Porsches, Junos in endurance

2015-06-02 06:00

Saturday’s unique Carnival Race Day offers more quality and variety than has ever been seen at Killarney, so there has been a build-up of expectation among petrol heads.

The on-track action includes the Cape round of the All-Africa 3-hour endurance race series, that is due to finish in the dark, a leg of the South African Superkart Cham­pionship and round four of the Power Series for cars and motorcycles sponsored by Wingfield Motors.

A parade of VW Beetles in honour of its 80th anniversary (the prototype was unveiled in Germany in 1935) will take place during the lunch break, with the lucky winners of the high speed laps of the track in a racing sports Porsche competition, due to receive their award shortly afterwards. There will also be a display of motorcycle stunt riding.

The day will also feature an exo­tic and sports car show that includes several historic motorcycles under cover in the spacious new pit block. The popular Engen F1 simulators will be available to budding Lewis Hamilton imitators in the same building. Outside, a multifaceted funfair and amusement park is going to offer rides and entertainment of a different nature, on the adjacent parking area.

While entries for the 3-hour race include six Porsches (all of them with two or even three drivers) the battle upfront is more likely to be fought between a trio of Junos, a Dodge Viper and possibly a Panoz Esperante.

The formidable Juno attack is being led by Western Cape cham­pion Francis Carruthers, with co-drivers Nick Adcock and Dean McCarroll in an SS3 V6.

They will have to face up to Craig Jarvis and Marcel Angel in Jarvis’ recently acquired V10, 8.4 litre Dodge Viper and an American V8 Panoz Esperante being shared by Dave Alhadeff, Jonathan Bernstein and Chris Carolin.

Any gap upfront will allow the remaining Juno SS3s (of Steve Humble/Johan Engelbrecht and Colin Plit/Dawie Joubert) or perhaps even a Nissan 370Z (in the hands of Justin Mathie and Gary Sherrat) to take up the chase. Interesting entries have been received from Mark Lauth/Mike Verrier in a Shelby CanAm, while Greg Mills is teamed with top lady driver Andrea Bate in a Pillbeam MP 98 that was originally conceived for the world’s most famous 24-hour race. Of course the time spent refueling and changing drivers during pit stops, as well as the final hour of racing in the dark could also influence the outcome of this Le Mans style event.

Then there’s the potentially awesome spectacle promised by the Superkart races. The driver’s backside is no more than a couple of centimetres off the ground in these tiny projectiles that have no suspension and wheels the size of doughnuts.

However, they are powered by 250cc motors with six-speed sequential gearboxes. This allows them to attain speeds of more than 200 km/h on the back straight and lap quicker than even the mighty Wesbank V8’s of a couple of years ago.

The always hard-fought Bold Marine GTi Challenge race is expected to be one of the highlights of the Power Series section of the programme.

Young Marco Busi and Christopher Swart swapped places at the head of the field last month and they should be the ones to watch on Saturday. While the 15-year-old Joshua Dolinschek will be looking for a repeat of his recent single-seater Formula Libre victory, the battle in the Mutlu Batteries Classic Cars and the Cars Unlimited Fine Car events – that includes Dave Rowley’s rare, modified VW Beetle – is expected to be much closer. With the first race scheduled to start at 10:00, the African 3-hour is the final event on the programme and is due to get under way at 16:15. Admission is R60 for adults and R20 for children under 16. There is no charge for children under 12. Tickets are also available from Computicket

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