Fans watching May Day Power Series racing at Killarney International Raceway were treated to an action-packed day of close racing and spectacular crashes, fortunately with no serious injuries.
The Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons fielded no less than 36 entries, of which only 21 survived an incredibly destructive race 1 on Saturday May 1.
Sulaiman Effendi crashed out in Kfm Corner on lap two, and early leader Nieyaas Modack (NSI Racing/MIM Carrriers E46 M3) went out on lap three.
Zack Groenewald led two laps in the G&A Promotions/Alpine Autohaus V8 Lumina, only to retire the fast but fragile Chev after colliding with Danie van Niekerk’s Wingfield Motors E36 in turn 2 on lap four.
That left Clint Rennard (G&A Promotions Golf 2L) to chase Van Niekerk all the way to the line, just 0.258sec adrift in a cliffhanger finish.
They were followed by Imaad Modack in the second NSI Racing/MIM Carrriers E46 M3 (first in Class B) and Cody Alberts’ Stylesy/JVT/GT Graphics BMW E46 330i.
Race 2 was red-flagged on lap two, with Van Niekerk leading from Rennard and Alberts, when Theron and John Kirsten (G&A Motorsport Polo Vivo) tangled in Car Care Clinic and both wound up in the kitty litter.
Pole-position holder Alberts was unceremoniously mugged by Van Niekerk at the re-start, who then led every lap of the five-lap sprint to the line, with Rennard and Alberts in hot pursuit – too hot for Alberts, who suddenly slowed on the final lap and dropped back to sixth over the line, gifting Nieyaas Modack with a distant third, which was then promoted to second when Van Niekerk was given a 30-second penalty, dropping him back to ninth overall.
Franco Donadio started the SDC Classic and Bejo Trustees Fine Cars races in his usual fashion with pole position and a race 1 win in his wide-bodied Ford Escort Mk1, but Charles Arton laid down his marker by chasing the Escort all the way in his Datsun 240Z, finishing only 3.6 seconds in arrears. Geoff Bihl (Lynx Porsche 944) was the only Class B finisher in sixth overall.
Race 2 saw a major upset, however, as Arton passed Donadio on lap six and held off a spirited late charge from the Escort to win by two seconds, with Michael Hitchcock a distant third in the Cross Cape Forklifts Mustang.
Neither name was in the programme because both were late entries, but long-standing rivals Brandon Haupt, on the Fueled Racing R1, and David “McFlash” McFadden, using his father’s Yamaha as a test mule for future suspension upgrades on his own StuntSA/RPM Center R1, set the South Motorcycles Superbike series alight.
Haupt won both races, but was made to work very hard for it by McFadden and on-form SuperMasters rider Malcolm Rapson (Racebase GSX-R1000), who pulled a demon start in race 1 to lead the first lap, while McFadden’s borrowed Yamaha very nearly stalled, leaving him down in fifth at the end of the first lap with a lot of work to do.
The first Powersport race provided the biggest shake-up of the season so far – and some of the closest racing – as Slade van Niekerk, who has been dominating his rookie season in the Powersport 650cc class aboard the Project Sixty60 ER650, faced off against Kewyn Snyman.
The race was an absolute cracker, as they swopped the lead on almost every lap, never more than arm’s length apart. The two crossed the line side by side but the electronic transponders gave Van Niekerk the win by just
0.087sec, with Franco Flach (Kawasakki ER6N) little more than a second behind and Project Sixty60 team principal Trevor Westman a further three seconds adrift on a down-on-power Roxstar Ninja 650.
The first combined V8 Masters and Makita Formula Supercars race was red-flagged on lap two when Silver Class V8 drivers Menno Parsons and Sander le Bon collided in Kfm Corner and both cars wound up stuck half on and half off the circuit.
Defending champion Fabio Tafani got the holeshot at the re-start and led all the way to win by less than a second from Sean Moore and Rui Campos.
Campos got the hole-shot at the start of race 2, followed by Moore, Rob Warrington and Tafani but by the second lap normal service had been resumed as Tafani took over the lead and held it to the end to win by almost five seconds from Campos, Warrington and Barry Ingle.
Dave Abrahsms is Killarney International Raceway Media liaison person.