Killarney Power Series, 8 April 2017


The legendary Sarel vd Merwe will turn back the clock when he gets behind the wheel of a Golf 2
today --- a car very similar to the model he drove to victory in a national Group N race on the same
circuit some 40 odd years ago.

Only this time he is going to be up against a group of much younger skrik-vir-niks hotshots, in the
hard fought Bold Marine GTi Challenge races.

It won’t be easy. Supervan’s class B Golf is less powerful than all the finely tuned class A cars in
the hands of fast men like championship leader Jano van der Westhuizen, Jurie Swart Jnr., Shane
du Toit and the hard hitting Brett Roach. But then they don’t have Supervan’s years of experience
competing against many of the world’s greatest drivers.

This one will definitely be worth seeing.

With the motorsport season at Killarney now well under way, today’s second round of the
Wingfield Motors Power Series, with media support from Radio KFM, includes a full days racing.
The Midas Clubman Saloons are expected to provide another exciting category. Former stock car
ace Jesse Huggett, pulled a rabbit out of his crash hat when the planted his VW Jetta on pole for
the opening race in the first round. However, once the action got under way it was the hugely
spectacular Danie van Niekerk whose BMW 325 used the full width of the track and sometimes
more, before finishing marginally ahead of Huggett.

And with six classes being contested, even drivers like Gavin Geldenhuys (class E, VW Polo), and
Denver Benjamin (class F, VW Golf), could be interesting to watch, albeit much further back in the

Then, with Fabio Tafani and Paolo Cavalieri -- both from Mine Dump Country – taking the premier
Gold and Silver awards in the big V8 Masters category in the 1st round, chargers like Marcel
Angel and Franko Donadio, as well as British visitor Stephen Young, will be anxious to alter the
line of succession.

With every mechanical item near identical, the results in the one-make Makita Formula Supercar
category are going to be determined by sheer driving ability. Watch out for Ryan McCarthy, Jarryd
Evans and Michael Nel in this one.

Cars to watch at the head of the field in the single seater Formula Libre events include a VW
powered Reynard in the hands of Garth de Villiers and Dee-Jay Booysen’s locally built Formula

The Mutlu Batteries Classic Cars are going to remind everyone of the way it used to be. And
although Chris Carolin’s rotary powered Mazda bears no mechanical or visual resemblance to a
big Ford Fairlane V8 in the hands of Mark Uytenbogaardt, the two are certainly going to be
hassling one another on the track.
Favourites in the Kent Homes Fine Cars include Ray Cooper whose Escort GT can lap with the
regularity of a metronome. Other Fine Car drivers to watch include Steve Hallett (Ford Sapphire),
who remains competitive and wins races despite being physically handicapped.

Admission is R70 for adults and R20 for scholars under 16. There is no charge for kiddies under

The spotlight at Round 2 of the Mike Hopkins Regional motorcycle series, this Saturday at
Killarney, shifts away from the big guns of the Superbike classes, who are taking a bye this time
around, to the Powersport, Clubmans and Classic classes, with the added spice of two Breakfast
Run Grands Prix for riders who have never held a competition licence before.

These are genuine rookies, and from among their ranks will come tomorrow’s champions - as well
as the midfield riders who are there, knowing that they will never win a race but, thanks to healthy
entry lists, knowing also that they will always have somebody just a little faster than they are to
race against.

They make this hugely successful series the spectacle it is, and Killarney’s knowledgeable racing
fans acknowledge that by saluting them as loudly as they do the winners after each race.

Last time out Jannie Stander, back on his Kawasaki ZX-10R after a 10 month lay-off, found his
rhythm after just three laps of Race 1 and carved his way through the field from ninth to third in
four laps. He followed that up with an emphatic win in Race 2, beating Michael du Toit’s similar
machine by half a second to take line honours.

Du Toit will be out for revenge on Saturday, as will Nick van Zyl on the Inter-Sped ZX-10R, Johan
Maritz on a Honda CBR1000 and Fran Engelbrecht on the Motorcycles and Bits GSX-R750.

But the dark horse to watch out for is born-again racer Gareth Kenward, out on the circuit for the
first time in more than a decade in Round 1 aboard a Kawasaki ZX-10R (a model that hadn’t even
been designed when he retired from racing) and who rattled a number of cages with a sixth and a
third in the day’s two races.

The battle lines are a lot more clearly drawn in the Powersport classes; here JP Friederich on the
Calberg SV650 remains the man to beat, with Chris ‘the Green Goblin’ Williams (Trac Mac ER650)
and Gareth Gehlig (Formula Autos SV650) keeping him honest, and veteran Hilton Redlinghuys
(he actually remembers racing against Kenward!) as the possible dark horse.

The only one of the local KTM RC390 riders who wasn’t lapped at the previous Regional meeting
was Samurai rider Sam Lockoff. This young man more recently put in two magnificent rides at the
Killarney National meeting; it’s unlikely he’ll be challenged for Class B honours – but some of the
Class A riders may find themselves having to fend off unwanted attentions from a member of the
buzz-bike brigade.