Power Series Round 1

THE STARS AND THEIR CARS AT KILLARNEY REGIONAL RACEWAY – HOT CONTENDERS AT ROUND 1 OF POWER SERIES SPONSORED BY WINGFIELD MOTORS

As the competitors in the 2019 Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors gear up for Round 1, many of the categories are difficult to predict, with a number of established drivers out for the first time in new or upgraded cars and an encouraging tally of new names in the entry lists.

In the Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons, Danie van Niekerk in the Wingfield Motors BMW 325, Clint Rennard (two-litre G&A Golf) and Michael le Sueur’s ridiculously quick Golf  Mk 1 are likely to set the pace. Look out for Kosie Swanepoel, however, in his three-litre D+E Steel Lexus and, just possibly, Dayne Angel in a Honda Civic Type R.

The Burly Pro GTI Challenge, by contrast, is likely to be fought out between the two-litre Polo 6’s  of top contenders Jurie Swart,  Francois van Tonder and Colin Nicholas Meder, with a possible challenge from Jan  van der Westhuizen’s Polo Vivo.

In the absence of an entry from Marcel Angel, the V8 Masters charge is likely to be led by Sean Moore, Fabio Tafani and Richard Schreuder, with nothing to choose between them, while Jaco Lambert and Ryan McCarthy (who scored a brilliant race win last time out) will be the names to look out for in the two-litre Opel-based Makita Supercar Class that runs with the Masters.

Given a quick glance at the entry list for the Shatterfix Fine Cars races, three names pop out: father and son Mauritzio (Volkswagen Passat) and Robert Toscano (Maxda MX5), as well as BMW 325 invitation driver Gunther Appelgryn – but don’t rule out Arnold Lambert, whose Volkswagen Jetta out-qualified all three, only to pick up mechanical gremlins in the races proper.

Danie van Niekerk in the Wingfield Motors BMW 325 is likely to set the pace in the Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons. Picture credit: Funky Frankys Fotos

The man with form in the Pirelli Sports and GT Cars class is Steve Humble (Opel Mallock Mk 14B), so look to him set the pace, with Craig Jarvis (Chev Ginetta G57), Francis Carruthers (Chev Aquilia CR1 7L) and Colin Pitt in a 2.4-litre Honda-powered Juno SS3 in hot pursuit.

Hot pursuit is also what it’s all about in the Formula Libre single-seater category, where all eyes will be on Dee-Jay Booysen’s Suzuki-powered RM08 in the absence of an entry from Joshua Dolinschek. Look to Damian White (Formula VW Ray 89 2L) and Formula Vee hotshot Byron Mitchell to give him a run for line honours.

The Superbike category has been thrown wide open by the absence of defending champion Brandon Haupt (still recovering from a serious knee injury sustained at East London late in 2018) and former title-holder David McFadden, who will concentrate on his overseas commitments and the SA National series during 2019. Nevertheless, there will be plenty of action at the sharp end of the field.

Haupt’s older brother Bernard, a proven race winner in the past, has entered one of the Fueled Racing R1s in a direct challenge to Trevor Westman’s Mad Macs ZX-10R and the Gaming Guru ZX-10R of Jean-Baptiste Racoupeau, who ended his 2018 season on a high note and of whom much is expected this year.

But the man to watch is multiple 600 Challenge champion Hayden Jonas, famous for chasing down the litre-class racers on a Supersport machine. He’ll be out for the first time on a brand new Samurai R1 and could just turn the established pecking order on its ear.

Another rider whose place in the pecking order is unpredictable is multiple former champion Ronald Slamet from Namibia, on the PM Motorsport R1. Slamet has immense natural talent, thwarted in the past by unreliable machinery and inconsistent race fitness. Given a bike he’s happy with and the right motivation Slamet is undoubtedly a contender – the rest is up to him.

The SuperMasters class for riders aged 35 years and over will be fought out again between born-again racer Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R) and veteran Quintin Ebden on the Milu R1, with Jacques Ackermann (Mad Macs ZX-10R) and Bernard Haupt’s father Peter on the second Fueled Racing R1 to keep them honest.

The Super600 category, however, is a complete unknown, with the top riders having moved up to the National series. An up-and-comer to watch is Gareth Gehlig (Kawasaki ZX-6R) but it is likely that re-minted riders Donovan Le Cok (Kawasaki ZX-6R) and David Enticott (Motorwise 675 Daytona) will have something to say about that.

The big news in the Powersport A category for 650cc twins is the presence of veteran Wayne Arendse in what is for him a new class. The Powersport B class for 400cc singles and twins, by contrast, is populated mostly by relatively unknown younger riders, notable among them Jason Linaker (Samurai Ninja 300) and Jessen Samaai (KTM RC390).

Entries for the Clubmans categories for the power series (the biggest single class with 19 names) have thrown up a number of surprises, including Wayne Arendse (the same!), who has forsaken his long-serving Honda CBR600RR for a Kawasaki ZX-10R, former national contender Aran van Niekerk, who is still struggling with an injured foot but who will be out on a VanBros R6, and Gareth Kenward, known for his superb performances on a 250cc Grand Prix machine in the 1990s, back almost 20 years later on a Kawasaki ZX-10R.

As always, this is one class that’s too close to predict, although we will say that riders looking for trophies should watch out for Breakfast Run amateurs Robbie Pedrica (Yamaha R1) and Romano di Leva (Kawasaki ZX-10R).

The Clubhouse Kiddies Korner has pedal karts, jungle gyms and more, with trained minders in attendance, while the Trackside Pub and Grill and New Pits Lounge will keep children and adults hydrated and your tastebuds entertained.

The gates open for Round 1 of Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors at Killarney International Raceway at 7.30am on Saturday 23 February and racing starts at 10.00am.

Book at Computicket or pay at the gate; entry is R80 for adults, R20 for scholars under 16 and free for kids under 12.

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