MOTORSPORT NEWS Track Racing

KILLARNEY SPEED & HISTORY

The Western Cape Regional and Club Championship Wingfield Motors Power Series heads back to Killarney for a full program of midwinter motor racing Saturday 14 July. All classes can be expected to deliver their usual back-to-back action on two and four wheels throughout a day to remember for local race fans and with championship tussles building up across the board, rest assured that it will be a day to remember, but fans can expect the fastest racing to come from one of two classes — the Pirelli Sports & GTs or the top class RST Suzuki South Superbikes.
Andre Bezuidenhout leads the Sports & GT Class A championship, but his Juno-Honda was tragically burned in a post race pit fire last time out, so he will switch to a Class B Porsche RSR Turbo this time out. Dawie Joubert’s wild Lotus Honda and Marcel Angel’s glorious Ferrari 458 should be at full song as they attack that magic sub-Killarney 1-minute 10 second Killarney lap time on Saturday, with the likes of nimble class B duo Steve Humble (Mallock) and Clinton Thorne (Seven) and Gary Kieswetter’s Porsche in hot pursuit. Porsche men Ryan Buda and Cyril Ginsburg will be keen to keep on top of classes C and D too.
Those Superbikes will likewise chase that one-ten barrier as David McFadden (Kawasaki), Yamaha brothers Brandon and Bernard Haupt and Trevor Westman (Kawasaki) continue their season-long 1000cc spat, while Hayden Jonas, Gareth Ghelig, Brandon Staffen and Jared Schultz make up the 600cc Supersport fight just behind.
Danie Maritz is the man to beat in the RST Trac Mac Classic and Clubmans motorcycles, where Byron Evans (Yamaha), Willem Binedell (Suzuki), the Ducatis of Chris Williams and Garth Livingstone and Honda riders Wayne Arendse and Giovanni Massa will give it their best shot to beat the old man. The RST Trac Mac Powesport baby bike race will see Paul Medell chasing another 600cc win over Mike van Rensburg, Willem Louw, while lady rider Zante Otto (Yamaha) chases more 300cc glory over Kewyn Snyman (KTM) and Andrew Liebenberg (Honda) and Connor Hagan (KTM).
Fabio Tafani has taken complete control of the V8 Masters Club Championship, having scored close to double the points over second and third men, Mark Ridgway and Marcel Angel, who will be back in action this weekend in an effort to stop old rival Tafani. Also watch for Richard Schreuder, Stephen Young, Sean Moore, Brian Evans, Charles Arton and late starter Enzo Kuun among the rumbling V8s, while Rob Warrington will be out to keep up his silver class advantage up over Harry Taylor, Peet vd Walt and Tim Reddell.
The V8s share the track with another class created by the late, great Owen Ashley and Ryan McCarthy will be out to extend his Makita Supercars Club Championship lead over Gold Class rivals Jarryd Evans, Glen Phillips and Andrew Moffit. There’s a close dice at the top of the Silver class however, with Martin Bench, George Williams and Shane Smith split by all of six points and Brian Fourie and Stuart Spooner close behind, while lady driver Nashrene Schloss moves up from the Bronze class.
The rest of Saturday’s Power Series races are bound by a quite remarkable common thread, with the Volkswagen Golf celebrating 40 years in production in July. The Volkswagen Golf GTi scored its first ever major South African race win in the Group N 6-Hour in the hands of Sarel van der Merwe and F1 star Jochen Mass, before the Citi of extended Golf production right through to 2010 when Supervan and ten other leading drivers of yore once again closed off that innings with in a hugely popular Citi goodbye race — once again at Killarney.
Today, Volkswagen Golfs make up a remarkable proportion of the Cape’s racing car park, not least of all in Class C of the Burly Pro GTi Challenge, where only Golf 1 GTis are allowed to race, which will make for a significant feather in the cap of Saturday’s Brat Pack winner. Runaway Class C championship leader Marco Busi leads the title race there with a win at each meeting so far, while younger brother Dario lies second ahead of another young gun, Giordano Lupini in a wild spat for third with veterans Jacques Geldenhuys, Bryan Morgan, Chris Swart, Brett Roach and Shane Williams.
A Golf 1 also leads GTi Challenge Class B, with Eden Thompson comfortably ahead of Gideon Serfontein’s Golf 2, Mario Roux (Jetta), Wayne Field (Jumbo), Grant Cloete (Golf 1) and Divan Lazarus (Jetta) and while Class A has become a dice between Jano van der Westhuizen (Polo), Umpie Swart’s Polo Classic and Polo Cup quartet Colin Nicholas Meder, Paulus Franken and Johan Pretorius; Kosie Weyers’ wildcard Golf 1 set the pace last time out. Also watch out for a comeback wildcard entry for Nian du Toit and his Jetta.
A Volkswagen Golf 1 also leads the way in Class A of the Mikes Place Clubmans title chase, where Shane du Toit heads four other Golfs of various generations in the hands of Brennon Green, Basie Burger, Michael Le Sueur and Clint Rennard. Paul Munnik’s Golf leads Class B over Mansoor Parker’s BMW and George Neethling’s Golf 1 leads BMW man Ernest Roos in Class C. Damien Lopez (Polo) is the man to beat in Class D ahead of Gary Smith (Jetta) and Jonathan Groenewald (Golf GTi), while more Golf men Brendon Moore and Francois Immelman top Class C and Gilberto Nobrega (Icon) leads Grant Fourie (Golf) in Class C.
There’s also an indelible Volkswagen Golf 1 link to the Formula Libre single seaters behind top class pacesetters Dee-Jay Booysen’s Dico-Toyota and Sean le Riche (Formula Renault). Jaco Lambert’s Formula GTI and the horde of Formula Vees handled by Byron Mitchell, Cyril Somerville, Delano Fowler, Thomas van der Merwe and Haydn Ellwood among others, all run Golf 1 engines in various states of tune…
Volkswagen Golf 1s however remain banned from the Cape Classic and Shatterfix Fine Cars races by dint of the Citi’s longevity, but early Jettas, Sciroccos and Golf 2s are allowed. Tony Lindeque indeed won the last Shatterfix race in his Jetta, with Arnold Lambert’s similar car also in contention with the likes of Maurizio Toscano (Passat), James Matthee (BMW 535), Robert Toscano (Mazda MX5), Elton Hurst (Skyline) and Niel Mouton (Alfa Giulia).
Franco Donadio’s Ford Escort should start favourite among a rejuvenated Classic Car grid thanks to the recent relaxation of that series’ eligibility rules that will hopefully see many more parked cars returning to the track, so hopefully the likes of Robin Forbes’ Corvette, Charles Arton (Datsun 240Z), Trevor Momberg (Ford Capri V6), Richard Prott’s Porsche 911 RSR and Ian Richards (Datsun SSS) will be back up against Wayne Lotter (Zakspeed Escort), Dave Alhadeff (Alfa Romeo GTA), Trevor Hutchings (Scirocco), and the like.
The Killarney International Raceway is situated on Potsdam Road across the way from Killarney Gardens, Milnerton (with a MyCiti bus stop right at the gate). Entrance is R80 per adult, students get in for R20 and under 12s are free. Long-term forecasts predict changeable winter conditions — ideal for more thrilling racing. See you at Killarney!