4 Hours for 4 Seconds

A busy motorsport weekend with the MOTUL FIM World Superbikes chasing after a dominant Alvaro Bautista on the Aruba.IT Ducati Panigale V4 R at the Chang International Thailand circuit Thailand, Fernando Alonso set the fastest time ever to claim pole for the Sebring 12 Hour 1000km in the No 8 Gazoo Toyota RS050 Hybrid and going on to win the race convincingly. Gazoo Toyota Hilux entries started first and second in the SACCS Mpumalanga 400 with Henk Lategan ahead of Giniel de Villiers with the latter taking victory. Scott McClaughlin won the 1000th ATCC Supercar Race in Melbourne for Ford, whilst the  V Power Swakopmund Rally lit up the Desert in Namibia and victory for Jaco Redelinghuys in his Toyota Yaris S2000 4x4.

King of Paarlberg

The international fuel crisis brought motorsport to a complete halt in 1973 with the Springbok 3 Hour at Killarney saved at the last moment, allowing Ian Scheckter and John Watson to win the final endurance race in the famous series with the Gunston Chevron B26.

It also resulted in the Paarlberg Hillclimb being discontinued after 1973, but few will be able to recall the domination Hennie Mostert enjoyed on this mountain. From 1967 till 1973 this Paarl Motor Club member totally dominated this event behind the wheel of his Renault R8 Gordini. No matter what the opposition threw at him he proved almost invincible.

Hennie Mostert also enjoyed success during the Kyalami 9 Hour and the Killarney 3 Hour events as part of the Renault SA Team and quite amazingly he is still the original owner of the very first Renault R8 Gordini 1.3 to land in South Africa since 1967. Still sporting it’s original registration CJ 2553 this car has never been rebuilt and this car and driver combination lead an honorary lap with members of the Cape Town Renault Club in support. Turning 80 years young on 26 March 2019 Hennie Mostert and his 52 year old R8 Gordini still represents the pioneering era of South African motorsport.    

Campos Transort 600

Ginetta unveiled their first Supercar during the recent Geneva Motor Show and though the British sportscar carries the Russian name for a shark, the Akula certainly will certainly split opinions on whether it is beautiful but the 6.0 V8 pumping 600bhp should quickly settle any doubts about the 200mph car. Only twenty are currently due for production and most have already been sold at R6.35 million apiece. Buyers will be offered an exclusive ownership experience when they get the opportunity to drive the LMP based 940kg G58 430kW V8 before taking ownership of their new cars in 2020.

Interestingly enough Killarney International Raceway stood to be invaded by the marque as the former Lawrence Tomlinson 950kg GT3 Ginetta G55 4.3 V8 was making it’s local motorsport debut in the hands of former Formula 1 racer and Le Mans 24 Hour winner, Jan Lammers, and Dr Greg Mills during the 4 Hour Campos 600 endurance race.

The opening round of the South African Endurance Championship also attracting not one, but two, 900kg Ginetta G57 6.2 V8 Chevrolet LF3 powered entries. A development from their LMP3 Nissan powered cars the G57 has become a popular choice around the world and the Simon Murray car has set South African circuits alight. Saturday was to have seen two of these incredible cars go head to head during the opening round of the South African Endurance Championship but with high downforce racing cars one does encounter interesting problems.

Simon Murray and Gavin Cronjé would undoubtedly have started as favourites for overall victory and with Gavin Cronjé behind the wheel the potential to destroy the outright Killarney International lap record. They unfortunately discovered that the high downforce design, which potentially allows this car to run upside down, placed enormous strain on the wheel bearings and this upgrade for the Murray Motorsport G57 has not reached South Africa in time for the car to be ready.

The good news is that the clutch problem that denied the debut of the Maui Motorhomes Ginetta G57 during the recent regional Pirellis Sports & GT cars event had been resolved and Craig Jarvis and Stuart White set the scene by posting an  incredible 1min06.8 lap during Tuesday testing, just to match the car number, and then Stuart White managed an incredible 1min06.435 to claim Pole Position on Friday. Now we did say it was all about the numbers and just by chance the Ginetta G57 also represents the magical 180km/h average lap at 1min05.6 seconds around the twisty (and according to some now incredibly bumpy) 3.28km Killarney International Raceway.

Stuart would set a new outright lap record during the sprint event at 1min06.67 but then the car failed to actually start the event due to an electrical problem on the steering and then they were forced into retirement with a broken left rear driveshaft.

Bumpy does not seem too much of a problem as a certain Fernando Alonso set the notoriously bumpy Sebring airfield circuit alight with a stunning outright fastest lap ever and Pole Position of 1min40.124 in the No 8 Gazoo Toyota TS050 Hybrid on Friday made the previous best of 1min43.274 by Sebastian Bourdais in 2009 seem slow by comparison and with Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastian Buemi as teammates they also went on to win the event.

The Aquila CR1 7.0 V8 of Francis Carruthers and Johan Engelbrecht potentially their biggest threat as the impressive gold car certainly showed good form recently with incredible straight line pace but low fuel pressure was reported and a fuel stop resulted in a scary on board fire that resulted in instant retirement.

Nick Adcock and Michael Jensen looked like certain to repeat their 2018 victory in the neat AidCall247 Ligier JS53 Evo but then misfortune struck them too when the thread on the left rear wheel was damaged and a few pitstops were required until they simply tightened the nut to maximum. This allowed Charl Arangies to close and actually move into the lead with the Pagid Lamborghini Gallardo GT3. Michael Jensen attached the Ligier to the rear of the Lambo and with minutes remaining the No 8 Nash ran out of fuel on the back straight, Jensen saw the opportunity and slipped back into the lead. Charl was not impressed with the move but set about regaining the lead, only to spin on entry to G-Energy corner. Crossing the line just 4.07 seconds shy of the AidCall 247 Ligier certainly still made this an event to remember. Completing 160 laps, this represented a brilliant result after 522.72km of racing.

Kishoor Pitamber and Kris Budnick third after a consistent run in their Bucketlist Racing Ferrari F360 Challenge whilst local newcomers to the Mopar SAES Endurance scene, Dayne Angel and Jarryd Evans, truly impressed with a brilliant fourth position on debut in their GTC2 Autohaus Angel Honda Civic Type R.

Brian Martin and Trevor Graham fifth overall in their Backdraft Racing Roadster with the similar Bateleur Motorsport entry of Mike Schmidt and Bruce Avern-Taplin sixth past the chequered flag. Howard Blake and Andrew Horne recovered to seventh spot in the class V Nash MVW3. Trevor Frost and Johannes Bothma eighth in their Strocam Mining Ligier JS49 with Brian Evans and Charles Arton ninth in the impressive classic Datsun 240Z. The top ten completed by Byron and John Oliver in their Mega Pile Nash MVW3.

Despite having suffered right rear suspension failure late in the event Gerald Wright and Dean Wolson still managed 11th overall in their class V Wright Motorsport Costas Sports 2000 with the Comenius Ligier JS53 Evo of Fritz Kleynhans and James Forbes classified 12th.

Unfortunately for Mills Motorsport not even having a complete spare car as toolbox could not improve their frustrating day and the GT3 Ginetta G55 was the final classified finisher in 13th spot. Jan Lammers and Dr Greg Mills only succeeding in completing 72 laps.

RST Suzuki South Motorcycles 2x10 Laps

Hayden Jonas dominated on debut with Yamaha YZF R1 proving too strong for the similarly mounted Ronald Slamet. Hayden proving that his step into the big league had come at exactly the right time whilst it was great to see former champion, Slamet, proving more than just competitive. Gerrit Visser, Yamaha R1, claiming third overall from Trevor Westman, Madmac Kawasaki ZX10R.

Kewyn Snyman 5th overall and totally dominant on the Hillbilly Racing Yamaha YZF600 with Malcolm Rapson 6th on his Super Masters Kawasaki ZX10R.

Millstock Classic Cars 2x9 Laps

Jaco Lambert capitalised on the light weight and superb handling of the Jonathan Gunn VW Scirocco and with the much anticipated challenge from the Franco Donadio and Louis Powell Ford Escort entries fading away he headed the ever consistent Dave Alhadeff in second spot with his class B Alfa Romeo GTA replica.

Dr Geoff Bihl 3rd in the class C Porsche 944 with the neat class C VW Scirocco of Trevor Hutchings 4th. Erik Mouton 5th in his giant class A Chevrolet De Ville V8 and the top six completed by Layne Hutchings in his class C VW Golf MkII. Eric van der Merwe looked threatening in his neat class A Porsche 924GT but an unfortunate off in Turn 3 during the second heat spoiled his day. Ferdi van Niekerk Jnr also returned in the rebuilt Ford Galaxie V8 but low oil pressure warning saw them withdraw from the second heat. Mark Uytenbograadt and the mighty 67 class S Ford Mustang V8 controlled the first heat but he too would not take the start of Heat 2.

Unfortunately Mark Uytenbogaardt, Louis Powell, Franco Donadio and Dirk Nolté were refused permission to start heat two as the officials considered them the reason for the delay in the program, having to clean oil off the racing line?

Shatterfix Fine Cars 2x9 Laps

Clifford Bacon stayed on the tarmac long enough to prove consistent and the rather bulky BMW 535i managed 97.24% on Index of Performance to head Arnold Lambert home on 96.99% with James Matthee 96.86%, Jan Koekemoer 96.67%, Theo Claassen 96.49% and Melani Cook 96.33% completing the top six.

RST Trac Mac Powersport Motorcycles 2x8 Laps

Paul Medell took no prisoners on the day and the Kawasaki ER650 simply disappeared with Joske Kotzé second aboard his JB Skips Suzuki EV650 and Ezio Miglietta third aboard his Kawasaki ER650.

The Kawasaki ER650’s of Tony Rodriques and Willem Louw finishing ahead of PSP300 winner Granta Raeside aboard his Kanasnail Racing Kawasaki Ninja 300.

RST Trac Mac Classic & Clubmans Motorcycles 2x8 Laps

Willem Binedell won overall aboard his Kawasaki ZX10R with Joske Kotzé second aboard his JB Skips Kawasaki ZX6R and Wayne Arendse third aboard his Kawasaki ZX10R. Gareth Kenward fifth on yet another Kawasaki ZX10R and two more in fifth and sixth sport, Shamier Alexander and Sean Mackrill.

Deon Ebel, Honda CBR1000, claiming class B from Lubalo Ntisana on his Kawasaki ZX10R with Geoffrey Rhodes 3rd aboard his Kawasaki ZX6R and Molefe Rathagane fourth on his Yamaha R6. John Kosterman, Quality Eng Supplies Suzuki GSXR1100R, claiming top honours amongst the Classic entries and Robby Pedrica, Suzuki GSXR1000, winning the Breakfast Run category.

Formula Libre 2x8 Laps

Accommodating all single seater categories this series still find itself lacking a competitive top class whilst the Formula Vee entries have shown steady growth in both numbers and reliability.

Dee-Jay Booysen and his class S Suzuki powered Bidvest McCarthy Toyota / Dico Racing RM08 was pushed hard during the opening race of the Formula Libre category. A little ironic that this home grown “Micro Midget” initially battled to live with the Formula GTi and VW entries, but now simply have the measure of them all. The scary thought is that Dee-Jay is yet to debut his brand new development of this car.

Andrew Rackstraw, Zetec Formula Ford Mygale 1800, second overall with Ivana Cetinich, Alpha Universal Formula Ford Mygale 1600, third. Winston Jardine, RBR Autolift Formula VW Reynard 2.0, fourth and Sean le Riche, Seleka Formula Renault, fifth. Byron Mitchell sixth in the first of the Formula vee entries in the Dolphin Engineering Formula Vee Forza 1.4i.

Burly Pro GTi Challenge 2x8 Laps

Fresh from a class win during the opening round of races young Giordano Lupini found himself in a spot of bother when the left rear stubaxle broke during Friday practice, sending the little yellow VW Golf MkI 1.8 into a number of unexpected rolls. Driver unhurt, but the team spent a night preparing their older car as replacement as Giordano was back at the circuit on Saturday morning and against all odds claimed pole position amongst the Brat Pack in class C.

Jurie Swart Jnr won heat one by 0.337sec from Nian du Toit. No matter what the margin, beating the Cheapercars VW Jetta 2.0 certainly enough reason for celebration. Jano van der Westhuizen third with Christopher Swart fourth, Chris Roberts fifth and Francois van Tonder sixth.

Gideon Serfontein won class B from Eden Thompson and Mario Roux whilst Giordano Lupini beat the odds to not only prepare a substitute car overnight but returning to take the class C win in style.

Heat two saw Nian du Toit drop back with clutch problems and it was Jurie Swart Jnr who took overall honours in his Alpine Autohuas VW Polo 6 with Jano van der Westhuizen second and the Village Paint & Hardware VW Jetta MkII of Christopher Swart in third spot. Nian du Toit survived to claim fourth spot in his Cheapercars VW Jetta MkIII with Chris Roberts slotting into fifth with his VW Jetta MkII and the top six completed by Francois van Tonder in his Universal health Care Srvices VW Polo 6.

Eden Thompson claimed class B honours in his VW Golf MkI from Zaki Hendricks in the Wheelworx VW Polo and Mario Roux in the Automar VW Jetta MkII. Giordano Lupini turning a torrid start into possibly his best result to date by totally dominating class C in the Accelerate 102 VW Golf MkI 1.8. Jason Coetzee, Jarred Simpson, Alfie van Zyl, Ian Kapp and Gert du Plessis completing the top six.

IPC Sports & GT Cars Sprint Races 1x11 Laps

Stuart White as bonus entry in the IPC Sports & GT Cars Sprint races certainly put the outright lap record at Killarney at risk. Back in 1987 250cc Superkart ace Derick Irving managed a stunning 1min07.6 on a much smoother surface and it was said at the time that topping that would be unlikely until the circuit is resurfaced entirely. Well, nobody informed Stuart White about that! Car 68 managed 1min06.8 during Tuesday practice and then claimed Pole Position for the Campos Transport 600 with a 1min06.4. But, this car is a Ginetta G57 and 1min05.6 equates to a 180km/h average speed around the 3.28km Killarney International Raceway.

Braaivleis, rugby, sunny skies and Chevrolet 6.2 V8 power in the Ginetta G57 sports prototype just what Stuart White required enroute to the fastest official lap ever at the Killarney International Raceway! 1min07.369 on Lap 4 shrunk to 1min06.745 on Lap 6 and then the Ginetta was sportingly withdrawn from the race as they were simply chasing the lap record.

Mike Verrier taking the chequered flag in his Can Am with Andrew Culbert second and Sun Moodley third, André Brink fourth, Maarten Prins fifth and Danie van Niekerk sixth. All having completed 11 laps instead of the official 10 required?

The IPC Sports & GT Cars 1 Hour saw Mike Verrier take victory in his Rico Barlow Racing Shelby Can Am with Andrew Culbert second in the Bigfoot Express Freight Porsche 991 GT3 Cup and the similar car of Sun Moodley completing the podium. André Brink fourth in his class B SSB Transport Porsche 997 GT3 Cup and in fifth spot it was Maarten Prins in his Porsche GT3 Cup racer.