12 Jun REVIEW – POWER SERIES ROUND 4 – 8 JUNE 2019
EXPL0SIVE ACTION, PLENTY OF DRAMA AT KILLARNEY POWER SERIES
Round 4 of the Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors at Killarney International Raceway on Saturday 8 June delivered explosive action – in more ways than one! – plenty of drama and world-class racing in the top categories.
The most dramatic moment, however, came when Colin Plit’s mid-engined Juno blew an oil seal and showered its engine bay with hot oil – which immediately caught fire. With the engine behind him, Plit didn’t realise what had happened until he started getting cooked! The Juno rolled to a stop midway down the Kfm Straight, and the first marshal’s fire extinguisher went off exactly 11 seconds later, before Plit had even got out of the car.
Thanks to the quick action of the marshals the car is apparently repairable, and we hope to see Plit back in action again soon.
The headline Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons category drew a near-record grid of 40 cars, but their first race was disrupted by a multi-car pileup on lap three. Only 30 cars were able to line up for the four-lap sprint restart, which was won by Danie van Niekerk (Wingfield BMW) after a race-long battle with late entry Zack Groenewald (Nissan Skyline GT-R).
However, Brennon Green (Weskaap Bakwerke Golf 5 Gti) had done enough to claim second place on aggregate by just one second from Groenewald, a scant 0.206sec behind Van Niekerk.
Van Niekerk started Race 2 where he’d left off earlier – in the front – but dropped back in the final two laps, leaving Groenewald and Michael Le Sueur (New Engineering Golf 1) to battle for the win, with Groenewald 0.195sec ahead when it counted, to take the overall win for the day.
The Burly Pro GTi challenge delivered more first-corner traffic jams with 20 cars trying to get into Kfm corner at the same time, but when the dust settled Nian du Toit (Allied Fibreglass Jetta 2L) was leading from Jurie Swart (Alpine Polo 6 2L), Colin Nicholas Meder (International Tube Polo) and Chris Swart (Vintage Paint Jetta 2 2L).
Jurie Swart grabbed the lead on lap four but sadly dropped out on the final lap, leaving Meder to come home well clear of Chris Swart, Du Toit and Mark Fontini (Medine Manufacturing).
Race 2 saw Chris Swart making the early running, only to fall victim to both Du Toit and Fontini on lap two. Nevertheless, he hung on to the leading pair and inherited second when Du Toit dropped back to third on the final lap – and that was enough to give him the overall victory for the day, ahead of Du Toit and Fontini.
Eden Thompson (Jetta) finished fourth overall and first in Class B, while teenage hotshot Giordano Lupini (Accelerate Golf 1 GTi) aced Class C, finishing fifth overall for the day.
The RST Suzuki South Superbike series delivered superb racing, a lot of behind-the-scenes drama – and a new lap record.
ASAP World R6 rider Jared Schultz found himself in a surprise pole position after a wet qualifying session – but that didn’t count for much as the circuit was dry by Race 1.
Super600 hotshot and reigning SA SuperJunior title-holder Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly R6) came off the second row of the grid to lead the field into the first corner. By the end of lap one, however, series leader Hayden Jonas (Samurai R1), sore all over from a huge high-side in practice the day before, had recovered his poise and powered past Snyman into the lead, closely followed by arch-rival Ronald Slamet on the PLM Motorsport R1.
A lap later Trevor Westman (Mad Macs ZX-10R) relegated Snyman to fourth; the whole complexion of the race changed from the half-way point as Jonas, his aches forgotten in the heat of the moment, checked out and walked away to win by more than five seconds. Westman and Slamet put up the dice of the day for second, swopping places several times to finish with the Mad Macs rider in front by less than a bike length (0.092sec, to be precise).
Snyman, meanwhile, three seconds behind this duel and 10 seconds ahead of Schultz in fifth, set himself the task of reeling off five perfect laps – and was rewarded with a new lap record for a 600cc motorcycle of 1min 12.596sec.
Behind them Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R), Quintin Ebden (Milu R1) and Malcom Rapson on his family-funded Kawasaki ZX-10R fought it out for SuperMasters line honours; Cragg blitzed Ebden on the last lap to take the class win by 0.020sec, as a tiring Rapson dropped back slightly in the closing stages.
Schultz pulled brilliant start in Race 2 and was third behind Jonas and Slamet at the end of lap 1. Over the next few laps, however, the earlier pattern repeated itself as first Westman and then Snyman pushed him down to fifth and Jonas pulled away to win by more than seven seconds and extend his unbeaten streak to eight races – a clean sweep so far in 2019.
Westman and Slamet debated third to the delight of the crowd, Snyman came home an unchallenged fifth and the ‘old boys’ put up another intense battle for sixth overall, with Crag, Rapson and Klint Munson (Speed Angle ZX-10R) finishing in that order within 1.6 seconds.
A new star was born in the Clubmans Class as rookie Lubabalo Ntisana (Kawasaki ZX-10R) took his maiden race win after a race-long dice with former motocrosser Brett Roberts (Linea R6), class stalwart Wayne Arendse (Kawasaki ZX-10R) and Shaun Mackrill (GFP Lighting ZX-10R).
He moved away in the final laps to win by 2.733 seconds while Arendse, Roberts and Mackrill finished in that order within less than a second.
Ntisana then proved his new form was no flash in the pan in an epic Race 2 showdown that saw Arendse, Ntisana, veteran Paul Medell (in his first outing on a 13-year-old Honda CBR600) Roberts and Mackrill finish in that order, covered by less than three seconds.
The Powersport races delivered a David-and-Goliath narrative worthy of Hollywood, with the 300cc twins and 390cc singles of Class B making the running and the 650cc Class A twins battling to stay in touch!
Jason Linaker (Samurai Ninja 300) led them home in Race 1, 14 seconds ahead of Connor Hagan (NPH RC390). Class A leader Chris Williams (Trac Mac ER650) was sixth on lap one and third on lap two, but could make no impression on the flying youngsters, finishing third overall, 2 seconds in arrears.
Race 2 saw Williams power through the field to take the lead from Hagan on the penultimate lap and win by a scant 1.531sec, with Tony Sterianos (RST RC390) a distant third.
The first Shatterfix Fine and Millstock Classic Cars race was marred by a start-line shunt that left Robin Forbes’ Corvette Stingray looking decidedly second-hand, but he was there for the restart and battled his way through the field to finish sixth behind Charles Arton (Datsun 240Z), Franco Donadio (Ford Escort Mk1), Erik Mouton (Chev De Ville 6.3L), Eric van der Merwe (Porsche 924T) and Dave Alhadeff’s two-litre Alfa GTA M.
Arton walked away with Race 2, leading from lights to flag from Donadio, Louis Powell (Hoosier Escort 2L), Mouton and Forbes.
The Index of Performance win in the Fine Cars category went to Arnold Lambert (VW Jetta), ahead of father Mauritzio (VW Passat) and son Robert (Technopart MX-5) Toscano, with Melani Cook (VW Fox) a well-deserved fourth for the day.
Sean Moore made the early running in the first V8 Masters race, but was soon overtaken by defending champion Fabio Tafani, who walked away to a seven second lead at the flag, as Moore fended off a late charge from Brian Evans to hang on to second by just 0.149sec.
Makita Supercar leader Ryan McCarthy actually passed the last of the big V8’s to finish 10th overall and first in the two-litre class, ahead of Jaco Lambert and Andrew Moffit.
Race 2 was a lot closer, with Tafani, Moore and Schreuder battling it out the whole way, to finish in that order, covered by just 1.469 seconds, while McCarthy, Glen Phillips and Moffit headed the Supercar field.
Without Plit’s Juno to keep him honest, Craig Jarvis in the record-breaking Maui Ginetta G57 ran away with both Pirelli Sports and GT Car Races; Steve Humble and his Opel-powered Mallock 14B went out on lap two of the first race, leaving Maarten Prins (Porsche GT3 Cup) and Peter van der Spuy (XPEL Porsche Carrera RSR T) to trail home 47 and 58 seconds respectively.
Humble was back for Race 2, chasing the thundering Ginetta all the way, with Prins third and Martin Pugh (Appleberry CanAm) fourth.
Dee-Jay Booysen (Dico) dominated the Formula Libre races, winning both outings going away, with Byron Mitchell (VW Forza 1.4L) second in Race 1, while Hadyn Ellwood (Lantis), Cyril Somerville (VW Sting 1.4) and Zane Amundsen (Lantis) put up an intriguing scrap for third, finishing in that order within three seconds.
Andrew Rackstraw (RDSA Reynard 2L) kept in touch with Booysen throughout Race 2, finishing only 4.18 seconds adrift; Mitchell, Ellwood and Somerville went at it again, until Mitchell pulled away to cement third, while Ellwood and Somerville debated fourth down to the line, with Ellwood ahead by just 0.107sec when it counted.
The fifth round of the Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors at Killarney International raceway will be run on Saturday 6 July.