For more than 30 years the Clubmans category of regional racing at Killarney International Raceway has been encouraging motorsport enthusiasts to “run what ya brung” – it’s open to almost any production-based car irrespective of make or model.
The class in which each car/driver combination competes is determined not by engine type or capacity or even power output, but by lap times. Thus even the drivers of slower cars always have somebody to race with and trophies to race for, while talented new entrants will ‘break out’ of the lower classes as their lap times improve until they find themselves racing against the big dogs of the section in Class A.
All of which delivers exciting, highly competitive racing for drivers and spectators alike, helping to make this the biggest class in the regional Power Series – and makes it a perfect fit for MIKE’S PLACE as section sponsor.
Cape Town’s premier supplier of quality imported engines and gearboxes opened its doors to the public in August 1999 as Gearbox, Diff and Engine wholesalers, focused mainly on supplying gearboxes.
It soon became apparent, however, that there was a big demand for low-mileage used engines, and the business was re-invented as Mike’s Place – named for the owner – offering a wide range of second-hand engines and transmissions for Japanese, Korean, European and even American cars.
Not surprisingly, a large number of their sales are to performance enthusiasts, for whom installing a high-performance engine from the same manufacturer is a more cost-effective way of upgrading their wheels than trying to wring more power out of the original engine in their car.
As the company has become more performance orientated, Mike’s Place has also become more deeply involved in motorsport, sponsoring a number of competitors and, more prominently, the Mike’s Place Clubmans Championship at Killarney.
The GTi Challenge at Killarney welcomes a new sponsor for 2020 in the the shape of CHEAPER CARS, a dealer in entry-level used cars in the R10 000 – R250 000 bracket.
The GTi Challenge is an entry-level category based on Volkswagen cars with four-cylinder engines up to two litres in capacity, divided into classes based on power output. It’s also the most affordable way of getting into main-circuit racing, making the sponsor’s name a clever play on words as well.
Cheaper Cars is a independent operation, run by a dedicated team of just four – Herman Lazarus: Owner, Gert du Plessis: Manager, Anita Lazarus: Admin and Brandon Swamlow: Recon Manager – assuring you of personal service at all times.
Among the unsung sponsors who are vital to making motorsport at Killarney possible is DRIZIT ENVIRONMENTAL, who supply the oil absorbent material that mops up the mess when one of the racing vehicles becomes incontinent.
Our competitors do their best to avoid them but oil spills on the circuit are inevitable, especially after a big crash or an engine blow-up.
The raw cement traditionally used to soak up spilt oil so that it can be swept off the track surface is very effective but is distinctly unfriendly to the environment and to the marshals who have to sweep it off the circuit amid clouds of choking dust – and of course, it can’t be used on a wet track, for obvious seasons.
Drizit organic oil absorbent, however, is non-toxic, lightweight, super absorbent and water-repellent, which prevents it from leaching into the ground and allows it to be used on wet surfaces.
Drizit Environmental was formed in 1975 to manufacture and market a range of pollution control products that help South Africa’s industrial and manufacturing sectors maintain a safe and healthy working environment.
We thank them for not only making it possible to clean up oil spills on the circuit quickly and safely, but also helping Killarney International Raceway to become a more environmentally friendly corporate citizen.
The Western Province Motor Club’s Pre-1980 and Pre-1990 series, which are run together with the Fine Car category at regional Power Series meetings, are sponsored by MILLSTOCK CARS, a specialist dealer in premium pre-owned vehicles, based in Observatory in Cape Town’s Southern Suburbs.
While they specialise in niche marques such as Bentley, Jaguar, Maserati and McLaren, they also offer late-model mainstream models in top condition, from Ford Fiesta hatchbacks to rugged Land Cruiser pick-ups.
The Pre-1980 and Pre-1990 series is open to modified production cars made during those periods. While quite a large latitude is allowed in the rules for modification, strict control is exercised to ensure that the changes are ‘in period’.
One of the more unusual category sponsors of Killarney’s regional Power Series is BEJO TRUSTEES, who have joined us in 2020 as sponsors of Fine Cars, which run together with the Pre-1980 and Pre-1990 Classics.
Bejo Trustees specialise in the drafting and execution of Wills, the administration of deceased estates and trusts, not only for private clients but also for corporates such as legal and accounting firms.
When the time comes to execute the will, Bejo Trustees provide a full service from reporting the estate to the Master of the High Court to receipt of the Master’s “Filing Slip” – and everything in between, including the administration of testamentary trusts from inception to cessation.
Fine Car racing is open to road-going saloons and production sports-cars introduced before 31 December 1994 and which have been out of production for at least 10 years. It’s the category with probably the most variety in terms of manufacturers and models currently racing at Killarney.
The rules are simple: The original manufacturer’s engine, gearbox and other running parts must be retained, although engines may be modified and suspension lowered. The cars must run on DOT-approved road tyres and interior trim must be complete and as close as possible to original.
Roll cages and four or five-point racing harnesses are, however, compulsory.
A sponsor of almost every facet of motorcycle racing at Killarney, RST BIKEWEAR can trace its history back to 1988, when founder Jonny Towers started with a range of tough, high quality but affordable motorcycle jackets and gloves under the brand name Rhino.
A keen rider – and racer – himself, he’d seen many riders at motorcycling events and race meetings in really badly-fitting leathers. Most riders in the late 1980s couldn’t afford high-end brands and he could see there was a need for well-made affordable gear – bikewear that looked good, worked well and offered good value.
The Rhino brand, aimed primarily at racers and riders of performance streetbikes, soon evolved into Rhino Sport and when he added ‘Technology’ to the name it became RST – and grew to become the United Kingdom’s No.1 and a globally recognised brand.
More than three decades later, Jonny Towers is still racing; he was the UK Thundersport Supertwin champion in 2017 and comes to Killarney each year to take part in the annual 8 Hour international endurance race for lightweight motorcycles. He has been a member of the winning team in this international event 10 times, and shows no signs of slowing down.
One of the most important ‘behind the scenes’ sponsors at Killarney International Raceway is AFRITECH EQUIPMENT SOLUTIONS, the provider of the mobile generators you’ll see standing at key points around the complex on race days.
These make it possible to continue racing, serving food and drinks, broadcasting commentary and providing emergency medical services during power outages and load shedding.
Afritech supplies diesel-powered generators up to 1 Megawatt, welders, compressors, lighting plants, pumps, inverter welders, electric and pneumatic power tools, cutting equipment and even spanners to power generation, petrochemical, pipeline and solar power projects as well as steel, paper and pulp mills and many other industrial projects.
Everybody needs a pick-me-up sometimes, and that’s especially true in the world of motorsport. Whether it’s trimming dead branches off the trees alongside the back straight, servicing the cameras around the circuit that provide total coverage on race days, reconfiguring the circuit for different events such as Drag Racing, Rallycross or Oval Track racing, repairing a light fitting in the floodlights that make Wednesday night #RobotRacing possible, or even lifting a crashed car off the circuit during World Rallycross events, one phone call to EAZI ACCESS and the right machine for the job is at the circuit when we need it.
Eazi Access has been supplying access equipment for reaching hard-to-get-at jobs and moving awkward loads in the construction, mining, industrial and entertainment sectors since 2003, and has the biggest, most versatile fleet of equipment in Africa for rent or sale.
Look around the circuit next time you attend an event at Killarney: anything you can see that’s higher than a ladder or bigger than a bakkie load – Eazi Access was there before you were, to make sure it’s ready for your day’s entertainment and to ensure the safety of the competitors. We thank Eazi Access for their steady support (pun intended!) in the hope that we can continue to lean on them in the years to come.