Round three of the Power Series at Killarney on Saturday April 1 delivered world-class racing – tight, intense and very, very close – from the very best of local motorsport talent.
In the headline Thermo Fires Clubmans category, Steven Heydenrych in his GC Tuned/FAT Racing Skyline GTR fought it out in race one with oval track veteran Jesse Huggett’s Rico Barlo/Philwest Jetta 2 and young gun Cody Alberts in the Avid Security/JVG Roofing/GT Wraps BMW 330i for the first six laps. Sadly, Huggett went out on lap seven, opening the door for a late charge by Clint Rennard (G&A Motorsport Golf 2), who finished second, less than two seconds behind the Skyline, with Alberts third, just ahead of A&M Plumbing’s Daanyaal Coetzee (BMW E46) and Basie Burger (Italoven Pizzeris Civic 2L).
Huggett did not come out for race 2; Alberts got the hole-shot ahead of Coetzee, Heydenrych and Rennard, who jostled for second while Alberts established a crucial early lead. Heydenrych and Rennard soon relegated Coetzee to fourth, only for the Skyline to go out on lap three.
In race 2, Alberts romped home to an emphatic win from Coetzee and Paul Munnik (Audi VW Auto Clinic Golf GTi).
The Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge is known as a contact sport and round three of the series certainly delivered on that, with plenty of bumping and boring throughout the 22-strong field.
Defending champion Jurie “Umpie” Swart in the Bullion IT Polo 6 took a lights-to-flag win in race 1 but five seconds behind him it was “elbows out” as Clinton Bezuidenhout (Progress Precision Engineering Polo), Kai van Zyl (Unlimited Auto Angri Polo 6) and Nathan Victor (Summit Racing Polo GTi) debated second.
Bezuidenhout went out on lap two, however, and Victor’s race only lasted another two laps, as Swart posted a solid five-second in over Van Zyl and Dillon Joubert (Euroblitz/TacSteel/Powder Coating World Polo 6R).
In race 2, Bezuidenhout took the early lead from Swart, Joubert and Victor. Swart went to the front on lap four but was unable to pull away as Bezuidenhout, Victor and Joubert gave it everything they had to stay with him. Then Bezuidenhout threw it completely sideways going into Hoals Hoek at the start of lap six and was T-boned by Victor as Dillon dived inside to grab second.
But Bezuidenhout pulled off a miracle save and exited Hoals in third, still ahead of Victor – who returned the favour and passed him a lap later to come home a hard-earned third, just 0.069 sec behind Bezuidenhout.
Kewyn Snyman once again showed his world-class status as he romped away from the Triumph Motorcycles Superbikes/Superbike Challenge/Masters/600 field on his vintage Missile Motorcycles Fireblade to record two emphatic race wins. Behind him Alex van den Berg (GFP Superbikes GSX-R1000) got into a three-way battle for second in race 1 with defending champion Malcolm Rapson (Racebase GSX-R1000) and hotshot teenager Tristin Pienaar, punching way above his weight on a Yamaha R6.
The three finished in that order within 1.2 seconds after an epic dice. Brad Bodsworth was the first Superbike Challenge rider home in eighth overall.
Rapson and Pienaar were delivering an action replay of their earlier dice in race 2, swapping places on almost every lap, coming home in that order, behind Snyman, separated by just 0.255sec.
When life hands you lemons, they say, make lemonade – or in Ewert Koorts’ case, victory champagne. Koorts was leading the first South Motorcycles Clubmans/Classic Superbikes/Breakfast Run Motorcycles race when he highsided in Pertamina Fastron corner on lap four, handing the race to hotshot teenager Keana Strode (Kawasaki ZX-6R), ahead of Willem Louw (Kawasaki ZX-6R) and Jayson Bulterman’s Power Steering Solutions BMW F800.
Wayne Gresse was the first Classic Superbike home on a first-generation Yamaha R1 in fourth overall, while top Breakfast Runner was Phillip Rimmer in ninth overall on his Iron Horse Relocations R1.
Koorts meanwhile, remounted and finished on the same lap as the leaders in 12th overall. He was back for race 2, running consistently within half a second of his times in the earlier outing and held off a determined effort by Strode to come home almost two seconds clear of the Kawasaki, with Louw and Bulterman following at a respectful distance.