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Killarney’s summer sensation - Cape motor racing year set to start in style

Killarney’s summer sensation - Cape motor racing year set to start in style

Cape Town race fans will be happy to learn that the 2018 Wingfield Motors Power Series kicks off at the Killarney International Raceway Saturday 17 February. The opening round of the Western Province regional circuit series promises a brilliant program of top notch races set to deliver a spectacular day of end-to-end motor racing, with everything from the latest supercars and superbikes to the wild action of the Clubmans and the no holds barred GTi Challenge just a few of the attractions on the day.

While several prospective racers are holding their cards close to their chests ahead of the new season, what’s for sure is that Saturday will be a day of new colours, new combinations and new rivalries too, both from a competitor and a series point of view as Killarney welcomes several new sponsors to the fold for the new season, while many a bitter old duel is also set to resume around Killarney’s five spectacular corners and straights, with Table Mountain in the background.

Race fans can expect full fields of exotic Pirelli Sports & GT cars, V8 Masters and Makita Supercars, BurlyPro GTi Challenge, Mikes Place Clubmans, Formula Libre and Shatterfix Fine Cars to entertain on four wheels, alongside three motorcycle races in the RST Suzuki South Superbikes/Super Masters/600s, RST Trac Mac Classic Superbikes and Clubmans and RST Trac Mac Powersport races. The racing will be backed up by off-track entertainment with good grub, beverages and all amenities available around Killarney, a racetrack famous for it’s friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable race commentary.

All action supercars

Perhaps the highlight for many will be the newly rebranded Pirelli Sports & GT races, where the likes of Johan Engelbrecht’s mighty Porsche 911 GT2 R will tackle Marcel Angel’s Ferrari 458 GT3, Paarl hero Dawie Joubert’s mad Lotus and a horde of priceless GT racers all mixed in with racing sports cars hopefully including Simon Murray’s newly imported Ligier, Francis Carruthers’ sensational Aquila-Corvette and Steve Humble’s wieldy Mallock.

Not that one needs the biggest budget to steal the Killarney Show, as the also newly sponsored BurlyPro GTi Challenge so well proves. There the action up front should revolve around Polo Cup refugees Jano van der Westhuizen and Johan Pretorius taking on the similar Polo of Colin Nicholas Meder and Pieter Kriel in a Golf 1 GTi, while Class B sees double class champion Eden Thompson’s Golf 1 GTi, Mario Roux’s Jetta and Class C graduate Gideon Serfontein (Golf 2 GTi) among others facing off against two returning former champions in Craig du Toit and Zaki ‘the Boss’ Hendricks.

The biggest BurlyPro GTi Challenge attraction is however likely to happen down in the Class C Brat Pack, which is this year limited to a literal swarm of Golf 1 GTis and drivers only allowed just 6 new tyres for their 18-race season. But this one is where the fireworks will be with overall and class champion Marco Busi likely to be made to work for his title defence against the likes of regular winners including previous champions Bryan Morgan and Chris ’Spongebob’ Swart, Jarred Simpson, former Class B man Jacques Geldenhuys and Gert Du Plessis and flying schoolboys, the younger Busi, Dario and another Polo Cup exile in Giordano Lupini. Don’t miss that action!

Equally affordable and entertaining are the Mikes Place Clubmans, another class set to celebrate a cool new title sponsor with cracking race action as the likes of BMW trio Niyaaz Modack’s wild 1 Series, Peet van der Walt in a M3, Danie van Niekerk and Jean-Michel Masue fight off an army of quick Golfs pedalled by the likes of Jesse Huggett and Gavin Cerff amongst many others fighting it out in the classes through yet another diverse and entertaining field

Superbikes spectacular

Two wheeler fans can also look forward to a spectacular day’s action as the Cape’s best riders return to see who will be this year’s king over three entertaining classes. Pick of that bunch will be a pair of RST Suzuki South Superbikes, Super Masters and 600s, where the cream of the Cape’s riders will fight it out as usual. Expect David McFadden’s BMW, Andre Calvert on a Ducati and Alex van den Berg (Suzuki) to be among the frontrunners there with Gerrit Visser, Dale Field and Aran van Niekerk in close attendance.

The RST Trac Mac Classic

Superbikes and Clubmans is another two-wheeler class that regularly wows the Killarney fans where William Binedell (Suzuki), Johan Maritz (Honda), Owen Francis (BMW) and Derek Hendricks (Yamaha) can be expected to race up front, while another full grid of smaller-capacity RST Trac Mac Powersport bikes should see Kawasaki trio Jonny Towers, JP Freidrich and Juan Liebenberg taking on Suzuki-mounted Chris Williams and Joske Kotze.

Back to the faster side on four wheels and the V8 Masters, former Superkarters Fabio Tafani and Marcel Angel can be expected to continue their V8 battles in front of that field of more mature gentleman drivers. Expect Mark Ridgway, Stephen Young, Richard Schreuder, and Brian Evans to keep them honest up front, while former SA rally champion Enzo Kuun and ‘80s Group 1 driver Paolo ‘Pablo Clark’ Cavallieri will add extra interest.

The rumbling V8s share the track with the Makita Supercars, where Jarryd Evans takes on Glen Phillips, Ryan McCarthy, Andrew Moffit and Nashrene Schloss among a field of identical Opel-powered spaceframe racers, which like the V8s, compete in three speed-based classes.

Cape Town’s Formule Libre is a mixed grid of single-seaters that is growing in stature by the race, where the likes of Garth de Villiers and Sean Le Riche’s Formula Renaults, Dee-Jay Booysen’s Ferrari-like Formula M, Jaco Lambert’s Formula GTi Swift and Jason Greyling’s Vee can expect the attentions of Formula Vee-mounted former karters Delano Fowler, JP Hammann and Byron Mitchell, among others.

The Shatterfix Fine Cars is another class to always entertain with a varied field of diverse cars battling it out on track. There the likes of Lourens Bester and Mike Bihl’s Porsche 944s are set to take on the likes of Herman de Kock’s Escort and Yulbrunner Bedein’s Datsun SSS among a field that spreads from Saphhires to Anglias and Minis to Porsches. And while this lot still race to see who crosses the line first, the drivers’ main objective is to beat their own handicap, which results count toward the title at the end of the year       

Fun for all

There’s practice and qualifying on Friday, but the real action starts early Saturday 17 February with the balance of the qualifying sessions before racing starts mid-morning with two heats per category through the day. Killarney offers great facilities and several compelling stands, grassy banks and shaded spectator areas from which to lap up the action; the pits and competitors are easily accessible and the track is famous for it’s friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable race commentary. There’s also much off-track entertainment and ample access to good grub and refreshments too.

The Killarney Raceway is on Potsdam Road across the way from Killarney Gardens, Milnerton (with a MyCiti bus stop right at the gate), entrance is R60 per adult, student entry is R40 and under 12s get in for free. Long-term forecasts predict a balmy Cape summers afternoon too — what better way to spend than that enjoying the Capes finest racer drivers and riders fighting out out in the sun? See you at Killarney!

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