Round 4 of the 2023 Power Series presented last week was run in wet weather that became steadily wetter as the day went on – but that just levelled the playing field as the more powerful cars lost their advantage on the streaming surface.
Nevertheless, defending champion Jurie “Umpie” Swart Jr in the Bullion IT Polo 6 didn’t put a wheel wrong as he took two superbly judged wins in the headline Alert Engine Parts GTi Challenge races.
Arch-rival Marco Busi (Simtech Motorsport/Goeiehoop Onderdele Polo) started well but was later demoted to fourth in race 1 by Clinton Bezuidenhout (Progress Precision Engineering Polo) and Nathan Victor (Summit Racing Polo GTi).
Schalk Geldenhuys (G&A Motorsport Polo 6) took the early lead in race 2 and even after Swart passed him on lap five, he stayed in contention all the way to the flag, finishing just 0.705sec in arrears and less than a quarter of a second ahead of a charging Busi in a crowd-pleasing final showdown.
Dawie Joubert was leading the first Spitfire Furniture Sports and GT race when Harp Motorsport’s Francis Carruthers (Pilbeam MP84) and Sandro Biccari (Juno S3) slid into each other going into Quarry Corner on lap six and pirouetted off the circuit in perfect unison.
Biccari got going again without even losing a place, but the Pilbeam was beached half on and half off the track. That brought out the safety car – unfortunately missing Joubert as he crossed the line to start lap seven, so he was able to pull out a lead of more than two minutes while the rest of the field cruised round behind the safety car for the final three laps of the race.
Gary Kieswetter’s Advanced Packaging Technology Porsche GT3 Cup was classified second, with Steve Humble (Harp Motorsport/Ravenol Mallock MK14B) third.
Humble took the early lead in race 2, refusing to settle for second after the hugely powerful Porsche got past and hung to finish just 0.112 adrift of Joubert, with Kieswetter a full 20 seconds behind in third.
Jason Linaker (RST Honda CBR600) and Slade “Wild Child” van Niekerk on the Project Sixty SA ZX-6R took the fight to Master of Masters Malcom Rapson’s Racebase GSX-R1000 in a thrilling race 1 that saw Linaker hold off a late move from Rapson to win by 0.019sec, with Van Niekerk third, just 1.057sec further back.
Van Niekerk fitted full wets for race 2 – and romped away to win by 25 seconds from Rapson, Jamie Hall and Linaker, while veteran Wayne Arendse (JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R) won the Challenge category by surviving five difficult laps on a streaming wet circuit, just 0.384sec ahead of Deuse Express Fireblade rider Brad Bodsworth.
Storm Lanfear in the AMD Engineering/RDSA Reynard qualified second on the grid in Formula Libre, but failed to complete the first lap of race 1, leaving Dee-Jay Booysen and the Dico/Burner Factory to walk away to an unchallenged 14-second victory. Behind him the Formula Vee “brat pack” had a field day, with slides and spins galore, as Byron Mitchell (Dolphin Engineering Forza) and André le Riche (Racelab Karting Lantis) set the early pace.
Le Riche got it wrong on the very last lap, however, and was demoted to fifth overall and fourth in class behind Richard Carr (Rhema) and Zane Amundsen (Alpha Precision Engineering Lantis).
Lanfear was back for race 2, and chased Booysen all the way to the flag, finishing just 0.145sec adrift after an inspired drive in difficult conditions. Darren Liebenberg was third in his Formula M, while Mitchell, Carr and Kelly Fletcher (Dolphin Engineering Forza) led the Formula Vee bunfight, finishing in that order.
• Dave Abrahams is the public relations officer for Killarney Raceway.