01 Mar ROUND 2 OF POWER SERIES SPONSORED BY WINGFIELD MOTORS AT KILLARNEY INTERNATIONAL RACEWAY WILL FEATURE SPECTACULAR NIGHT RACING
The second instalment of Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors on Saturday 16 March at Killarney International Raceway includes a special treat for lovers of Le Mans-style sports car racing – the first round of the 2019 South African Endurance Series.
The Campos 600 will see sports-racers with iconic names such as such as Ligier and Elf, supercars such as Porsche and Lamborghini, highly modified street cars and vintage sports and GT cars battle it out for four hours from mid-afternoon into the night, complete with frantic pit-stops, emergency repairs and the final, nail-biting tension as the minutes tick away that is unique to this form of motorsport.
The South African Endurance Series was started in 2013 by historic racer Roger Pearce and a group of friends in the spirit of the iconic Springbok Series of the 1960s and 70s, which included classics races such as the Kyalami 9 Hours and the Cape South-Easter. In honour of that golden era of racing, the current series is also open to vintage sports and GT cars, so you will see ‘golden oldies’ such as a 1967 Porsche 910 and a 1971 Datsun 240Z competing against
Lamborghini Gallardo GT3s and even a monster seven-litre V8 powered Aquila sports racer.
This huge disparity in lap times makes for constant overtaking; the racing is anything but processional and very exciting for spectators.
But first there will be a full programme of races for three categories each of car and motorcycle racing, starting with the Burly Pro GTI Challenge – an ultra-competitive mix of all things Volkswagen that always features big fields and door-handle banging racing (the unofficial class motto is “This is a contact sport!”).
The Shatterfix Fine Cars and Millstock Classic Car races are less combative but just as intense, featuring the best of 1960s, 70s and 80s modified street cars, from snarling Alfas and Ford Escorts and Capris to thundering Mustangs.
The Formula Libre single-seaters will give spectators a taste of real Grand Prix racing; these open-wheelers wear most of their engineering on the outside and you can actually watch their suspension working overtime as they power through a fast corner such as Malmesbury Sweep.
The Powersport motorcycle championship for 650s and 300s began as affordable entry-level racing but has since become quite specialised as a feeder series for future Superbike stars; this is where you will see incredible natural talent combined with teenage bravado in an often explosive combination.
The Clubmans category is exactly what its name suggests – an open class for second-tier riders and newbies – a fascinating mix of well-seasoned older riders and hotshot rookies that has on occasion produced some of the tightest finishes yet seen at Killarney.
But for sheer spectacle there is nothing to touch the Superbike racers, leaned over to impossible-seeking angles through the corners and howling down the straights with more than 200 horsepower pushing less than 200 kilograms of machinery. Best of all, however, they’re not inside, they’re on top – you can see every movement of the riders as they fight to control these brutale machines.
Nobody says you have to watch the whole day’s racing from one vantage point, either. A free shuttle will be available to move you between a number of spectator points and the Clubhouse, where the upstairs balcony offers spectacular views of the fastest corner on the circuit, the 140km/h Malmesbury Sweep.
Motorsport fans need pit-stops too, so the Trackside Pub and Grill at the Clubhouse and the New Pits Lounge will be serving fine food and liquid refreshments all day and late into the evening from the revamped Summer Menu (including the best fruit smoothies, both virgin and high-octane, in the business) while younger fans enjoy the newly upgraded Kiddies Korner at the clubhouse, with child-minders on duty all day, and their parents relax in the Nursery Room, which now has nappy-changing and discreet breastfeeding facilities.
Gates open at 6:30am on Saturday 16 March, with practice and qualifying from 8:00am and racing from about 10:00am. Book at Computicket (https://online.computicket.com/web/event/aes_4hour_power_series_rnd2/1277077875) or pay at the gate; entry is R100 for adults, R40 for scholars under 16 and free for kids under 12.