Rallycross at Killarney on 16 September 2017
Killarney Motor Show, Sunday 15 Oct 2017
With more exhibits and a heap more action than before, the second (live), Argus Killarney Motor Show on Sunday October 15, promises to be the biggest and certainly the best event of its kind, ever staged in the Western Cape.
Because while the 2016 show was undoubtedly a huge success, the action this year is going to include the first appearance in these parts, of a car crunching monster truck, as well as a high flying display of Freestyle Motocross stunt bikes. And in addition, there is also going to be a new act by the incredible American award winning Le Riche brothers, who thrilled the Killarney crowd last year.
Monster trucks are continuing to gain popularity in the United States. This after Bob Chandler started it all when he built the first Bigfoot in the late 1970’s. Other expressive names like Grave Digger, Bear Foot, King Kong, Master of Disaster and Grim Reaper, quickly followed his example and a new motorsport craze was born.
It quickly spread to Canada, Europe and particularly to Oz where Monsters like Tropical Thunder Australia and Outback Thunder, soon established themselves.
Closer to home, Alphonso Loots’ has been responsible for the construction of the destructive Titan Monster Truck. Incredibly, he has even been able to licence it for use on public roads as an “experimental tractor.” Although, as he explains he never takes advantage of that privilege.
Originally a street legal Ford F250 bakkie, it now weighs over five tons and is powered by a giant 7.6-litre V8 motor that develops 2,500 Nm of torque. The transmission is by way of a Ford C6 automatic gearbox, while the power steering from a big Mercedes truck, helps the driver keep it pointed in the right direction.
But it’s the mind-blowing wheels that always capture the most attention from the public. They are chest high, a metre wide and weigh 308kg each. The giant “terra” tyres that have become the norm on monster trucks, were originally developed for agricultural purposes and are now available with a selection of treads designed for better off-road traction.
Then, in another field of sporting endeavour, with motocross having always been popular in the Cape, senior enthusiasts will recall former American champion “Rocket” Rex Staten, who caused a sensation during an international motocross meeting at Killarney in the 1970’s. Although closely pursued he was leading, when he disregarded the handlebars and held his hands high over his head, while airborne over a particularly difficult jump.
Now retired and back in California, he must be filled with admiration as he watches riders doing double, back, as well as forward somersaults, while at other times taking their hands, feet and even backsides off their bikes as they soar through the air, metres higher than any double story building.
And that’s what everyone’s also going to see performed by the Monster Freestyle Stunt Riders at the Killarney Motor Show.
Of course, the complex will be crowded with an extreme selection of new, as well as vintage, veteran and classic cars, motorcycles and even tractors, with many of the latest models available for test drives and rides.
And in keeping with the Killarney adage of always providing family entertainment, the youngsters are going to receive special attention. The pedal, as well as engine powered karts will be there in force for different age groups, while the Grand Prix simulators are going to be available for everyone.
SOUTH AFRICA TO HOST A ROUND OF WORLD RX FROM 2017
The FIA World Rallycross Championship presented by Monster Energy will visit Africa for the first time next year. Killarney race circuit in Cape Town will stage a round of the World Championship in 2017 as part of a new multi-year deal with Championship promoter, IMG.
The South African round of World RX will form the final event of next year’s calendar. Dating back to 1947, Killarney has the magnificent back drop of Table Mountain in one of the world’s most beautiful cities that is Cape Town. The construction of a brand new rallycross track will commence in the next six weeks and will be a permanent circuit.
The Western Cape then had its first taste of international Formula One racing when the non-championship Cape Grand Prix was held at Killarney back in 1960. Since then, the complex has grown and hosts several forms of main circuit racing as well as motocross, karting, stock cars and drag racing.
Des Easom, Executive Manager of Killarney International Raceway commented: “Killarney is delighted to be hosting this first of its kind event in Africa. Our thousands of loyal fans and spectators, Cape Town and its New Seven Wonders of Nature Table Mountain deserve no less. This is a thrilling, highly competitive form of racing with international appeal and media coverage. We look forward to working with IMG and pooling our expertise and experience on the series of events. This is a great addition to our whole-year racing calendar and spectators can look forward to an international and world-class event.”
Alderman Ian Neilson, the City of Cape Town’s Executive Deputy Mayor, believes that the city’s investment in this initiative will reaffirm Cape Town’s status as a world-class African city. He explained: “Worldwide, motorsport is a significant generator of economic activity. This in turn enables economic growth and drives job creation. The City of Cape Town will do everything in its power to create an enabling environment to unlock investment and employment opportunities. This sporting event will also contribute positively to tourism, the marketing of Cape Town as a preferred destination and help to grow this sport in South Africa and in the rest of Africa. In South Africa in particular, sport has had a profound reconciliatory impact and we look forward to welcoming our diverse communities as well as the international fraternity.”
Paul Bellamy, World RX Managing Director for IMG, concluded: “We have been looking at South Africa as a potential new venue in World RX for some time and we are delighted to be able to announce the new deal from 2017 onwards. We are the only FIA World Championship to host an event in sub-Saharan Africa and the Killarney circuit is a fantastic facility where we can create a truly sensational season-closer. Next year will mark the first time that a rallycross event has taken place on the African continent and we are extremely excited to bring the sport to a new continent. I’d like to thank the Killarney organisers and the city of Cape Town for all their support in helping to get this project off the ground.”
Tickets for the World Rallycross championship at Killarney International Raceway on 11 and 12 November 2017 now available from Ticketpros