Picking speed at Killarney

2019-07-02 06:01

Just 14 days after midwinter, the second half of the 2019 motorsport season at Killarney International Raceway gets underway with the Independence Day Power Series sponsored by Wingfield Motors on Saturday 6 July.

It’s themed, of course, for the national day of the United States of America, the Fourth of July, with lots of red, white and blue – and the sound of big American V8 engines in many of the categories.

Once again the programme is full, with races for the Mikes Place Clubman Saloons, Burly Pro GTi Challenge, Millstock Classic and Shatterfix Fine Cars, V8 Masters and Makita Supercars, Pirelli Sports and GT Cars and Formula Libre Single-seaters.

Fans of two-wheeled action will be treated to three classes of motorcycle races: the Powersport formula races, the Clubmans ‘run wot ya brung’ series and the 280km/h RST Superbikes, lapping in a fraction over 70 seconds and cornering at lean angles that seemingly redefine the laws of physics.

The Mikes Place Clubman Saloons have again attracted the largest field with 43 entries, ranging from Danie van Niekerk’s hissing, snarling Wingfield Motors E36 to a couple of 1.8 litre Golf Mk1s at the other end of the pack – but everybody has someone to race with and the dicing will be intense throughout the field.

The Burly Pro GTi Challenge is, of course, all about front-wheel drive VW power; the cars are very evenly matched and the racing is robust, to put it politely – GTi Challengers say theirs is a contact sport! Look for Nian du Toit (Allied Fibreglass Jetta 3 2L) and Christopher Swart (Village Paint and Hardware Jetta 2 2L) to set the pace.

The big question in the Millstock Classic and Shatterfix Fine Car races is who will keep Franco Donadio and the all-conquering Harkers Escort honest – and in the absence of an entry from Charles Arton (Datsun 240Z), who narrowly beat Donadio last time out it will be up to Louis Powell and the Hoosier Escort to take the fight to Donadio.

With 27 entries this will be another crowded race; expect action throughout the field, especially among the leading Fine Cars, where Arnold Lambert (VW Jetta) and Robert Toscano (Techoparts MX5) will be at it again, picking up where they left off at the last meeting – less than a second apart.

For many fans, the rumble of the big-inch Ford engines in the V8 masters will be the highlight of this Independence Day meeting. This is likely to come down to a shootout between Fabio Tafani, Richard Schreuder and Sean Moore – but don’t ask us to predict the order.

Craig Jarvis’ Maui Motorhomes Ginetta G57 is in a class of its own in Pirelli Sports and GT racing, but well worth seeing for the incredible speeds it achieves – it holds the ultimate lap record at Killarney International Raceway with a time of 1m 06.745sec – while the best of the rest are likely to be Steve Humble in the Harp Mallock 14B and Maarten Prins’ Porsche GT3 Cup.

The same situation applies in the open-wheeler Formula Libre races, with Dee-Jay Booysen starting as clear favourite in his Dico RM08. There is likely, however, to be a major dogfight for second between Sean le Riche and Julian van der Watt, each in a Ford Zetec-powered Mygale.

Hayden Jonas and the WP Motors YZF R1 have won every RST Suzuki South Superbike race at Killarney so far this season, while arch-rival Ronald Slamet (P/M Motorsport R1) has been always in the frame but never a winner. Will this be the day when he breaks Jonas’ winning streak, or will Trevor Westman on the Mad Macs ZX-10R finally deliver on the potential that’s always there for another monumental win? You’ll just have to be there to see for yourself.

Kewyn Snyman set a new lap record for 600cc motorcycles of 1min 12.596sec last time out on the Hillbilly R6 – expect to see him mixing it a with the second tier of litre-class bikes. Also in the frame, ready to pounce should Snyman make the slightest error, will be Jared Schultz on the ASAP World R6.

These two are as fast or faster than the litre-class SuperMasters riders; there we are likely to see Malcolm Rapson and his family-funded Kawasaki ZX-10R fending off the attention of Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R) and Quintin Ebden.

Lubabalo Ntisana scored an epic maiden win on the LB Autos ZX-10R in the Clubman Class at the previous round; get ready for a three-way fight – on identical machines – with Wayne Arendse (Kawasaki ZX-10R) and Sean Mackrill (GFP Lighting ZX-10R).


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