion Franco Donadio and his Ford Escort Mk1 delivered a master class in racing under unpredictable conditions at Round 7 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors at a wet-and-dry Killarney on Saturday 3 September.

Donadio, who has been battling to deal with new challengers throughout the season, struck back with two emphatic wins in the combined Laude Classic Cars and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars races. Starting from pole, he led every lap of the morning’s Race 1 to win by an emphatic 15 seconds from Eric van der Merwe (Lynx Porsche 944T) and Michael Hitchcock in the Cross Cape Forklift Services Mustang, who ran second until two laps from the flag, when he succumbed to a late charge from the Lynx Porsche.

Theo Claassen in the Yesterday’s Heroes Skyline and Robert Toscano in the Technoparts MX5 were the first Fine Cars home in 17th and 18th respectively overall.

Race 2 in the afternoon was run in perfect conditions and there was no stopping Donadio as he powered away to win by 13 seconds from Van der Merwe, Trevor Momberg (All Scale/M&E Auto Capri) and Andrew Honeywill (Porsche 944 Turbo). Claassen, meanwhile, improved his finishing position to 14th overall, eight seconds ahead of Toscano in 17th overall.

National VW Polo Cup contender Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart (Summit Polo) qualified a second quicker than anybody else in the Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge and then converted pole position into a lights-to-flag win in Race 1, coming home nine seconds ahead of Summit Racing team-mate Nathan Victor and on-form Kai van Zyl (Unlimited Auto Angri Polo). John-Henri Vaughn (Maps Racing Polo VClassic) led Class B in 8th overall and Matthew Rowe was the first Class C runner home in 16th overall.

Race 2 was a lot closer, however, as Swart was unable to break away from the Class A pack, finishing four seconds ahead of an intense battle for second between Van Zyl, Victor and Colin Meder Jr (International Tube Technology Polo), which saw them cross the line in that order within just 0.689sec. After the race, however, four cars were impounded due to protests, so the results of Race 2 were withheld.

Only five of the 13 entries turned out for the first South Superbikes/Superbike Challenge/Masters/600cc race after threatening clouds turned to rain just before the start.

Racecraft and smooth riding were key as defending Regional and Masters champion Malcolm Rapson on the Racebase GSX-R1000 led every lap to come home half a minute ahead of the field, while Jamie Hall proved once again that rain levels the playing fields with a clean ride into second on the Master Glass Garden Route R6, the only 600cc machine in the race. Jacques Ackermann on the Project60 SA/Barker/Stepp Durbanville ZX-10R was third, a lap down, followed home by JP Friederich (GR Tax/Johnny Fox/Mcar Centre R1) and Breakfast Run graduate Brad Bodsworth (Pit Please CBR1000RR).

Race 2, run in bright afternoon sunshine, was a different story, as young gun Kewyn Snyman, out for the first time on the Missile Motorcycles S1000RR, took the fight to Rapson, caught him on lap three and held off a series of determined challenges to romp home eight seconds clear. All eyes were on the race-long three-way battle for third, however, as Friederich, Hilton Redelinghuys (888 Motorcycles ZX-10R) and Ackermann fought it out all the way to the line, finishing in that order within less than second.

Michael du Toit (Danie Maritz Racing/Quick Pos R1) led home the second-tier Superbike Challenge in sixth overall, followed by Lubabalo Ntisana (LB Autos |ZX-10R), second in class and seventh overall. Mike Hunter’s LLG Properties/Microil ZX-6R was the first 600 home in 10th overall, with Hall 11 seconds down in 12th overall.

Rookie Breakfast Runner Matthew Deuse (Motorwise/Bulldog Racing ZX-10R), who came out of nowhere at the previous event to win both Strato Technology Clubman Motorcycles, Classic Superbikes and Breakfast Run races in his maiden outing, faced a far stronger challenge this time in Killarney’s most experienced bike racer, Danie Maritz, on the 1986 Go Daddy GSX-R1100.

Deuse didn’t falter under pressure, however. Both he and Maritz missed the wet Race 1, which was won by Wayne Gresse on the Tony’s Motor Spares ZX-10R from Donovan Stevens (Suzuki GSX-R1000) and Nicho Venter (Yamaha R1). Race 2 was a real cracker as Maritz moved up through the field to challenge Deuse, showing him a wheel in almost every corner for the final five laps. But Deuse held the line to take the third win of his first four races by just 0.164sec.

Third was Norman McFadden on an early Yamaha R6, from Shaun Harris (Pit Please VTR1000 SP1) and Wesley Hendricks (Maxicool/Motorwise ZX-10R). Ruan Smit on the Motoflex ZX-10R was the first Breakfast Runner homein 11th overall.

Jason Linaker (RST Ninja 650) was the only top contender with full wets in the first Bridgestone STC 650/SSP 300 race, run on a streaming wet circuit – and it showed, as he ran away to lead by 53 seconds after five laps, while veteran Lance Jonas (Samurai Racing/OneX/Fifty8 Performance SV650), defending champion Slade van Niekerk on the Project60 SA ER650 and Billy de Beer (Red Beard Racing ER650) fought it out for second.

Then Brendan Goldie (Project60 SA ER650) got spat off in a huge highside in Malmesbury Sweep, bringing out the red flags. The field reformed on the grid for a three-lap sprint to the line, in which Linaker was followed home by Van Niekerk, Jonas and De Beer, with cousins Nicholas and Braddon Hutchings the first SSP 300 riders home in fifth and sixth respectively on the HSC RC390’s.

Race 2 in the dry was a whole different story, as Van Niekerk and young gun Tristin Pienaar (Kawasaki ER650, sponsored by Dad) went at it for the lead from lights to flag, never more than a couple of bike lengths apart. The champion led for seven of the nine laps, only for Pienaar to pull off a superb pass with two laps to go and hold on to win by less than half a second.

Linaker was third, 13 seconds off the pace, closely followed by Gerrit ‘Ginger Ninja’ Visser (Kawasaki ER650), Jonas and Andre Calvert (Jetnav/Leslie’s Gifts ER650).

Nicholas Hutchings led the 300s in ninth overall, but all eyes were on the battle for second in class, with Raymond Alexander (HSC Ninja 300), Zante Otto (Honda CBR500), Braddon Hutchings and Mitch Robinson (Mag Workshop Ninja 390) swopping places on every lap in the dice of the day, eventually finishing in that order, covered by less than four seconds.

Byron Mitchell (Dolphin Engineering Formula VW) made a meal of the first Formula Libre single-seater race, finishing 40 seconds ahead of Dee-Jay Booysen (Dico Racing/Burner Factory Reynard) and lapping everybody else up to and including Storm Lanfear’s AMD Engineering/RDSA Mygale 1600 in third.  But the real fun and games, as always, was in the Formula Vee ranks, with a superb dice for eighth between Zane Amundsen (Repsol Lantis), Elroy Vice (Dolphin Engineering Forza), Kelly Fletcher (Dolphin Engineering Forza) and Ryno Pentz (Dico 4×4 Accessories Omega) which ended in that order within 12 seconds.

All three Class S runners finished in the same order and on the same lap in Race 2, while the Formula V bunfight became even more heated, as Vice, Amundsen and Pentz finished seventh, eighth and ninth respectively, covered by less than 11 seconds.

Only 10 of the 14 entrants made it to the start for the Ons Huisie 100 for Spitfire Furniture Sports & GT cars, and the race was shortened by mutual consent from 31 to 21 laps. As expected, Steve Humble (Harp Motorsport Opel Mallock Mk14B) and Gary Kieswetter in the Advanced Packaging Technology Porsche GT3 Cup made the running at the front with Dawie Joubert’s Wild Rose Porsche 991 doing his best to keep them honest, but behind them it became a race of attrition. Philip Booysen’s Midea Airconditioning Lotus Exige went out on lap nine, followed Andre Brink’s Porsche GT3 Cup a lap later, Gavin Gorman in VW-powered Nardini Sports on lap 11 and Ray Farnham’s Opel Birkin 7 2L on lap 13.

This caused a lengthy Safety Car period, bunching the field up so that the top three of the six finishers (Humble Kieswetter and Joubert) finished within less than eight seconds. Hennie Bosman and his rotary-powered Lotus 7 and Eric Salomon (Elf S 06) were a lap down and Craig Harper came home two laps down in his Harper Type 5.

The V8 powered APS 347is racers are a real handful in the wet and for two of them the first Pirelli V8 Masters race lasted less than 400 metres as Denis Gaiduk lost it under braking for Turn 1 and crashed into Richard Schreuder. That left Carl Nel to lead home top qualifier Sean Moore, ahead of Jason Ibbotson, Rui Campos and Gary Thomson. Ironically, Gaiduk’s car was ready for Race 2 but Schreuder’s AP347is had suffered a broken windscreen among other major damage and was out for the weekend. Moore got the holeshot this time and held the advantage to finish five seconds ahead of Nel, followed by Campos and Ibbotson – just 0.140sec apart after a superb race-long duel – with Thomson and Gaiduk bringing up the rear.