Drag Racing returns to Killarney for the first MSA-sanctioned straight-line competition since the Covid-19 lockdown took effect in March 2020, with “Test & Tune Cape Town” on Heritage Day, Wednesday 24 September, jointly presented by the Western Province Motor Club and RaceSA.
Unfortunately NO SPECTATORS WILL BE PERMITTED and a maximum of three crew members per vehicle are allowed.
With no spectators permitted to support the event, funding presented a major challenge until Nazeer Loonat of RaceSA took on the responsibility of rallying enough serious, committed competitors willing to support their local track in these difficult times.
Entries are by invitation only and numbers are limited to ensure compliance with health and safety protocols and MSA regulations; all competitors will be required to hold a 2020 competition licence.
It will not, however, be business as usual. All entries are being done electronically in advance and pit allocations will ensure the necessary social distancing.
Competitors will be required to self-scrutineer their cars and submit the necessary documentation in advance and race results will be issued electronically. There will be no time-slips provided and, sadly, no prize-giving.
To enable drag-racing enthusiasts to enjoy the action from the safety of their own homes – or anywhere they have access to the internet – the organisers are keen to pursuer the option of live-streaming the event. This comes with additional costs, however, as well as logistical challenges that may take some time to overcome.
POWER SERIES AT KILLARNEY BACK TO FULL STRENGTH
Power Series racing presented by Wingfield Motors and Kfm 94.5 at Killarney International Raceway will be back to full strength on Saturday 26 September with races for eight categories.
Unfortunately the prohibition on spectators at all sporting events, including motorsport, is still in force under the current Covid-19 health and safety protocols, so NO SPECTATORS WILL BE ALLOWED – but the event will be live-streamed by IMUSAT Sport.
There will be races for the Mikes Place Clubmans, Cheaper Cars GTI Challenge, Millstock Cars Pre-1980s and Pre-1990 Cars and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars, Sports and GT Cars, Formula Libre Single Seaters, as well as the RST Suzuki South Superbikes, RST Trac Mac Clubmans Motorcycles and RST Trac Mac Powersport Motorcycles.
Strict health and safety protocols among competitors and crews will have to be observed. These include compulsory wearing of face masks at all times, strict cleaning protocols and temperature screening of all competitors and crew attending. A maximum of three crew members will be allowed for each competitor.
Bearing in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic is by no means over and that the risk of infection is still high, we want to make sure that we are seen to be absolutely 100 percent Covid-19 compliant and to prevent any chance of events not being permitted at the circuit.
Practice and qualifying will start at 9:00am.
REGIONAL KARTING IS NOT JUST KIDS’ STUFF
Regional Karting on the one-kilometre ‘K’ circuit at Killarney International Raceway is back up to full speed on Saturday 3 October with Round 4 of the Western Province Max Series, featuring races for drivers as young as five.
The event will be run with all the lockdown rules and restrictions in place under the 2 Covid-19 health and safety protocols including, sadly, NO SPECTATORS and a maximum of three crew per entry, face masks on and social distancing in place at all times, and a compulsory temperature check, hand-sanitiser spray and health questionnaire on entry.
Nevertheless, rid yourself of the perception that Kart Racing is for kids, even if history tells us that all-time Formula 1 greats such as Hamilton, Schumacher and Senna got their start as pre-teens in karts.
To compete in the premier DD2 direct drive gearbox class you have to be at least 15 years old (32 if you want to qualify for Masters status!) and the racing is as tough and professional as any Main-Circuit racing category.
The difference is that the class rules are very strictly enforced and the karts are very closely matched. It’s all down to the skill and nerve of the drivers – which says a lot when you are racing at more than 100km/h with your backside less than five centimetres above the track.
The top chain drive Senior Max class for drivers of 14 years or older has the reputation of being the hardest fought of all karting categories at Killarney; it’s not unusual for the top four to finish within that number of seconds (or even closer!) after a 10 lap race.
The Junior Max class for divers from their 12th to 16th birthdays has perhaps the widest spread of talent in the Rotax Max series, resulting in one-on-one duels throughout the field and making life very interesting for the timekeepers but hugely exciting for the contestants.
The drivers in the junior classes – Mini Max (9th – 14th birthday), Mini Rok (8th – 13th birthday), Micro Max (7th – 12th birthday) and Bambino (5th – 9th birthday) may be primary-school pupils during the week but when the weekend comes they transform into highly focused driver who take their racing very seriously indeed – and have a lot of fun doing it!
Practice and qualifying will start at 9.00am.
The Rotax Max National Karting series comes to the ‘K’ circuit at Killarney on Saturday 17 October for the first time since lockdown, bringing South Africa’s top kart drivers to do battle with the locals on our home turf.
The event will be run with all the lockdown rules and restrictions in place under the Level 2 Covid-19 health and safety protocols including, sadly, NO SPECTATORS and a maximum of three crew per entry, face masks on and social distancing in place at all times, and a compulsory temperature check, hand-sanitiser spray and health questionnaire on entry.
Bearing in mind that the Covid-19 pandemic is by no means over and that the risk of infection is still high, we want to make sure that we are seen to be absolutely 100 percent Covid-19 compliant and to prevent any chance of events not being permitted at the circuit.
There’s a twist, however. Due to the shortened season forced on SA Motorsport by the lockdown, all the local drivers will also score points in the Western Province Regional Rotax Max series, as well as in the national championship. With local rivalries being played out in between the contest for National honours, expect some epic battles throughout the field in every category.
There will be races for the premier DD2 gearbox class, including the DD2 Master ‘class within a class’ for drivers over 30 years old (Who said karting was only for kids?). The same is true of the Senior Max class, mixing it with the Junior Max hotshots, none of whom is older than 14!
Drivers under 13 are Mini Max, while the under-11’s make up the equally hard-fought Micro Max category.
Practice and qualifying will begin at 9:00am.
Masterdrive is an advanced driver training organization, established in 1999, that specialises in helping companies in managing driver risk interventions. They have three branches in South Africa – in Johannesburg, Durban and at Cape Town’s Killarney International Raceway, where they occupy the training centre at our skid-pan.
They’re also staunch supporters of World Rallycross at Killarney, as well as our road safety initiatives, particularly our Road Safety Youth Open Day, hosted by the Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works and Killarney International Raceway.
Masterdrive provided the two activations that made the deepest impression. In the first an instructor demonstrated just how long it takes to stop a vehicle travelling at 60, and then 120km/h, leaving most of the participants astonished by how badly they had underestimated the stopping distance required.
In the second the notorious ‘Skid Monster’ – a small hatchback with castor-mounted rear wheels – showed just how quickly even a modern car can get out of control when the wheels break traction. On a spinning pitch, it’s great fun; on the public road, it’s a recipe for disaster, something that wasn’t lost on the (slightly seasick) passengers after their rides.
Masterdrive instructors believe that if even one young life is saved through these activations, they are worth the effort; we salute their dedication to road safety and thank them for their support.
Monster Energy has been a dedicated supporter of the Killarney Motor Show for many years, setting up their Gig Rig to act as a sound stage, hosting celebrity guests and donating awesome prizes for visitor competitions.
Each year they bring awesome acts to entertain visitors to the Show, such as the Le Riche brothers, who turn the art of trails riding into a breath-taking circus act, and the high-flying riders of the Freestyle Motocross crew, defying gravity and seemingly re-writing the laws of physics.
What is less well known is that Monster Energy are also staunch supporters of Drag Racing – in particular grass-roots Street2Strip and #RobotRacing, throwing their weight behind Killarney’s efforts to get illegal street racers off the public roads and into a safe and controlled environment.
We thank them for adding extra sparkle to the annual Killarney Motor Show and we salute Monster
Energy for their support of our road safety initiatives.
The partnership between Killarney International Raceway and the City of Cape Town began way back in 2016 in an effort to get illegal street racers off the public roads and into a safe and manageable arena.
This initiative, now widely known as #RobotRacing, has taken on a life of its own, with racing every Wednesday night, weather and pandemics permitting. It is thanks to the support of the City that we have been able to keep the ticket price down to R70 per person, with no further charge whatsoever to compete – an offering that is rare if not unique in motorsport.
The City also supports a number of national and international events at Killarney, notably the annual World Rallycross season finale, each year since since 2017, and a round of the ROK National Karting series, as well as the annual end-of-year StreetFest, a celebration of car culture that pulls in petrolheads from all over South African and as far afield as Namibia.
By helping Killarney to host events that attract thousands of visitors, both as competitors and spectators, the City is also helping to promote Cape Town as a tourist destination, boosting every facet of the industry from accommodation to street vendors.
Nevertheless, the support we value most is when City officials such as Mayor Dan Plato, Deputy Mayor Ian Neilson and Mayoral Committee member for Safety and Security JP Smith attend these events, talking to competitors and fans down on pit lane where the action happens.
We thank the City of Cape Town for its support of Killarney and motorsport in the Western Cape, and we thank the City officials who give up their own time (and they know who they are!) to make it happen.
At the start of each main-circuit race at Killarney, the field is followed round the circuit by the chief marshal in the ‘chase vehicle’, the fire truck and the medical response vehicle, to provide the fastest possible response should there be an incident while the competitors are still closely bunched.
The chief marshal’s chase vehicle (two of them, if necessary) at main-circuit meetings is provided free of charge by DTM Helderberg, a Somerset West dealer in new and used Nissan and Datsun vehicles.
Dealer principal Wayne Wilson is not only a Killarney supporter of long standing but also an active competitor in both the Clubmans’ and Rallycross categories, along with his son Stacy.
“Our team and our family enjoy the privilege equally,” he says, “so we are fortunate to be able to enjoy these cars at Killarney.
Stacy Wilson races the aptly-named ‘Monster Maxima’, while Wayne and his crew have recently finished building a second Rallycross Maxima, which he describes as “just pure fun”.
“We are looking forward to the reigniting of the racing calendar.”
Without the support of stalwarts such as the Wilson family and DTM Helderberg, running motorsport events at Killarney would be a logistical nightmare. We thank them, we salute them and we join them in looking forward to the day when the engines roar again.
The concept of a pace car was the brainchild of Carl G Fisher, creator of the Indianapolis Speedway; he came up with the idea so he could have a rolling start for the very first Indy 500 in 1911.
He led the warm-up lap in his own Stoddard Dayton road car, before pulling off the circuit and allowing the race to begin as the leaders crossed the start/finish line – a ritual that has not changed to this day.
The categories of main circuit racing at Killarney that feature a rolling start are led in strict formation on their warm-up lap by the pace-car driver and the circuit’s health and safety officer, in a road car, which pulls off into pit lane as the field enters the start/finish straight. As the front row crosses the start-line, the overhead red lights go out and the race is on!
What’s less well known is that the same pace car sits at the back of the grid during a standing start, and follows the field around the circuit for the first lap of the race proper, along with the circuit doctor in a medical response vehicle and the chief marshal in a fire bakkie.
The pace car at each Killarney main-circuit event (and, when needed, the medical response vehicle as well) is provided by Imperial Select Table View, a multi-franchise that includes, among others, Renault Table View.
We thank them for their long-standing support of racing at Killarney, as custodians of a tradition that goes back 109 years.
Ian Long of Imperial Select, who is deeply involved in motorsport at Killarney as chairman of the Clubmans section and vice-chairman of the Rallycross and Drag Racing sections, also carries the cost of fuel, signage and – quite often – two new left-side tyres after a day of hard driving around a circuit with four right-hand corners and only one left-hander!
(Photo Credit: Colin Brown)
It used to be said that ‘Things go better with Coke’. Motorsport at Killarney certainly goes better with the world’s most recognisable cold drink, thanks to Western Cape distributor Peninsula Beverages.
Not only do they sponsor generous quantities of bottled water and soft drinks for the marshals, timekeepers and officials at main circuit events, they can always be counted on for the loan of the Coca Cola Gig Rig whenever an outdoor stage is needed for live music, competitions, DJs, prizegiving and announcements at major events such as H Day, the Killarney Motor Show and the Youth Day Road Safety Campaign.
They turn any event into a pop-up festive occasion with the loan of shop-fittings and fridges for the day, often at short notice and always with a smile. We thank them for their commitment to motorsport and our road safety initiatives – and for quenching our thirst on race days!
Another new name at Killarney is that of Emergency Glass Repairs – but the man behind it is a motorsport stalwart of many years’ standing. Peet van der Walt is not only a vastly experienced racer but also the driver of the Killarney Experience Audi A8.
This very unusual track car has been completely stripped of its luxury interior, to be replaced by a roll cage and four – count them, four! – racing seats with full safety harnesses.
Its V8 engine has been tuned to deliver in the region of 320 horsepower, driving all four wheels through a six-speed manual transmission (borrowed from an RS4 – there is no such thing as a manual A8) and the standard Quattro final drive.
That makes it possible for three passengers to get first-hand experience of high-speed laps in a seriously fast car. But this is not an experience you can buy – you have to be invited!
Typical guests include young people with life-threatening illnesses or from disadvantaged backgrounds, winners of competitions in aid of charity and people who have distinguished themselves by service to their communities.
The cost of these laps – fuel, tyres and maintenance of this demanding beast – is borne by Peet van der Walt, who also makes the Audi available as a pace car when needed. We salute you, and we thank you!
As co-sponsor of both the Powersport and Clubmans categories at Killarney’s regional Power Series, Trac-Mac’s support of motorcycle racing from the entry-level 300cc Powersport B class to the Clubmans Superbikes is as all-embracing as their range of tyres, accessories and bikewear for all types of machines and all kinds of riders,
It all started in July 1982 with a small ‘hole in the wall’ shop in Shortmarket Street where John McEwan (the Mac in Trac-Mac) opened the first specialist motorcycle tyre fitment centre in Cape Town.
In 1986 the business moved to Waterkant Street – then a hive of motorcycle activity – and its range expanded to include chains and sprockets, brake pads and crash helmets. Branches in Bellville and Wynberg followed in 2005 and 2007 respectively but by 2011 Trac-Mac (and its range of products) had completely outgrown the Waterkant Street premises and moved again, this time to Marine Drive in Paarden Eiland.
Throughout the years Trac-Mac and the enthusiasts who work there have always been involved with motorcycle racing at Killarney. We thank them for their support and we are proud to have their name associated with the two categories that represent grassroots racing at its best.
Even the four-wheeled petrolheads say the RST Suzuki South Superbike races are among the most exciting at the Power Series regional events, with state-of-the-art litre class machines lapping at close to 1min 10secs and reaching speeds of more than 270km/h on the straights.
And remember, these are lightly modified production street-bikes, unlike the multi-million rand purpose-built endurance racers that are the only cars capable of quicker laps at Killarney.
Suzuki South was founded in 1980 by former motorcycle drag racer Nibs Cragg, whose son Rob went on to become a multiple Western Province superbike champion in the first years of the new millennium – and still races in the Masters Class of the category.
Today it is part of the South Motorcycles group under the general managership of Stewart Thom, a second-generation racer himself – that’s him in the picture, racing a classic Suzuki GS1000 in an historic racing event in 2018.
We honour them not only for their long-standing sponsorship but also for their deep involvement over many years in motorcycle racing at Killarney, from supporting individual riders to series sponsorship.
They currently offer new and used Suzuki, Kawasaki, SYM, Aeon, Kiden, Zontes and Mondial motorcycles, scooters and quads, as well as a wide range of accessories, parts and merchandise. Finance can be arranged if required, and they will either trade in your old bike or put it on their showroom floor on a commission basis.
In addition, their service department is fully equipped, up to and including on-site dyno testing, for servicing, tyre fitment, repairs (including insurance jobs) upgrades and modifications to current and classic motorcycles, scooters and quads.
During the coronavirus lockdown their workshop and parts departments are open to anyone providing essential services, although services might be a bit more limited than normal as some access to parts might be unavailable due to the lockdown.
For appointments please email email@example.com
Everybody needs a pick-me-up sometimes, and that’s especially true in the world of motorsport.
Whether it’s trimming dead branches off the trees alongside the back straight, servicing the cameras around the circuit that provide total coverage on race days, reconfiguring the circuit for different events such as Drag Racing, Rallycross or Oval Track racing, repairing a light fitting in the floodlights that make Wednesday night #RobotRacing possible, or even lifting a crashed car off the circuit during World Rallycross events, one phone call to Eazi Access and the right machine for the job is at the circuit when we need it.
Eazi Access has been supplying access equipment for reaching hard-to-get jobs and moving awkward loads in the construction, mining, industrial and entertainment sectors since 2003, and has the biggest, most versatile fleet of equipment in Africa for rent or sale.
They also offer servicing and training across a range of industries and applications, as well as skilled operators, site supervisors and technicians when needed, to work with customers to ensure that the job gets done safely and efficiently.
Look around the circuit next time you attend an event at Killarney: anything you can see that’s higher than a ladder or bigger than a bakkie load – Eazi Access was there before you were, to make sure it’s ready for your day’s entertainment and to ensure the safety of the competitors.
We thank Eazi Access for their steady support (pun intended!) in the hope that we can continue to lean on them in the years to come.
One of the most important ‘behind the scenes’ sponsors at Killarney International Raceway is Afritech Equipment Solutions, the provider of the mobile generators you’ll see standing at key points around the complex on race days.
These make it possible to continue racing, serving food and drinks, broadcasting commentary and providing emergency medical services during power outages and load shedding.
Although a relatively young company, Afritech’s key management and staff can boast with more than 100 years of accumulated experience in the equipment sales and rental industry.
They supply diesel powered generators up to 1 Megawatt, welders, compressors, lighting plants, pumps, inverter welders, electric and pneumatic power tools, cutting equipment and even spanners to power generation, petrochemical, pipeline and solar power projects as well as steel, paper and pulp mills and many other industrial projects.
We honour Afritech for their commitment to motorsport, for always making sure we have standby generators on site for every race day, even when load shedding has put severe pressure on their availability. Without them, race days would come to a sudden stop every time the power goes down.
A sponsor of almost every facet of motorcycle racing at Killarney, RST bikewear can trace its history back to 1988, when founder Jonny Towers started with a range of tough, high quality but affordable motorcycle jackets and gloves under the brand name Rhino.
A keen rider – and racer – himself, he’d seen many riders at motorcycling events and race meetings in really badly-fitting leathers. Most riders in the late 1980s couldn’t afford high-end brands and he could see there was a need for well-made affordable gear – bikewear that looked good, worked well and offered good value.
The Rhino brand, aimed primarily at racers and riders of performance streetbikes, soon evolved into Rhino Sport and when he added ‘Technology’ to the name it became RST – and grew to become the United Kingdom’s No.1 and a globally recognised brand.
RST bikewear is designed and developed at their headquarters in Derbyshire, surrounded by great roads, some of the world’s best racing circuits and arguably the most varied climate you can find; every new product gets tested under real-world conditions before it gets into the RST catalogue.
More than three decades later, Jonny Towers is still racing; he was the UK Thundersport Supertwin champion in 2017 and comes to Killarney each year to take part in the annual 8 Hour international endurance race for lightweight motorcycles. He has been a member of the winning team in this international event 10 times, and shows no signs of slowing down.
We thank Jonny and RST for their unstinting support of motorcycle racing at Killarney over the years; may their involvement in all the categories of two-wheeled competition at the home of motorsport in the Western Cape go from strength to strength.
One of the more unusual category sponsors of Killarney’s regional Power Series is Bejo Trustees, who have joined us in 2020 as sponsors of Fine Cars, which run together with the Pre-1980 and Pre-1990 Classics.
Bejo Trustees specialise in the drafting and execution of Wills, the administration of deceased estates and trusts, not only for private clients but also for corporates such as legal and accounting firms.
Wills are drawn up after detailed interviews to establish the client’s specific needs and wishes; this includes reviews, whether annual or as required by the client.
When the time comes to execute the will, Bejo Trustees provide a full service from reporting the estate to the Master of the High Court to receipt of the Master’s “Filing Slip” – and everything in between, including the administration of testamentary trusts from inception to cessation.
Fine Car racing is open to road-going saloons and production sports-cars introduced before 31 December 1994 and which have been out of production for at least 10 years. It’s the category with probably the most variety in terms of manufacturers and models currently racing at Killarney.
They encourage marques car clubs such as Alfa, Ford, MG, BMW, the Porsche club (who have made a big impact on our membership) and others to participate in the series.
The rules are simple: The original manufacturer’s engine, gearbox and other running parts must be retained, although engines may be modified and suspension lowered. The cars must run on DOT-approved road tyres and interior trim must be complete and as close as possible to original.
Roll cages and four or five-point racing harnesses are, however, compulsory.
Up to the 2010 season, races were run on a staggered start basis with the slowest cars starting first. Since then however, race winners have been decided on an Index of Performance basis.
Grid positions are decided by qualifying in the usual way; after a massed standing start, the index for each driver is calculated by averaging all his lap times as a percentage of his fastest lap time in the race – and the driver closest to 100 percent is the winner on index, regardless of where he actually finishes on the road.
It sounds complicated, but it produces very close results and the annual Fine Car championship is usually decided by the very last race of the season.
The Western Province Motor Club’s Classic Cars Pre-1980 and Pre-1990 series, which is run together with the Fine Car category at regional Power Series meetings, is sponsored by Millstock Cars, a specialist dealer in premium pre-owned vehicles, based in Observatory in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.
While they specialise in niche marques such as Bentley, Jaguar, Maserati and McLaren, they also offer late-model mainstream models in top condition, from Ford Fiesta hatchbacks to rugged Land Cruiser pick-ups.
Millstock Cars is an independently owned company founded in 2007, staffed by enthusiasts who are passionate about their business. They enjoy cultivating relationships with their clients, they say, and are repaid with customer loyalty.
The Pre-1980 and Pre-1990 series is open to modified production cars made during those periods. While quite a large latitude is allowed in the rules for modification, strict control is exercised to ensure that the mods are ‘in period’ – in particular, the cars must retain their original engine architecture.
For example, a car that was built with a pushrod engine may not be fitted with an overhead-cam motor and cars originally designed with carburettors may not be fitted with fuel-injection – or vice versa!
Millstock Cars’ focus on quality used cars makes them a perfect fit for this class of ‘gentleman racers’ – we thank them for their support and welcome them back for a second year as class sponsor.
Among the unsung sponsors who are vital to making motorsport at Killarney possible is Drizit Environmental, who supply the oil absorbent material that mops up the mess when one of the racing vehicles becomes incontinent.
Our competitors do their best to avoid them but oil spills on the circuit are inevitable, especially after a big crash or an engine blow-up.
The raw cement traditionally used to soak up spilt oil so that it can be swept off the track surface is very effective but is distinctly unfriendly to the environment and to the marshals who have to sweep it off the circuit amid clouds of choking dust – and of course, it can’t be used on a wet track, for obvious seasons.
Drizit organic oil absorbent, however, is non-toxic, lightweight, super absorbent (it will absorb up to 14 times its own weight of oil) and water-repellent, which prevents it from leaching into the ground and allows it to be used on wet surfaces.
In CSIR testing it has been shown to be fume-suppressant and not subject to spontaneous combustion.
Drizit Environmental was formed in 1975 to manufacture and market a range of pollution control products that help South Africa’s industrial and manufacturing sectors maintain a safe and healthy working environment.
They also offer a 24-hour hazardous materials clean-up response service for oil spills, acid spills and chemical spills, as wells as specialised clean-up services such as asbestos removal, bioremediation, oil skimmers, separators and tank cleaning, as well transfers of hazardous materials.
We thank them for not only making it possible to clean up oil spills on the circuit quickly and safely, but also helping Killarney International Raceway to become a more environmentally friendly corporate citizen.
Look out for Drizit Environmental director Greg Parton’s blue Lamborghini in the Sports & GT Class on race days.
The GTi Challenge at Killarney welcomes a new sponsor for 2020 in the shape of Cheaper Cars, a dealer in entry-level used cars in the R10 000 – R250 000 bracket.
The GTi Challenge is an entry-level category based on Volkswagen cars with four-cylinder engines up to two litres in capacity, divided into classes based on power output. It’s also the most affordable way of getting into main-circuit racing, making the sponsor’s name a clever play on words as well.
Cheaper Cars is an independent operation, run by a dedicated team of just four – Herman Lazarus: Owner, Gert du Plessis: Manager, Anita Lazarus: Admin and Brandon Swamlow: Recon Manager – assuring you of personal service at all times.
The company has been in business for more than eight years and is a member of the Independent Dealers Association. They buy and sell used cars, and can arrange finance through most major financial institutions.
We welcome Cheaper Cars to the Killarney family as a Section Sponsor in the hope that ours will be a long and happy partnership.
For more than 30 years the Clubmans category of regional racing at Killarney has been encouraging motorsport enthusiasts to “run what you brung” – it’s open to almost any production-based car irrespective of make or model.
The class in which each car/driver combination competes is determined not by engine type or capacity or even power output, but by lap times. Thus even the drivers of slower cars always have somebody to race with and trophies to race for, while talented new entrants will ‘break out’ of the lower classes as their lap times improve until they find themselves racing against the big dogs of the section in Class A.
All of which delivers exciting, highly competitive racing for drivers and spectators alike, helping to make this the biggest class in the regional Power Series – and makes it a perfect fit for Mike’s Place as section sponsor.
Cape Town’s premier supplier of quality imported engines and gearboxes opened its doors to the public in August 1999 as Gearbox, Diff and Engine wholesalers, focused mainly on supplying gearboxes.
It soon became apparent, however, that there was a big demand for low-mileage used engines, and the business was re-invented as Mike’s Place – named for the owner – offering a wide range of second-hand engines and transmissions for Japanese, Korean, European and even American cars.
They now have a fitment centre, a gearbox and differential rebuilding workshop and a large warehouse where imported engines and gearboxes are available direct to the public.
Not surprisingly, a large number of their sales are to performance enthusiasts, for whom installing a high-performance engine from the same manufacturer is a more cost-effective way of upgrading their wheels than trying to wring more power out of the original engine in their car.
To cater to this market Mike’s Place now also supplies bolt-on turbochargers, intercoolers, throttle bodies and wastegates, along with nitrous oxide kits and high-performance fuel injectors.
As the company has become more performance orientated, Mike’s Place has also become more deeply involved in motorsport, sponsoring a number of competitors and, more prominently, the Mike’s Place Clubmans Championship at Killarney.
We thank you for your continued support of grass-roots racing at its best, and for your support of our competitors in so many more ways than just sponsorship.
While the name may be a bit of a mouthful for the commentators, it would be difficult to find a more appropriate sponsor than Car Care Clinic for the fast double-apex right-hander leading onto Killarney’s back straight.
This corner was originally known as Malmesbury Sweep because it was the northernmost point of the circuit, and because the Killarney motorsport complex began in 1947 as a disused section of the old road between Cape Town and Malmesbury.
The Car Care Clinic name is new to the Western Cape, having opened its first two service centres in this province – at Bellville and Stellenbosch – on 16 March, but the franchise, started in 2012 with one workshop in Centurion, Gauteng and has grown to no less than 20 service centres in Gauteng, one in the Free State and now two in the Western Cape.
They offer a full range of services and mechanical repairs to all makes of cars, including engine and gearbox rebuilds, brake and suspension repairs, air-conditioning repairs and re-gassing, diagnostics and electronic repairs.
Right from its early days Car Care Clinic has also been active in motorsport, sponsoring selected competitors as well as a regional Sports and GT series at Zwartkops Raceway.
And now its signature red yellow and blue colours stand out boldly on the crash barriers around Killarney’s fastest corner, as we welcome our newest major sponsor with the hope they will be there for many years to come.
Radio station Kfm 94.5 is unusual among Killarney’s supporters in that its name adorns two sectors of the circuit – Kfm Corner, the left-hander at the end of the start/finish straight, and the Kfm Straight between Turn 3 and the sweeping double-apex Turn 4.
Kfm 94.5 is the circuit’s valued radio partner for the regional Power Series, national Extreme Festival events at Killarney, the World Rallycross of South Africa and, of course, the annual Killarney Motor Show powered by Kfm 94.5, where live broadcasts from the circuit are a big feature of the day’s entertainment.
The station got its start as an offshoot of one of the SABC’s regional music stations; it went private in the early 90’s and was re-invented as an adult contemporary music station.
Kfm 94.5 has been part of Primedia Broadcasting since 2004, targeting listeners in the 25-49 age group living in the Western Cape with a mix of popular music from the biggest hits of the 1980s and ’90s to today’s chart-toppers, along with news, current affairs and community events, presented by a diverse group of larger-than-life personalities.
Its reception area includes the Cape Town metropole, Worcester, Malmesbury, Saldanha, Hermanus, Caledon, Mossel Bay, George, Knysna, Beaufort West, the West Coast as far as Alexander Bay and even as far as the Eastern Cape.
Kfm 94.5 takes our message that motorsport is all about speed, passion, competition, family and the most adrenalin to a far wider audience than the Killarney faithful; for that we salute you and we thank you.
Many of Killarney’s motorsport fans think the start/finish straight is the Porsche Straight, but in fact it’s named Porsche Club Straight, since it is sponsored not by Porsche South Africa or any of its dealers, but by a group of genuine motorsport enthusiasts – the members of the Porsche Club of Cape Town.
The club is made up of Porsche enthusiasts from all walks of life and with a range of cars from the older 356 and 944s to the very latest models. Many of its members also race Porsches in the Sports and GT or Classic Car categories, and the clubhouse alongside ‘their’ straight, just after the start line, is always a hive of activity on race days.
It’s open to Porsche Club members and their families (parking is available for your Porsche inside a cordoned-off area) and guests are welcome at a nominal charge of R30 per person. The clubhouse is open on all national and regional race days with food on sale during national events and a braai fire available on regional race days.
The club also offers a number of track days, autocross events and driver training seminars throughout the year where members can drive their Porsches cars on the circuit or around the cones at their own pace.
We know of no other instance where a marque club has become a major sponsor of a racing circuit, which speaks volumes for the dedication to motorsport shown by the members of this club.
Ladies and gentlemen, we salute you and we thank you for your support over the years.
Fastron, the name given to the fifth and final corner of Killarney International Raceway, is actually the brand name of a range of high performance automotive lubricating oils developed by Indonesian state-owned oil and fuel company Pertamina, and distributed in South Africa since May 2013 by Indolube, based less than an hour from the circuit in Strand.
Fastron is where the last-corner ‘kamikaze moves’ take place that so often decide the outcome of a close race at Killarney. Deeply banked, it lends itself to late braking and different lines – some more unconventional than others, and for old-school race fans who like to braai while they watch their heroes battle it out, it’s a favourite viewing spot.
The name Fastron has become embedded in Killarney legend and we thank Pertamina for their unwavering support, especially in these difficult times.
Fastron oils are endorsed by most leading manufacturers, including niche brands such as Lamborghini (Fastron Platinum Racing 10W60 was developed in association with Lamborghini Squadra Corse for the Sant’Agata works racing team) and cover a wide range of automotive, marine and industrial lubricants.
Nevertheless, the choice of Turn 5 as the place tell the Western Cape’s petrolheads about Fastron oils was no random decision – it was a farsighted strategic move: Since coming to South Africa, Pertamina has directed its motorsport-focused marketing at the drag-racing community, to some considerable effect, as in the video below.
You see, Fastron Corner is not only the final corner on the Main Circuit, it’s also the pits and a spectator area when the start/finish straight is set up for drag racing, Street2Strip or #RobotRacing.
We look forward to seeing the Fastron name there for many seasons to come.
We all know the Spirit Bridge across the start/finish straight at Killarney International Raceway, from the Pits Paddock to the New Pits – but unless you’re a motorcycle enthusiast, it’s unlikely you’ll know what Spirit is all about.
Spirit is a new name that popped up in 2011, appearing first on helmets and later on jackets, gloves and even intercom units in bike shops all over South Africa.
Their objective is to produce and distribute innovative and affordable quality bikewear in the very competitive budget segment of the market. Which is why you won’t find fancy carbon-fibre helmet shells or leather jackets in their range – it’s all about gear for real-world riders, that works in the real world.
Designed and developed in South Africa for local conditions using the latest technology from around the world, Spirit bike gear goes through the most rigorous tests – surpassing internationally recognised safety standards – before it gets onto the shelf at your local dealer.
For instance, almost every Spirit helmet comes with built-in recesses for in-helmet sound or a bike intercom system – there’s no need to cut into the padding to accommodate the speakers – and many models also feature a twin visor system that obviates the need for sunglasses without the problems associated with a single, tinted visor.
That’s the kind of thinking that makes us proud to have Spirit as a Killarney supporter. Thank you, and welcome aboard!
Killarney International Raceway’s third corner* (if you don’t count the infamous ‘Kink’) has been known for many years as Rose Foundation Sweep, but a surprisingly large number of motorsport enthusiasts don’t know what the Rose Foundation is, or what it does.
R.O.S.E. is actually an acronym, standing for Recycling Oil Saves the Environment, which perfectly describes this very special company. When the South African government withdrew its support for the recycling of used oil in 1994, a group of oil companies set up and funded the Rose Foundation to address this vital aspect of the oil industry.
The South African automotive and engineering sectors produce thousands of litres of dirty, contaminated, used oil every day – oil which could potentially pollute almost every drop of its already scarce water reserves if allowed to get into the environment.
The Rose Foundation’s mission is to collect and re-use that oil, by encouraging workshops to store their used oil until it can be picked up by authorised Rose Foundation collectors and encouraging enthusiasts who do their own oil-changes to drain the old oil into sealed containers and drop it off at the nearest authorised collection point, which could be a municipal recycling facility or even a local car dealer who has agreed to let you pour it into his storage tank.
And yes, there are storage tanks in the Pits Paddock, the New Pits, the Karting Pits and Gasoline Alley at Killarney International Raceway for the safe disposal of used oil from racing vehicles and home workshops.
The Foundation also provides employment for a significant number of people as authorised collectors, as well as providing the raw material for a thriving oil-recycling industry.
While used oil can be re-refined in much the same way as crude oil is treated, to produce base oils as good as or better than ‘virgin oil’, the process is prohibitively expensive and is only carried out on a small scale in South Africa. Most of our used oil is instead filtered and chemically scrubbed to remove metallic and organic contaminants and then used as heating fuel for industrial furnaces.
We thank the Rose Foundation for their support of Killarney International Raceway, not only for their long-standing sponsorship of Rose Foundation Sweep but also for providing the infrastructure that enables competitors and the motorsport fraternity at large to dispose of used oil safely and responsibly – not least at the circuit itself!
*Rose Foundation Sweep was originally known as Damp’s Dip, not because it is the lowest point of the circuit but in honour of Charles Stanley Damp, the then president of the Metropolitan Motorcycle and Car Club, who was instrumental in the negotiations with the Divisional Council that led to the construction of the circuit as we know it in 1960.
OILY SA are the South African distributors for G-Energy lubricants, and valued supporters of Killarney through their sponsorship of the second corner of the Main Circuit, now known as G-Energy Corner, and our annual season-opening international historic racing festival, Passion for Speed by G-Energy.
Since their team already works remotely, they are still in operation during the 21 day lock down, assisting wherever possible and ensuring an uninterrupted supply of lubricants to customers who provide essential services.
“We can’t change the fact that we are facing the biggest crisis in our generation,” says Oily’s Daniela Toth, “but we can choose how to respond.
“This is an opportunity to adapt and come out stronger.”
During lock down OILY SA will continue to communicate operational adjustments to be made, based on feedback from their suppliers and government, while also focusing on an online portal for their partners, strategically working on their social media and OILY Academy blogs, and preparing for Friday 17 April when the country will come out of hibernation with a bang.
OILY SA (https://www.facebook.com/OILYgroup/) is an importer of premium lubricants in South Africa; its flagship brand is G-Energy (http://g-energy.org/en/index.html), a range of lubricants for high performance cars formulated and made in Italy and tested in the Dakar Rally, the Africa Eco Race, the Le Mans 24 Hours, the Silk Way Rally and many other challenging events.
Its manufacturer, Gazpromneft-Lubricants (http://www.gazpromneft-oil.com), has received product approvals from manufacturers such as BMW, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Volkswagen and Volvo.
While we’re waiting out the 21-day lock down, it’s time to spare a thought for Killarney’s awesome sponsors, who have stood steadfastly by us as the restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus in South Africa put the brakes on motorsport entirely for the foreseeable future.
And who better to start with than Wingfield Motors, sponsors of the regional Power Series and the two national-level Extreme Festivals at Killarney as well as a number of competitors, for the past eight years and counting…
In true South African ‘maak ‘n plan’ tradition, Wingfield Motors is carrying on with business during the lock down through their online showroom and platforms. You can check out the cars for sale – more than 550 at any one time! – in their online showroom at: www.wingfieldmotors.co.za/showroom, finance applications can be processed and approvals can be obtained, ready for the deal to be finalised and your car delivered from Friday 17 April.
The connection between the Van Niekerk family at Wingfield Motors and Killarney goes back to to May 1989, when John van Niekerk and his father ‘Uncle Johnny’ van Niekerk bought Adrian Pheiffer Motors in Goodwood from Adrian Pheiffer, the first chairman on the Western Province Motor Club.
They renamed it Wingfield Motors and four decades later there are branches in Goodwood and Kuils River, together with BESTPRICEFORMYCAR in Durbanville and Gezina, Pretoria.
Pheiffer, fellow Club stalwart Denis Joubert and ‘Uncle Johnny’ van Niekerk all raced stock cars at Goodwood; John grew up around motor racing, absorbing a lifelong passion for motorsport as if by osmosis.
It is that passion for, and involvement in motorsport that make John van Niekerk and Wingfield Motors such valued members of the Killarney family. His support of Killarney goes much deeper than sponsorship, however; his daughter Ciara followed her grandfather’s footsteps into Oval Track racing before making her Main Circuit debut in 2018 in a Volkswagen Polo.
In 2019, driving a Wingfield Motors Volkswagen Golf, she finished third in Class E of the Mikes Place Clubmans championship, as well as third in the overall standings for Classes D, E and F – and she’s still not old enough to drive on the road!