The penultimate round of South Africa’s premier motorsport series, the national championship Extreme Festival at Killarney on Saturday September 17, delivered all the excitement that the fans could ask for, with tight, robust racing in every category and one truly spectacular crash – from which everybody walked away with no more than a few bruises.
The first Global Touring Cars including SupaCup race produced some of the closest racing of the day, as defending champion Robert Wolk (Chemical Logistics Corolla) held off a five-way attack from Toyota Gazoo Racing South Africa teammates Saood Variawa and Michael van Rooyen, Julian van der Watt (Chemical Logistics Focus), Andrew Rackstraw’s Chemical Logistics/RDSA Audi S40 and Mandla Mdakane in the third works Corolla. All six finished in that order within 2.016 seconds after a 10-lap flat-out chase.
Mdakane grabbed the hole shot in race 2, with Van der Watt and Variawa all over him like a rash. On lap four, however, Mogotsi and local SupaCup hero Danie van Niekerk (Car Care Clinic/Van Niekerk Racing) collided just after the start/finish line on the Porsche Straight. The resulting mayhem destroyed both cars and part of the pit exit wall but both drivers, fortunately, walked away.
Variawa took no prisoners at the restart, moving straight into a lead he was to hold to the flag.
Local drivers dominated the first CompCare Polo Cup race as Giordano Lupini (Bullion IT) qualified on pole and led every lap to win by 0.711sec from Charl Visser (Universal Motorsport), Mbombela-based Dawie van der Merwe (Universal Motorsport), Gqeberha’s Clinton Bezuidenhout (Stu Davison & Sons) and two more locals, Angri Racing teenager Tate Bishop and championship contender Jurie Swart (Bullion IT).
Van Der Merwe turned the tables on the locals in race 2, however, outbreaking early leader Nathi Msimanga on lap two and retaining the advantage to win by 1.4 seconds from Bishop and Swart
The G&H Transport Extreme Supercars provided some of the most spectacular racing of the day – and certainly the fastest lap times – as Stradale Motorsport team-mates Charl Arangies (Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo) and Jonathan du Toit (Lamborghini Huracan GT3) battled it out with Franco Scribante’s phenomenal Porsche 997, finishing in that order covered by less than a second.
Race 2 was just as close, but this time it was Scribante who went to the front on lap two and held a tenuous but crucial lead to the flag to win from Du Toit and Arangies. The Grey Porsche took the early lead again in the third outing, only to go out on lap three, leaving Du Toit to win from team-mate Arangies, with local man Jason Ibbotson a distant third in the Autohaus Angel Ferrari 458 GT3.
Six-times Mobil 1 V8 Supercar champion Mackie Adlem (Adlem Auto Jaguar XKR) led all but six of the 26 laps of racing in this category and very nearly clinched his seventh title at Killarney. He qualified on pole and led race 1 all the way, finishing 4.237 seconds ahead of Franco Di Matteo (Laude/Di Matteo Racing Jaguar XKR), with Thomas Reib (Mobil 1 Chevy Lumina) a further five seconds in arrears adrift after Michael Nel’s Gears for Africa Chevrolet went out on lap three.
Race 2 was a lot closer, however, as Reib took the fight to the champion, chasing him all the way and finishing only 1.196 seconds adrift after eight superb laps of racing.
Investchem F1600 championship leader Josh Le Roux (Investchem/Master Stairs Mygale) kicked off his weekend in fine style by qualifying on pole and leading every lap of race 1 but behind him things were not so clear-cut. Gerard Geldenhuys (Abacus Division Racing Mygale) held second for two laps but was then unceremoniously demoted to fourth as local hotshot Troy Dolinschek (Sujean Property Investments Mygale) charged through from fifth to take second, with Geldenhuys’ brother Antwan in the second Abacus Division Racing Mygale holding a tenuous third until mid-race, when his brother relegated him to fourth.
Antwan later dropped back to finish eighth while Le Roux led home a tight train of Dolinschek, Gerard Geldenhuys and Siyabonga Mankonkwana (Investchem Mygale).
It’s worth noting, however, that local rookie Jason Coetzee (Mint Wrapworks Mygale), who finished seventh, was less than 8.5 seconds behind the leader.
Le Roux started Race 2 as he had finished the previous race, in the lead with Gerard Geldenhuys in close formation. Dolinschek took race 2 ahead of Gerard Geldenhuys and Alex Vos (Investchem/DV Building Supplies Mygale) who finished in that order, all within just 0.623sec.
- Dave Abrahams is the public relations officer for Killarney Raceway.