Thrills and spills at Killarney Power Series

Posted on 18 May 2022

Round three of the 2022 Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors on Saturday 14 May delivered all the excitement fans were hoping for, as well as a few spectacular mishaps – including one that ended with the car on its roof!

The Thermo Fires Clubmans Saloons looked all set for an epic confrontation between Shane du Toit’s giant-killing Skilpadvlei Wine Farm Golf MK1, Raaziegh Harris, back with a new Panic Plumbers Golf Mk1, Steven Heydenrych (Auto/FAT Racing Jetta Mk3), newly promoted to Class B on the strength of two superb runs in April, and on-form Shane Smith in the Truckport Logistics BMW E46.

And that’s what happened during the first half of Race One, until Heydenrych went out while leading on lap six, and then Du Toit’s golf slowed and stopped, leaving Harris to fight off a late challenge from Smith, with Willem Swart (WFS Motors Jetta CLi) a distant third.

Du Toit was back for Race Two, taking no prisoners as he and Harris battled it out all the way to the line, finishing in that order just 0.058 seconds apart. Heydenrych was a distant third, less than half a second ahead of Smith.

Arch-rivals Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart in the Summit Polo 6 and Marco Busi (Automan Polo) gave the fans exactly what they came for with two superb dices at the front of the Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge races, while class stalwart Colin Meder Jr in the International Tube Technology Polo fought it out with Dillon Joubert (Powder Coating World/TAC Steel/Euroblitz Polo 6) for third in Race One. Swart finished less than a quarter of a second ahead of Harris, and Meder held off a late charge from Joubert to take third by 0.302sec.

After a scrappy start, Race Two produced a big surprise as Class B runners Tate Bishop (Angri Racing Jetta) and Ian Kapp (Hydracor Polo 6) chased after Joubert and Meder in the fight for third. Swart took the flag 3.736 seconds clear of Busi, followed by Joubert, Meder, Kai van Zyl (Unlimited Auto Angri Polo) Tate and Kaap.

Then Swart, Joubert and Van Zyl were all handed a 30-second penalty for jumping the start, handing the win to Busi ahead of Meder, Swart, Bishop, Kapp and Joubert.

There was another surprise in the combined Laude Classic Cars & Bejo Trustees Fine Cars races, as class leader Franco Donadio’s previously all-conquering Ford Escort had no answer for rotary legend Dave Kopke and his equally notorious Mazda R100. Michael Hitchcock (CrossCape Forklift Services Mustang) finished a strong third in Race One, just ahead of Charles Arton and his indecently quick Datsun 240Z, with Eric van der Merwe’s Lynx Porsche 944T less than two seconds further adrift.

Nasief Smart (Yamaha R1) got the best of the start in Race Two, which was marred by a first-corner collision when Nicho Venter lost the rear end of his Yamaha R1 and skittled Binedell’s Triumph. Neither was hurt, fortunately, but their race was over almost before it had begun.

Fourie moved up from sixth on lap one to take the lead on lap four – only to be out-braked a lap later by the oldest bike in the race. He and Maritz put up a superb battle for the lead until Fourie comprehensively out-braked himself into Hoal’s Hook and out of the race on lap seven, leaving McFadden to chase a triumphant Maritz home, just ahead of Smart. Harris was again the first Breakfast Runner home, promoted to fifth overall by the premature exits of Venter, Binedell and Fourie

Reigning champion Slade van Niekerk (Project Sixty60 ER650) was battling for the holeshot with Tristin Pienaar on the KTM Paarl Kawasaki 650 at the start of the first Bridgestone STC 650/SSP 300 race when the rear tyre of his Project Sixty60 ER650 unexpectedly let go near the exit of Hoal’s Hook. That left Pienaar and Jason Linaker (RST Ninja 650) to battle it out for the lead – and what a battle it was, as the two swopped places on almost every lap, but it was the youngster from Paarl who was in front by a scant 0.095sec when it counted, with Lance Jonas (Samurai Racing/OneX/Magari Finance SV650) a distant third.

Nicholas Hutchings took the SSP300 class win in sixth overall, with no less than four STC 650 machines finishing behind him!

Van Niekerk was back for Race Two, starting from the back of his class on the grid and finishing lap one in fifth. A lap later he was third behind Pienaar and Linaker, but the leaders weren’t about to give up their advantage without a fight. It took another four laps before Van Niekerk was able to move into the lead and even then he wasn’t able to shake off his two challengers as he, Linaker and Pienaar finished in that order covered by little more than a second.

Hutchings delivered another giant-killing performance to finish seventh overall, three spots ahead of his nearest challenger, talented rookie Adrian Solomon (Pool King Ninja 300).

Reigning champion Fabio Tafani led every lap but one of the first Pirelli V8 Masters race, chased all the way by Sean Moore while Mark Ridgway, Carl Nel and Rui Campos debated third. They eventually finished in that order, covered by little more than two seconds.

Race Two lasted less than one lap as Silver Class driver Sander Le Bon got it all wrong coming out of the first corner and spun his AP347is into the wall hard enough to flip it onto its roof. It says much for the original design by the late Owen Ashley that Le Bon walked away unhurt, but the car will need extensive surgery.

Rui Campos led from the restart, with Ridgway in hot pursuit until he went out on lap three, whereupon Barry Ingle took up the cudgels. He was later demoted by Carl Nel and Tafani, who came up from a poor start to finish third behind Campos and Nel.

The expected confrontation in the first Spitfire Furniture Sports & GT Car race between Harp Motorsports team-mates Steve Humble (Opel Mallock Mk14B) and Francis Carruthers’ Pilbeam MP84 was heating up nicely when Humble spun on oil dropped by Paul Beachy Head’s Audi R8 in Malmesbury Sweep and Carruthers swept through on the inside to take the lead.

Humble recovered quickly and stayed in second, but when Carruthers spun in the same spot a lap later he stalled and dropped back to seventh, while Humble romped away to win by eight seconds from Yanni Hatzi (Nissan S14/SX200), Clinton Thorne (Fulloutput Lotus 7) and Mike Verrier (RBR Racing/Aidcall 247 Shelby Canam).

Humble and Carruthers kept it all pointing the same way in Race Two, and enjoyed a splendid duel that ended with Humble in front by 1.406 seconds when it counted, well ahead of Thorne, Verrier and Hatzi.

Pictures: Supplied


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