Exciting Regional First Round

Just two weeks after the 18th Passion for Speed by G-Energy it was time for the opening round of the 2019 Wingfield Motors Power Series regional championship and the eighteen race program certainly provided it’s fair share of action.

V8 Masters 2x8 Laps

Fabio Tafani simply dominate the V8 Masters series at the moment and though there seemed to be a potential threat to the Alfa Pizza number 1 APV347iS when both Sean Moore and Richard Schreuder managed to post faster qualifying time, neither could fulfil the promise.

They obviously enjoyed the second heat tussle during the recent 18th Passion for Speed between the Charl Arangies Pagid / Motul Aston Martin V12 and the twin turbo Porsche of Franco Scribante as they were split by just 0.007 seconds on the front row of the grid with Fabio Tafani breathing down their necks.

Eight laps later it was the familiar sight of Fabio Tafani (Alfa Pizza) crossing the finish line in first place with Mark Ridgway (Get Worth) second, Brian Evans (Nike Vision) fourth, Paolo Cavalieri (Tiger Wheel & Tyre) fifth and Sean Moore (Ziegler) sixth. Rui Campos not finishing his first event as V8 Master in the ex-Franco Donadio car.

Heat two once again had Fabio Tafani cruising to victory with Mark Ridgway second, Sean Moore third, Brian Evans fourth, Richard Schreuder fifth and Mike Brooks sixth.

Richard Schreuder readjusted the toe out on his TRS Construction entry after contact in heat one and then lost 5th gear on lap 4 of the second heat. Paolo Cavalieri looked good as Silver entry but got tapped off in turn one of heat two whilst Sean Moore watched a good result disappear.

Charl van Sittert (SERR) accepted the generous approach to claim top honours in the Silver category with Harry Taylor (Wolfburn Whiskey) 2nd, Brad Hall (Deus) 3rd and Rhoderick Simpson (R.A.W Projects) 4th. Overall it was Fabio Tafani (Alfa Pizza) leading Mark Ridgway (Get Worth) from Brian Evans (Nike Vision), Richard Schreuder (TRS Construction), Sean Moore (Ziegler) and Mike Brooks (Signarama).

RST Trac Mac Powersport Motorcycles 2x8 Laps

Wayne Arendse simply made it look easy heading towards overall victory aboard the green Kawasaki ER650 with Willem Louw second aboard a similar Kawasaki ER650 and Jason Linaker third aboard his Samurai Racing Powersport 300 Kawasaki Ninja 300. Grant Raeside fourth aboard his Kawasaki EX300 with Gareth Dawson fifth aboard his KTM RC390. The top six completed by Tony Sterianos on his RST KTM RC390.

A series in need of a few more up and coming competitors.

Shatterfix Fine Cars & Invitation Cars 2x8 Laps

A somewhat confusing event to the average spectator as the actual positions past the chequered flag does not represent the points scoring result for these races which are based on Index of Performance ie fastest car does not guarantee victory.

An interesting comparison was however possible during this event where Arnold and Jaco Lambert drove very similar cars, the one winning on track and the other on Index. Father (Arnold, 57 years old) and son (Jaco, 31 years old) both armed with VW Jetta MkI cars, respectively 116kW / 970kg and 118kW / 895kg (weight with diver included).

Jaco Lambert qualified his Jetta on 1min29.635 whilst Arnold Lambert was well satisfied with 1min34.582. As Invitation Cars the front row on times dropped down the grid in favour of the genuine Shatterfix Fine cars which meant Lambert Snr and Maurizio Toscani would fill row one on the grid.

Father and son duly finished Heat 1 first and second on track, respectively turning a best lap of 1min30.754 and 1min33.469 with Maurizio Toscani managing a best lap of 1min33.760 in his glorious sounding VW Passat. Jonathan Gunn coming through the field to finish fourth in his neat Ford Escort (1min31.817) followed by Robert Toscano (son of Maurizio) in his Mazda MX5 (1min33.362) and Günther Appelgryn sixth in the bright green No 13 BMW 325i (1min33.826).

Clifford Bacon (BMW 535i) and Theo Claassen (Nissan Skyline 2.8GTX) entertained the crowd in Fastron corner. Bacon understeered his way into the kitty litter trying to pass Jaco on the outside and Theo followed the errant Beemer into the dirt.

In heat two it was Arnold Lambert (1min33.960) who led Jaco Lambert (1min29.662) past the chequered flag, but it was clear that Jaco was simply making a race of it whilst Arnold uncannily managed to maintain his consistency. (No data logging or on board timing allowed). Robert Toscano 3rd (1min34.166), Theo Claassen 4th (1min33.166), Clifford Bacon 5th (1min34.326) and Günther Appelgryn 6th (1min32.871).

Still trying understand the intricacies of the series but 1min33 is considered the breakout barrier and cannot help but wonder where somebody like Günther Appelgryn would finish had he not started way down the grid?

On Index of Performance it was Arnold Lambert (98.52%) ahead of Melani Cook (98.27%), Maurizio Toscano (98.24%), Niel Mouton (98.20%), Jan Koekemoer (97.98%) and Robert Toscano (97.92%) completing the top six positions. No Less than three lady drivers in the top ten - Melani Cook 2nd, Natasha Tischendorf 7th and Di Dugmore 9th.

Di Dugmore had the adding further interest driving the Chalenor Barson built 1960’s Barson Special (two Honda S800 cars with Ford suspension and Mazda 323 engine). The 13th Barson Special in a series of interesting cars.  

Burly Pro GTi Challenge 2x8 Laps

With just an occasional appearance over the past two seasons it was Nian du Toit Jnr who made it very clear that he had lost none of his speed by claiming overall victory in the Cheapercars VW Jetta MkIII 2.0.

Class A really looked great on paper with most of the challengers present, but somehow they succeeded in removing themselves from the threat equation in just two heats. Colin Nicholas Meder second overall in the International Tube Technology VW Polo 6R 2.0 and Christopher Swart third in his Village Paint & Hardware VW Jetta MkII 2.0. Francois van Tonder fourth in the Universal Health care Services VW Polo 6R 2.0.

Marco Busi winning class B and finishing 5th overall in the black Automan / Top Watch VW Polo with Eden Thompson 2nd in class and 6th overall in the championship winning VW Golf MkI 2.0. Zaki Hendricks celebrating his return to the series with 3rd in class and 7th overall in the Wheelworx VW Polo. Mario Roux 4th in class and 8th overall in his Automar VW Jetta 2.0.

Giordano Lupini claiming 1st in class C and 9th overall with his Accelerate 102 / CIR / La Vie de Luc VW Golf MkI 1.8 with Jarred Simpson 2nd in class and 10th overall in his Greenz Plumbing VW Golf MkI 1.8. Paul Winter taking third in class and 11th overall in another VW Golf MKI 1.8.

Jurie Swart Jnr looked threatening in the opening race, taking 2nd place before vanishing in heat two with the Alpine Autohaus VW Polo 6R 2.0. Jano van der Westhuizen is always expected to be at the front but mechanical maladies also dropped him from the fight in the Wingfield Motors / Kwikfix / Shatterfix VW Polo Vivo 2.0. Christopher Roberts, Roberts Racing VW Jetta MkII 2.0 also struggling.

Paul-Hendrik Franken had a tough week getting his VW Polo 6R 2.0 ready for the event. Set to debut a very interesting new rally car soon it was also interesting to note the absence of any advertising on this car.

Pirelli Sports & GT Cars 2x10 Laps

Dawie Joubert and his latest incarnation of a Lotus Exige Honda Turbo failed to make it’s much anticipated debut and clutch related problems also prevented the Ginetta of Craig Jarvis from making it’s appearance.

Francis Carruthers and Johan Engelbrecht was sharing the reborn Aquila Corvette 7.0 and the car certainly looked a different animal on circuit although it was clearly still not being pushed to the limit. Anything capable of staying ahead of the Steve Humble driven Harp Motorsport Opel Mallock Mk14 has to be impressively quick though.

Colin Plitt taking overall victory in his neatly driven Honda Juno SS3 2.4 with the consistently impressive Gary Kieswetter second overall in the Advanced Packaging Technology class B Porsche GT3 RS 3.8. Louis de Jager netting 3rd overall in his Toyota powered class C Lola T212 replica with Maarten Prins fourth in the class C Porsche GT3 Cup 3.6. Mike Verrier fifth in the improving RBR / Autolift Nissan Shelby Can Am and the top six completed by Arno Church in his class C Lotus 7 replica.

Mechanical maladies saw to it that regular front runners Steve Humble (Harp Motorsport Opel Mallock Mk14), Sandro Biccari (Mazda Juno 2.0) and Phillip Booysen (Honda Lotus Exige Turbo) did not feature in the overall results. Francis Carruthers did manage to win Heat 1 in the Aquila CR1 7.0 and Johan Engelbrecht did likewise in Heat 2 and undoubtedly this car is only starting to find it’s real potential.   

RST Trac Mac Classic & Clubmans Motorcycles 2x8 Laps

Aran van Niekerk led Wayne Arendse, Dylan Croudace and Joske Kotzé home in another motorcycle category that included many new combinations and a number of interesting machines. Once the series settles into something of a rhythm in would be interesting to see the newcomers step through the ranks.

RST Suzuki South Superbikes 2x10 Laps

Suzuki South Superbikes was dominated by the Haupt Fueled Racing Yamaha R1 machines of brother Brandon and Bernard. With defending Western Cape champion, Brandon, still recovering from injury it was Bernard who faced the return of Ronald “Red Baron” Slamet aboard the PM Motorsport Yamaha R1 and the arrival of a very determined Hayden Jonas aboard his Samurai SA Yamaha YZR R1. The last time this writer saw a Yamaha in this traditional colour scheme it was the full race version of John Birk – that was many moons ago.

Hayden Jonas made it clear that his step into the big league was not to simply fill the numbers and taking overall victory aboard the Samurai SA / FG Distributors Yamaha YZR R1 certainly served notice of his intentions at national level. Ronald Slamet quietly rode himself into second overall aboard the PM Motorsport Yamaha R1 with Bernard Haupt third overall on the Fueled Racing Yamaha R1. Gerrit Visser looked good in fourth with his Samurai Yamaha R1 whilst Trevor Westman did some good damage limitation aboard the fifth placed Madmacs Kawasaki ZX10R.

Set to miss the opening round his team spent a night exchanging his broken race engine with an engine from a crashed motorcycle. 

Kewyn Snyman another impressive sight enroute to 6th overall aboard his Hillbilly Racing Yamaha YZF600. Another with serious national aspirations in 2019. Jared Schultz looked like his only threat but the ASAP World rider unfortunately came unstuck in the second heat.  

Robb Cragg claimed Masters honours aboard his Madmacs Kawasaki ZX10R with Malcolm Rapson seconds aboard his similar machine and Peter Haupt third aboard the championship winning Fueled Racing Yamaha R1 of his son Brandon.

Mike’s Place Clubmans Saloons 2x8 Laps

The return of Jess Huggett in his normally aspirated FSi 173kW / 930kg Weskaap Bakwerke VW Jetta 2.0 is always noteworthy as the most decorated South African racing driving simply never seems to want to accept that he is not supposed to be irritating the modern era squeak and pop brigade. Michael le Seuer has become a serious threat in his 900kg / 220kW New Engineering VW Golf MkI 1.8 Turbo 20v and the wild 196kW FSi G&A Motorsport VW Golf MkII 2.0 16v of Clint Rennard must never be discounted.

Danie van Niekerk started the day as their biggest threat from the bolt on power section in the turbocharged 230kW / 1380kg Wingfield Motors BMW E36 with the Executive Decisions Audi A4 of Alex Johnson and the re-shelled 250kW Weskaap Bakwerke VW Golf 5 Turbo of Brennon Green also capable of winning. Kosie Swanepoel in his 330kW / 1380kg Skilpadvlei Lexus Turbo need no introduction as a  driver but his new car well worth monitoring.

With almost 50 cars entered this was the busiest races of the day and somehow it was the Farmtruck that finished as the overall winner after two interesting heats. Clint Rennard keeping his nose clean in the Speed Precision / G&A Promotions VW Golf MkII 2.0 to secure victory for the normally aspirated cars whilst Michael le Seuer lived up to expectations in second place with the indecently quick New Engineering VW Golf MkI 1.8 Turbo.

Veteran, Jesse Huggett, driving his Weskaap Bakwerke VW Jetta 2.0 to third overall and Danie van Niekerk somewhat surprisingly only fourth overall in the Wingfield Motors BMW E36 Turbo. Cody Alberts managing a fine fifth overall in the Alfaholix / Conferheur Engineering class B BMW 330 and in sixth spot it was the Industrial Garden Contractor class B VW Golf MkI of Eugene Kruger. Riaan Swart in 7th spot with his A1 Gutters class B VW Jetta MkII 2.0.

Ernest Roos winning class C and 8th overall in the neatly turned out BMW E36 with John du Toit 9th overall in his Filkraft class C VW Golf MkII. The top ten completed by JP Share in his Coastal Hire class C BMW E36.

Anton Jacobs claimed class D in his All Scale Racing Nissan Sentra 2.0 with Gary Smith second in the VW Jetta MkII and Willem Swart third in his WFS Motors VW Jetta. Denver Benjamin first in class E with his Speed Precision VW Golf MkII from Byron Mitchell in the Wheel Colition / Dolphin Engineering VW Golf 1.8 and Ruan van der Walt in his Italoven VW Golf MkI. Class F going to Tristan Verkuil in his VW Golf 2.0 from Ciara van Niekerk in her Wingfield Motors VW Golf MkI 2.0 and Ian Kapp in his Hydracor Hydraulics VW Golf MkI 2.0.

The full blown ±300kW NSI Motors Audi 4x4 Turbo touring car of Nieyaaz Modack initially dominated the first heat and though this is a truly magnificent machine it seems something of a waste running in a series where it’s true potential is restricted. Koos Swanepoel Jnr still ironing out some teething problems on his impressive sounding D&E Steel Lexus Turbo and Dayne Angel still set to join this series in his former GTC2 Honda Civic Type R.   

Formula Libre 2x6 Laps

Dee-Jay Booysen and his Dico / Bidvest McCarthy Toyota sponsored Suzuki RM08 met no resistance enroute to overall victory in Formula Libre with Winston Jardine a distant second in his RBR / Autolift VW Reynard and Sean le Riche third in the genuine Seleka Racing class A Formula Renault. Damian White fourth on debut in his Formula GTi class A Ray VW. Byron Mitchell 5th in his Dolphin Engineering class C VW Forza Formula Vee and Cyril Somerville sixth in his Dolphin Engineering class C VW Sting Formula Vee.   

Summary

Turn 3 (Rose Sweep) had it’s regular crowd present under leadership of designer , racer , artist Dave Hawkins and the pleasant weather made this a great opening day for the Wingfield Power Series (7th season of support).

In modern terms Killarney now has KFm corner (Turn 1 or Hoals Hoek) followed by the Dan Joubert straight into G-Energy corner (Turn 2 of Quarry), the tricky kink leading into Rose Sweep (Turn 3 or Damps Dip) is followed by the KFm straight (in front of the Main Grandstand) into the Malmesbury Sweep (double apex corner) onto the Killarney Straight which ends in Fastron corner (Turn 5 or Cape Town) before the final kink takes you down the Porsche straight (Main Straight) towards the chequered flag.

With the next round of the Wingfield Motors Power Series scheduled for Saturday 16 March 2019 consider your options and expect both numbers of entries as well as quality of racing to step up a gear.

The only criticism was the Friday practice itinerary printed as race day schedule in the previous event program. This event boasted the Makita Supercars as part of the activities for the day whilst the Shatterfix Fine & Invitation Cars were omitted. Not the way to sell R30 programs and maintain spectator interest?