28 Oct WORLD-CLASS RACING AT KILLARNEY POWER SERIES
Killarney’s motorsport fans, watching on livestream worldwide, were treated to a glimpse of what international Sports & GT class racing is like at Round 5 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Kfm 94.5 on Saturday 24 October, in the headline Ons Huisie 100, over 31 laps or 101.27km.
To the surprise of many, what was expected to be something of a tactical contest with slick fuel stops and driver changes turned out to be a foot-flat 31 lap sprint. None of the cars made a pit stop and their lap times were only marginally slower, if at all, than in a normal 10 lap sprint race.
Steve Humble in the Nissan V6-powered Harp Motorsport Pilbeam MP84 (the only entry in the super-fast Class S) romped away to lights-to-flag win, setting the fastest lap of the race (and the day), a blistering 1min10.509sec, just short of the halfway point on lap 15.
He came under a serious challenge in the early stages, however, from Josh Broome’s Class A RBR/Spitfire Furniture Radical SR8, who managed to stay in touch until the Radical went sick on lap 23. Nevertheless, Broome had done enough to be classified in the results and, as the only Class A entry, duly won his class!
With Broome out, second overall went to Class B hotshot Gary Kieswetter in the Advanced Packaging Technologies Porsche GT3 Cup, just one lap down on Humble after 37 minutes of superb action, with Martin Pugh’s Appleberry CanAm third overall and second in Class B.
Fourth overall delivered the dice of the race as Ryan Buda in a Class C Porsche GT3 Cup, Maarten Prins (Class B Porsche GT3 Cup) and veteran Louis de Jager (Class C Lola T212) finished within seven seconds after 28 laps of racing.
Eric Salomon (Class C Toyota Elf SO6), Cyril Ginsburg (Class D Porsche GT3 RS), Broome and Gavin Gorman (Class B Volkswagen-powered Nardini Sports) rounded out the 10 finishers from 14 starters.
The biggest field of the day, however, rolled out for the two Mikes Place Clubmans races, with 31 cars on the grid. Race 1 was a classic as Danie van Niekerk in the Wingfield BMW E36, Brennon Green (Weskaap Bakwerke Golf 5), Basie Burger’s Italoven Golf 2 and Cody Alberts in the Stylesy BMW E46 330i battled it out for the lead. In the end, however, none of the three challengers could get quite close enough to make a move on Van Niekerk, who came home less than half a second ahead of Green, with Alberts a surprise third, 1.49sec further adrift, after Burger dropped back in the final two laps.
Wayne Wilson headed Class B in the DTM Helderberg Maxima, fifth overall and just 1.375sec ahead of Class C leader Raaziegh Harris (Golf 1), who caused something of an upset by beating his Harcraw Group team-mate Baby Jakes, a class above him in a BMW E30, by a scant 0.071sec.
However, the closest finish of a race that delivered superb battles throughout the field was for ninth overall, where Anwar Levy (Class B Levy Motorsport BMW E30) put in a late charge to beat Paul Munnik (Class B Volkswagen Golf GTi) by 0.026sec.
Daanyaal Coetzee (A&M Plumbing BMW E46 M3) led Class D in 12th overall while Dylan Nel, punching above his weight in the Sentraal Bakwerke BMW E36, won Class F with 14th overall and Melanie Spurr (Car Care Clinic Polo) took Class E in 17th overall.
Van Niekerk made a poor start in Race 2, lying third after the opening lap behind Burger and Green. He moved up to second when Burger slowed on lap four and dropped out a lap later, but was unable to close in on Green, who finished just over a second ahead of Van Niekerk, with Alberts third, six seconds further back.
Sulaiman Effendi (Jimmy Motorsport BMW E30, came up three laps from the end to pass Wilson for Class B honours, with Harris once again leading Class C in ninth overall. Coetzee headed Class D again in 12th overall, four seconds ahead of an epic six-way dice for 13th. This saw Anton Jacobs (Class D All Scale Sentra 2L), Gary Smith (Class E Truckport BMW E36), Dewald Theron (Class D Delcon Golf 1), Dwayne Bernard (Class D GRS Degreaser BMW E46), Nel and Ruan van der Walt (Class X Italoven Golf 1) finish within less than three seconds, with Smith at the top of Class E and Nel once more winning Class F.
Franco Donadio and his superbly prepared Ford Escort romped away to win the first Bejo Trustees Fine and Millstock Classic Cars race by more than eight seconds from fellow Class A competitor Eric van der Merwe (Lynx Porsche) after the latter moved up to pass Class S leader Trevor Momberg (Ford Capri) at half distance.
Fourth was Robin Forbes (Class S Corvette Stingray), well ahead of Class C leader Andrew Honeywill (Nexus Porsche 944) in fifth overall. Geoff Bihl in the second Lynx Porsche was the first Class B driver home in eighth overall.
Dewald Lambert (Volkswagen Jetta) led the Fine Cars home, five seconds ahead of Melani Cook, out for the first time in her father Albert’s 2.5-litre BMW E36, with Robert Toscano’s Technoparts Mazda MX5 third.
Race 2 saw closer results all round, as Donadio slowed by about a second a lap, allowing Van der Merwe to close to within half a second at the flag. Momberg, Forbes and Honeywill took the next three places, while Ms Cook improved her lap times by nearly a second as she got used to the power of the big rear wheel-drive 3 Series (her usual mount is a Volkswagen Fox), finishing just 0.616sec adrift of Class winner Lambert’s Jetta.
Jurie Swart (Volkswagen Polo), Colin Meder (International Tube Technology Polo) and Jason Coetzee (Mint & CK Coachworks Golf GTi) made the GTi challenge races their own with two exciting tussles at the sharp end. In the first, Swart led home Meder by three seconds with Coetzee less than half a second further adrift, followed by Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating Works Polo 6) and Charl Visser (Charl Electrical Polo 6).
Eden Thompson (Volkswagen Golf 1) led Class B in sixth overall while Nathan Victor (Summit Golf GTi) took Class C honours.
Race 2 was just as close, as Swart led home Coetzee and Meder, all three crossing the line within less than three seconds, followed by Visser, Joubert and Thompson. In Class C Dario Busi in the Automan Golf bounced back from a disappointing Race 1 to ace Class C in 12th overall.
Fabio Tafani showed why his V8 Masters car carries the No.1 plate with a well-judged win in the first V8 Masters and Makita Formula Supercars race, ahead of arch-rival Marcel Angel and veteran Richard Schreuder. Alister Brown was the first Silver Class driver home in sixth overall, while Ryan McCarthy clinched the Supercar race-within-a-race after Glen Phillips’ car went sick on lap four.
Tafani did not come out for Race 2, however, but Angel and Schreuder were surprised by on-form Mark Ridgeway and Sean Moore, who looked set for a 1-2 finish until Moore dropped back to seventh on the final lap, opening the door for Angel and Schreuder to finish second and third respectively after a race-long battle. Brown headed the Silver Class again in sixth overall, while Silver Class Supercar rookie Hilton Pieters put in a superb race to finish second to McCarthy after Phillips’ car let him down again.
Richard Carr (Formula Vee Rhema 6) and Byron Mitchell (Dolphin Engineering Formula VW) delivered two impressive battles at the sharp end of the Formula Libre races, finishing just half a second apart in Race 2. Graham Knight (Eloff Transformers Ray 1.6L) and Cyril Somerville (Dolphin Engineering Formula Vee Sting) chased them home both times in third and fourth respectively.
An intense fight for fifth raged behind them in Race 1 as Ryno Pentz (Dico VW Omega), rookie Kelly Fletcher (Dolphin Engineering Formula Vee Forza), Ricky Anderson (Parow Auto Body Formula Vee Forza) and Donovan Ramsay (Dolphin Engineering Formula Vee Rhema) finished in that order within four seconds. Ms Fletcher in particular put in a spirited drive to make up three places after dropping to last on lap two.
Race 2 saw the midfield battle a little more spread out as Pentz came in fifth again, just 0.188sec behind Somerville, with Ramsay, Anderson and Fletcher following at a respectful distance.
Late entry David McFadden (Yamaha R1) delivered a master class in racecraft with two superb wins in the RST Suzuki South Superbike races, chased home in each case by Kewyn Snyman, who is improving with every outing on the Missile Motorcycles ZX-10R. Snyman actually led the first two laps of Race 1 and was only 0.77sec adrift at the finish, with JP Markets & True Vine ZX-10R rider Ronald Slamet, still suffering from arm pump, 11 seconds in arrears after a hard ride.
Behind them, Malcolm Rapson (Suzuki GSX-R1000) got the best of a Masters thriller that saw him, Jacques Ackerman (Kawasaki South ZX-10R), Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R) and young gun Jared Schultz (ASAP World R6) finish in that order within little more than a second.
There was no catching McFlash in Race 2 as he slowly pulled away to win by 2.626sec from Snyman, with Slamet 12 seconds further back in third. Schultz put in a magnificent second ride to finish fourth overall, quickest by far of the 600cc machines and ahead of all the Masters, who picked up their own private three-way battle where they’d left off in Race 1, swopped places at least twice a lap for 10 laps and finished with Rapson ahead of Cragg and Ackerman when it counted.
The RST Trac Mac Clubmans races delivered the expected showdown between veteran Wayne Arendse on the JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R and Willem Binedell’s Chef at Home ZX-10R. Arendse held off a determined charge from the younger rider until two laps from the flag in Race 1, to come home less than three seconds adrift.
In Race 2, however, he admitted “I just couldn’t stay with Willem” and he came home 15 seconds behind as Binedell put in a superbly consistent ride to take the win. Third in each race was ‘giant-killer’ Michael Hunter on the LLG Properties ZX-6R, punching well above his weight as usual.
Paul Rulu (Engine Guru ZX-10R) and Deon Ebel (Honda CBR1000RR) finished Race 1 just 0.695sec apart in fourth and fifth respectively, while Zobair Adams (QuickPOS GSX-R750) beat Robby Pedrica for sixth overall by just 0.037sec.
Molefe Ratlhagane (Yamaha R6) headed Class B in eighth overall, just ahead of leading Breakfast Runner Nasief Smart (QuickPOS R1).
Race 2 saw a photo-finish for second as Hunter and Rulu closed to within 1.5 seconds of Arendse in the final moments, with Ebel and Adams fifth and sixth respectively. Jaco Scholtz (Suzuki GSX-R750) was the first Class B rider in seventh overall, 2.6 seconds ahead of Ratlhagane, while Donovan Stevens on the Steenkamp GSX-R1000 took Breakfast Run honours in ninth overall.
Trevor Westman on the Roxstar ER650 led every lap of both RST Trac Mac Powersport races, but the excitement in Race 1 was just behind him, as Dominic Penny (Suzuki SV650), Lance Jonas (Samurai SV650) and Franco Flach finished in that order within less than 1.5 seconds.
Seventeen seconds later, Slade van Niekerk (Prestige GT Graphics R3) got the best of an epic Powersport 300 battle with Jason Linaker (Samurai Ninja 300) and David Lindemann (GM Contractors R3) as they crossed the line with all three covered by less than a quarter of a second.
Race 2 saw Westman, Jonas, Penny, Flach and Brandon Storey led the Powersport 650 charge in Race 2, while Lindemann, Linaker and Van Niekerk swopped the lead in the 300 class on almost every lap until Van Niekerk was forced wide by a swerving back marker in the closing stages, dropping him out of contention for line honours.