Killarney International Raceway’s motorsport fans, watching on livestream worldwide, were treated to a glimpse of what international Sports and GT class racing is like at round five of the Power Series on Saturday October 24, in the headline Ons Huisie 100, over 31 laps or 101.27km.
To the surprise of many, what was expected to be something of a tactical contest with slick fuel stops and driver changes, turned out to be a foot-flat 31-lap sprint.
None of the cars made a pitstop and their lap times were only marginally slower, if at all, than in a normal 10-lap sprint race.
Steve Humble in the Nissan V6-powered Harp Motorsport Pilbeam MP84 (the only entry in the super-fast Class S) romped away to a lights-to-flag win, setting the fastest lap of the race (and the day), a blistering 1min10.509sec, just short of the halfway point on lap 15.
He came under a serious challenge in the early stages, however, from Josh Broome’s Class A RBR/Spitfire Furniture Radical SR8, who managed to stay in touch until the Radical went sick on lap 23.
Nevertheless, Broome had done enough to be classified in the results and, as the only Class A entry, duly won his class.
With Broome out, second overall went to Class B hotshot Gary Kieswetter in the Advanced Packaging Technologies Porsche GT3 Cup, just one lap down on Humble after 37 minutes of superb action, with Martin Pugh’s Appleberry CanAm third overall and second in Class B.
Fourth overall delivered the dice of the race as Ryan Buda in a Class C Porsche GT3 Cup, Maarten Prins (Class B Porsche GT3 Cup) and veteran Louis de Jager (Class C Lola T212) finished within seven seconds after 28 laps of racing.
Eric Salomon (Class C Toyota Elf SO6), Cyril Ginsburg (Class D Porsche GT3 RS), Broome and Gavin Gorman (Class B Volkswagen-powered Nardini Sports) rounded out the 10 finishers from 14 starters.
The biggest field of the day, however, rolled out for the two Mikes Place Clubmans races, with 31 cars on the grid.
Race one was a classic as Danie van Niekerk in the Wingfield BMW E36, Brennon Green (Weskaap Bakwerke Golf 5), Basie Burger’s Italoven Golf 2 and Cody Alberts in the Stylesy BMW E46 330i battled it out for the lead. In the end, however, none of the three challengers could get quite close enough to make a move on Van Niekerk, who came home less than half a second ahead of Green, with Alberts a surprise third, 1.49sec further adrift.
In race 2, it was Green, who finished first with just over a second ahead of Van Niekerk, with Alberts third, six seconds further back.
Franco Donadio and his superbly prepared Ford Escort romped away to win the first Bejo Trustees Fine and Millstock Classic Cars race by more than eight seconds from fellow Class A competitor Eric van der Merwe.
Dewald Lambert (Volkswagen Jetta) led the Fine Cars home, five seconds ahead of Melani Cook, out for the first time in her father Albert’s 2.5-litre BMW E36, with Robert Toscano’s Technoparts Mazda MX5 third.
Late entry David McFadden (Yamaha R1) delivered a master class in racecraft with two superb wins in the RST Suzuki South Superbike races, chased home in each case by Kewyn Snyman, who is improving with every outing on the Missile Motorcycles ZX-10R.
Snyman actually led the first two laps of Race 1 and was only 0.77sec adrift at the finish, with JP Markets and True Vine ZX-10R rider Ronald Slamet, still suffering from arm pump, 11 seconds in arrears after a hard ride.