Arriving at the Killarney International Raceway in complete darkness relates to winter and the weather certainly led to a number of withdrawals from the various categories based on not having wet weather tyres or simply not being willing to accept the challenge presented by a new surface.
Considered a real neutralizer of power advantages the hardy Killarney spectators accepted the fact that it was going to be a wet day and still showed great support in being present in good numbers.
Disappointingly the numbers in almost all the categories tumbled and with a short day on the cards with respect to daylight the decision to run all 18 races on the itinerary over six laps was acceptable. The weather somehow fitting as Killarney honoured 20 year old Kim Easom with a minute of silence tribute.
Formula Libre 2x6 Laps
Dee-Jay Booysen recently enjoyed his first experience in national FF1600 and the confidence gained saw him lapping Killarney in the 1min14 bracket during practice in his home grown Suzuki powered single seater. Unfortunately wet weather neutralized this enormous benefit and race day saw every driver rely on his own ability to remain on the black stuff.
Tempting fate he tackled heat one on slick tyres and proceeded to entertain the crowd in Jaguar Sweep by rotating himself out of a comfortable lead. Bryron Mitchell said thank you very much and accepted the chequered flag on debut in his Dolphin Engineering Racing VW Forza 1.4i. Dee-Jay Booysen second in his Bidvest McCarthy Toyota / Dico Racing Suzuki RM08 and Cyril Somerville third in the ex-Byron Mitchell Dolphin Engineering Racing VW Sting 1.4i.
Heat two was dry and Dee-Jay Booysen romped into the distance to win the race and reclaim overall victory from Bryron Mitchell whilst Sean le Riche managed to step up his pace in heat two to finish third in the heat and claim the final podium position in his Seleka Racing Formula Renault. Cyril Somerville fourth overall with Thomas van der Merwe fifth in his Project 8 Installers VW Arrow 1.4i and Graham Knight sixth overall in his Eloff Transformers / Photohire VW Ray 1.6.
Mike’s Place Clubmans 2x6 Laps
With BMW exponents Danie van Niekerk and Clifford Bacon still smirking after their results at Silverstone class A was the domain of five of the quickest VW Golf’s in the country.
Shane du Toit might be sponsored by Skilpadvlei but his VW Golf MkI 2.0 16v is certainly no “skilpad” and his car now wears the X on the rear window which the balance of the field are aiming for. Brennon Green and his Weskaap Bakwerke VW Golf V Turbo supported by the New Engineering VW Golf MkI of Michael le Sueur, the G&H Marketing VW Golf MkII of Clint Rennard and the latest challenger Basie Burger in the Italoven VW Golf MkII.
However, it was a no contest result in heat one for Shane du Toit who really made it look easy in tricky conditions. Brennon Green something of a spectator in second spot with Clint Rennard third and an impressive Paul Munnik fourth in his class B winning Audi & VW Auto Clinic VW Golf MkI. Damien Lopez fifth in his class D Cape Refractory and Servico VW Polo Classic and in sixth it was Basie Burger in his Italoven class A VW Golf MkI.
Heat two was dry and Brennon Green beat Shane du Toit to the flag, but it was the Skilpadvlei driver who claimed overall victory. Clint Rennard third overall and Basie Burger fourth. Damien Lopex fifth overall in his class D Polo with Paul Munnik sixth overall in his class B Golf.
Burly Pro GTi Challenge 2x6 Laps
The small entry certainly did not detract from the quality thereof and both classes A and C had all the normal aggression and determination expected. Kosie Weyers celebrated his return with pole position in his VW Golf MkI, but mechanical woes eliminated him early in heat one whilst the steering on the Polo of Jano van der Westhuizen saw him visit the scenery and Jurie Swart parked his Polo minus a left rear suspension and wheel.
Colin Nicholas Meder kept his Polo pointing in the right direction, for longer than most, winning heat one from Paul-hendrik Franken and Francois van Tonder with a determined Edden Thompson fourth in his class B winning Somerset Refrigeration VW Golf MkI, Gideon Serfontein fifth in the Goeie Hoop Onderdele VW Golf MkII and the top six completed by Divan Lazarus in his Cheapercars VW Jetta 2. In class C Marco Busi beat his brother Mario Busi and Brett Roach to the flag.
Heat two saw Jano van der Westhuizen first past the flag in his VW Polo Vivo with Paul-Hendrik Franken second, Colin Nicholas Meder, Francois van Tonder, Edden Thompson and Jurie Swart. Overall consistency gave Paul-Hendrik Franken his first overall victory in the Burly Pro GTi Challenge with the 2017 specification Manitou Group VW Polo Vivo with Colin Nicholas Meder second in his International Tube Technology VW Polo Vivo and Francois van Tonder claiming third in his Universal Healthcare VW Polo Vivo.
Eden Thompson won class B and claimed a fine fourth overall in the Somerset Refrigeration VW Golf MkI with Wayne Field fifth overall in his Coetzee’s Auto Coachworks VW Golf MkII and class C winner, Dario Busi, sixth overall in his Automan VW Golf MkI.
Heat two was red flagged on the opening lap when Christopher Swart flipped his Village Paint & Hardware class C VW Golf MkI onto it’s side in Turn 4
Pirelli Sports & GT Cars 2x6 Laps
Just eight cars started the Pirelli Sports & GT category and it was Gary Kieswetter that celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Porsche marque (8 June) in the best possible manner by winning heat one on a damp and tricky surface with his Advanced Packaging Technology class B Porsche GT3 RS. Ryan Buda adding to the Porsche celebrations by placing his Fatsak class C Porsche GT3 Cup second.
and André Bezuidenhout third in the Weltevreden Estate Stellenbosch class A Nissan Juno 3.7. He had already spun and stalled during morning practice in Turn 5 and was simply driving consistently rather than taking any chances on the wet surface. Dawie Joubert did have a few moments in his normally dominant class A Lotus Exige Honda Turbo and it was really rather unusual to see him pass the flag in fourth place. Even Steve Humble had his hands full in the fifth placed Harp Motorsport class B Opel Mallock Mk14B with Maarten Prins sixth in his class C Porsche GT3 Cup
Dryer conditions in heat two saw André Bezuidenhout lead as he pleased in the Juno with Steve Humble second, Gary Kieswetter third Ryan Buda fourth, Maarten Prins fifth and Cyril Ginsburg sixth.
Overall André Bezuidenhout proved fast enough in the dry to claim overall victory in the Weltevreden Estate Stellenbosch Juno Nissan 3.7 with Steve Humble second in his Harp Motorsport Mallock Opel Mk14B and a determined Gary Kieswetter third in his Advanced Packaging Technologies Porsche GT3 RS. Ryan Buda and Maarten Prins and Cyril Ginsburg completing the top six.
However, when a series is featured as main attraction an 8 car field certainly does not constitute a championship quality entry (can they even score points with so few cars present?). Sadly a suspected electrical fire then all but destroyed the Bezuidenhout Juno later in the evening with substantial damage to the pit buildings.
Makita Supercars 2x6 Laps
A class that suffers badly when it rains the one piece bodywork of the Makita Supercars make visibility something of a bucket list item for the drivers, not to mention that wet weather tyres have also not been required very often in the history of this series.
Jarryd Evans claimed overall victory in his Cape Eye Laser entry from Ryan Mccarthy in his Hyper Lighting version and these two proved to be the stars of the day with “newcomer” Danie van Niekerk very impressive enroute to third overall on debut in the Makita Supercars. The BMW driver even managing some neat powerslides through Turn 5.
Glen Phillips had a torrid first heat but recovered well in heat two to claim fourth overall with George Williams fifth and Martin Bensch sixth.
Get Worth V8 Masters 2x6 Laps
Wet weather favours the brave and the wisdom of experience normally proves a deciding factor. Being developed for drivers older than 45 years in age this should relate to pretty good racing in wet conditions, but they too suffer heavily in the wet as those big wheels do not respond well to standing water and even if they ran wet weather tyres, at their age it becomes challenging to see each other!
Enzo Kuun possibly the only driver enjoying these conditions given his background as top flight South African rally driver. Fabio Tafani did not hold back though and simply proved invincible enroute to overall victory from Sean Moore and an impressive Enzo Kuun. Brian Evans fourth, Fanie Theron fifth and Mark Ridgway sixth. Richard Schreuder retired his TRS Construction car with ablown head gasket early in Heat 1.
Shatterfix Fine Cars 2x6 Laps
Being “standard” road cars the Shatterfix Fine Cars were possibly best suited to racing in the rain as many of these cars are actually driven to and from the circuit and run on quality road tyres.
Being handicap based the result on circuit and the actual points bearing result tend to vary as drivers are expected to challenge times rather than each other.
Tony Lindeque won heat one on track in his VW Jetta MkI 1.8 with Maurizio Toscano and his mean sounding VW Passat second and James Matthee third in the big BMW 535i. Robert Toscano fourth in his Mazda MX5, with Elton Hurst fifth in the big Wheels 4 U Nissan Skyline 2.8 and the top six completed by the returning Alfa Romeo Giulia of Niel Mouton.
Heat two saw the big Skyline enjoy the dry circuit to claim first place from Arnold Lambert in his Lambert Racing VW Jetta MkI 1.8 and the similar car of Tony Lindeque. Robert Toscano beating his father to fourth in the Mazda MX5 with James Matthee completing the top six in the BMW 535i.
Classic Cars 2x6 Laps
Always a favourite category with spectators the extremely small entry could once again be related to the class S monsters simply being too much of a handful on slicks in the expected wet conditions.
As a multiple oval track champion Franco Donadio is simply not affected by track conditions and it was an absolute pleasure to see how committed his neat 2.3 Ford Escort MkI was driven to victory in both heats. Dave Alhadeff required the dry conditions of heat two to claim second overall in his neat Alfa Romeo GTAm replica from Wayne Lotter in his Globe Trotter Ford Escort MkI 2.0.
Piet Matthee placed his Politzei Porsche 944 fourth overall from the neat Hutchings Service Station VW Scirocco of Trevor Hutchings and the Ford Escort MkI of Herman de Kock.
RST Track Mac Powersport Motorcycles 2x6 Laps
Joske Kotze set the pole position time aboard his Suzuki SV650 but promptly planted the machine in Rhodes Sweep on the opening lap leaving a determined Paul Medell to claim overall victory aboard his neat Kawasaki ER650. Chris Williams looked set to claim second overall, but a jump start penalty in heat one dropped him back to third whilst Mike van Rensburg said thank you and stepped up to second on the podium aboard his Simple Maintenance Solutions Kawasaki ER650.
Kewyn Snyman impressive enroute to fourth overall on aboard the class winning The Mag Workshop KTM RC390. Willem Louw fifth, Kawasaki ER650, and Zante Otto an impressive sixth aboard her pink Otto Racing Team Yamaha YZF300.
RST Trac Mac Classic & Clubman Motorcycles 2x6 Laps
Chris Williams claimed overall honours aboard his Trac Mac Ducati Panigale with Willem Binedell second aboard his ACAP Suzuki GSXR600 and the class winning Yamaha YZF600 of Byron Evans third overall. Byron won heat one but only managed 7th in heat two.
Garth Livingstone fourth overall aboard his Ducati 999 with Wayne Arendse fifth (Honda CBR600RR) and Giovanni Massa sixth aboard his Massa Glass Honda CBR600RR. Sadly another class affected by a poor entry on the day.
RST Suzuki South Superbikes 2x6 Laps
The brothers Haupt dominated proceedings, but it was a little surprising to see Bernard Haupt taking two victories from his brother Brandon Haupt on the day. Bernard simply proved dominant in the wet first heat aboard his Fueled Racing / TCF Invest Yamaha R1 with Brandon Haupt second aboard his similar machine.
Heat two saw Brandon take command at the front until a sudden downpour saw him outbrake himself in Fastron corner on the final lap, allowing Bernard to outdrag his brother to the flag. A very entertaining tussle. Hayden Jonas lived up to expectations by claiming third place in the wet first race aboard his Yamaha YZF 600 but the dry conditions in heat two saw Trevor Westman slot into third with his Madmacs Kawasaki ZX10R.
Overall Hayden Jonas took a fine third spot with Gerrit Visser quietly slotting into fourth overall aboard his Yamaha R1. Trevor Westman fifth and Jared Schultz sixth. David McFadden did not have a great day and Malcolm Rapson opted not to make his comeback in the wet.
Thanks to the hard work of the WPMC team Killarney have become a very family friendly venue and despite the welcome winter weather spectators still braved the elements as there is more than adequate covered spectating spots and entertainment all round the circuit.
Published by: Patrick Vermaak
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