25 MARCH; SA CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE HEADER
With the cars in the national Extreme Festival and the South African championship DEOD Super GP motorcycles on the same programme for the first time in three years, Killarney is preparing for the recoil from a double barrelled blast on Saturday. (march25).
Heading the Festival list is the return of the turbocharged Sasol Global Touring Cars (GTC). And with a large field that is said to be to be a whack faster than they were during their debut meeting in the Cape last year, some exciting racing can be expected.
While predicting a winner is not going to be easy, partisan Kaapenaars will undoubtedly favour local hotshot Johan Fourie in his EPS Courier BMW-2, as he challenges reigning GTC champion, the Eastern Cape’s Michael Stephen (Engen Xtreme Audi A3).
Of course, they could both be upset by the likes of Gennaro Bonafede, who was runner-up in the 2016 title chase in his Sasol BMW and Production kingpin Daniel Rowe, who is moving up to the senior class in a VW Jetta.
The GTC’s are also going to be relaunching the Production Class as GTC-2 for the 2017 season. Here the battle will probably be between Killarney’s Dayne Angel in a lone Honda Civic and a selection of Volkswagen GTi’s and powerful 2-litre Minis.
Then while the Crossley & Webb Sports and GT events do not enjoy national status, their standard of racing certainly justifies it. The centre of attraction is almost certainly is going to be whether Craig Jarvis can keep his brutal 8.4-litre V10 Dodge Viper ahead of a gangbang from three Lotus Exiges in the hands of Dawie Joubert, Philip Booysen and Ian Long.
Jarvis was forced to use his spurs and whip to secure a well deserved overall victory during the opening Power Series meeting. On other occasions the super slick Joubert has been first to the flag. So, no bets — Saturday could go either way.
Other interesting Sports & GT entries include one from Johan Engelbrecht, whose GT2R may well be the fastest Porsche in the country. Then Scois Joubert will be seen in an almost bodyless Ariel Atom that could be a refugee from Weightwatchers, while Steve Humble has the advantage of superior driving ability to compensate for his Juno S2000’s moderate power output.
Ladies are represented by Paige Lindenberg in the single seater Investchem Formula 1600 class and VW Polo driver Tasmin Pepper who is definitely going to be a threat to all the macho males in the Engen VW Cup category.
As far as the kortbroeke are concerned, the 15 year old Giordano Lupini is maturing quickly in the Engen VW Cup, while Joshua Dolinschek who is even younger (by a few days), could spring a surprise in his super quick Mygale Duratech, in the Investchem Formula 1600 category.
All in all there’s a lot to see and it’s certainly going to be worth seeing.
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