Mist delayed Power series worth the wait

Slade van Niekerk (96, Project 60 ER650) leads Kewyn Snyman (19, Missile Motorcycles ER6) and Trevor Westman (1, Roxstar Ninja 650) in the Powersport Motorcycles race.

For the first time in many years racing was delayed by mist at round 6 of the Power Series presented at Killarney on Saturday August 7 – but it was worth the wait as fans watching on live-stream were treated to superb action – and some heart-stopping incidents – across the categories.

The drama in the headline Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons started on the first lap, as Raaziegh Harris’ incredibly quick Panic Plumber Golf Mk1 got into a panic of its own in Interceptor Corner and slid out of second straight into the tyre wall. That left Charl Visser in the Charl Electrical Engineering 350Z chasing Nieyaaz Modack’s MIM Carriers/NSI Racing E46 M3, with Alex Johnson (Executive Decisions A4), Wayne Wilson (DTM Helderberg Maxima), Mansoor Parker (Armien Levy Motorsport E30) and ‘Baby Jakes’ Jacobs (Executive Decisions M5) in hot pursuit.

By lap four, however, Visser’s 350Z was starting to fade and he went out on two laps later, as Modack and Johnson began to pull away from a six-way battle for third. They came home in that order, 2.277 seconds apart – but all eyes were on the fight for third as Parker, Wilson, Ederees Achmat (EA Performance M3), who had sliced his way through the traffic from eighth on lap one, Baby Jakes, Shane Smith (Truckport Logistics E46) and Daanyaal Coetzee in the A&M Plumbing M3 crossed the line within 12 seconds.

Achmat was the first Class B driver home in fifth overall but there were no Class C finishers, while Johno Kirsten (G&A Motorsport Polo Vivo) took Class D honours in 10th overall.

The Cheaper Cars GTi Challenge turned into a three-way fight between arch-rivals Jurie ‘Umpie’ Swart (Alpine Autohaus Polo 6) and arch-rival Marco Busi in the Automan Polo, with Jason Coetzee’s Mint Wrapworks Polo 6 all over them like a cheap suit. Coetzee actually ran second for five laps in mid-race but was mugged on lap nine by Swart, who passed Busi a lap later to take the win by just 0.592sec, with Coetzee less than a second further adrift.

Franco Donadio’s customary domination of the combined SDC Classics and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars in his Ford Escort Mk1 was shaken by a superb effort from Michael Hitchcock in the Cross Cape Forklift Services Mustang, who seemed to have the legs of the formerly all-conquering Escort on the straights and led the first six laps until he was slowed by what sounded like a right front suspension problem and came home 10 seconds adrift.

What should have been an exciting three-way tussle for the lead ended prematurely (in the first corner, to be precise) when Charles Arton spun his very quick Datsun 240Z and wound up stationary in the middle of the circuit, facing the wrong way, with chaos all around him. By a combination of good driving and good fortune nobody hit anybody, and Arton was able to get going again in 14th place.

He then put in the drive of the day to cut through the field back up to third but despite posting the fastest lap of the race on the final tour was unable to catch the leaders, coming home five seconds behind Hitchcock’s ailing Mustang.

Arnold Lambert (Lambert Racing Jetta) got the best of three-way fight for the Fine Cars win with Bradley Rowe (Veldt Reared BMW E36) and Robert Toscano (Technoparts MX5) which saw them finish in that order, covered by less than three seconds.

The combined V8 Masters and Makita Formula Supercars race also narrowly avoided a turn 1 tangle when pole-sitter Fabio Tafani got completely out of shape in mid-corner, but he pulled off the save of the day and went on to win by less than three seconds from Rui Campos, while Sean Moore fought back from sixth at the end of .lap one to finish a hard-earned third.

The Powersport 650 Class motorcycle action was always expected to be explosive, with established stars battling teenage short-circuit graduates. Kewyn Snyman (Missile Motorcycles ER6), CBR150 champion Slade van Nierkerk (Project 60 ER650) and Trevor Westman (Roxstar Ninja 650) took it all the way to the wire in a race-long battle for the lead, never more than a bike length apart, that saw positions changing on almost every lap. But it was former SA Supersport 300 champion Snyman who was just 0.103sec ahead of Van Niekerk at the line after an epic final lap, as Westman dropped back slightly to finish third.

Charles Arton (52, Datsun 240Z) spins exiting Kfm Corner on the first lap of the combined SDC Classics and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars race. By a combination of good driving and good fortune nobody hit anybody.
Bertus Engelbrecht (7, CS Cleaning Solutions/TRUSC Speads RM08) spins out in Kfm Corner on lap four of the Formula Libre race, taking Kelly Fletcher (22, Dolphin Engineering Forza) with him into the dirt.
Fabio Tafani (1) leads Sean Moore (73), Rui Campos (29) and Mark Ridgway (51) at the start of the V8 Masters race.