Mind that Porsche!

Opening event of the 2019 Killarney International Raceway did not quite meet the traditional historic expectations and Friday 8 February 2019 had a somewhat unusual atmosphere in the sense that the presence of possibly the most exotic field of modern extreme supercars ever enjoyed most of the attention.

Whether is was down to the poor exchange rate or the later than usual Zwartkops opening round possibly urging the European visitors to rather skip Killarney there were very few international visitors present. David and Liz Piper as always on hand and first time visitor to Killarney, Christopher Hart, had his Porsche 917 books autographed whilst discussing the incredible scale models available. A now that he has actually stood next to a genuine Ford GT40 his finance, Lauren Rose, may just have to wait a little longer for that wedding ring.   

There was no sign of Supervan as the beautiful Willie Ras BDA Ford Escort stood idle in the pits having burnt valves during Thursday practice and most of the Peter du Toit American V8 brigade had visiting drivers in control. Was this their final stop before heading for Europe too? Sadly the car that started this category also missing in action.

Yes, numbers were down, but in all fairness those that were present looked pretty impressive in all categories. And always great to welcome new sponsors at the season opener. G-Energy not only taking title sponsorship of Turn 2 (Quarry to those my age) but the 18th Passion for Speed event.

Mikes Place Clubmans Saloons 2x8 Laps

The Mikes Place Clubmans brigade returned in force and no surprise it was the refreshed NSI Motors class X Audi S4 3.0 of Nieyaaz Modack that won both heats. Michael le Sueur, New Engineering class A VW Golf MkI 1.8, claimed second overall with Clint Rennard 3rd overall in his G&A Promotions class A VW Golf MkII 2.0.

Mansoor Parker started well with 4th place in heat one but then stepped out of line in Malmesbury Sweep during heat two. The resultant contact with the Universal Healthcare class B VW Polo Vivo 2.0 of Dr Johan Pretorius left both the Polo and the Armien Levy Motorsport class B BMW E30 328i in ICU whilst the red flag period recovered the second Universal Healthcare class C VW Polo of Francois van Tonder for prolonged surgery.

Cody Alberts avoided all the accidents to claim 4th overall in his Alfaholix (really?) class B winning BMW E46 2.0. Danie van Niekerk drove brilliantly from the back of the field in heat two to eventually claim 5th overall in his Wingfield Motors class A BMW E36 with Eugene Kruger in an impressive 6th overall in his Industrial Garden Contractor class B VW Golf MkI. Brennon Green was shaking down a brand new Weskaap Bakwerke class X VW Golf 5 Turbo and well satisfied with 7th spot whilst Ernest Roos claimed 8th overall in the class C winning Van Niekerk Racing BMW E36. Looking worse for wear Francois van Tonder could still finish 9th overall in his damaged Universal Healthcare class C VW Polo Vivo 2.0. Armien Levy completing the top ten in his Armien Levy Motorsport class C BMW M3.

Anton Jacobs won class D in the Allscale Nissan Sentra 2.0 with Gary Smith second in his VW Jetta 2.0 and Devin Camons third in his VW Jetta 2.0. Brendan Moore claimed class E in his BM Packaging Solutions VW Golf MkI with Tristan Verkuil second in his VW Golf 2.0 and Ruan van der Walt third in his Italoven VW Golf MkI. Young Ciara van Niekerk claimed class E in her Wingfield Motors VW Golf MkI from Brent van der Schyff in his VW Polo 2.0 and Gilbert de Nobrega in the Ford Ikon 1.6.

Kosie Swanepoel placed his neat Skilpadvlei Toyota Lexus 3.0 7th on debut but then the car had to be withdrawn from heat two with faulty steering. Anthony Carstens won class C in heat one with his Cape H2O VW Golf 2.0 but he too retired from heat two when the left rear wheel changed alignment.

Pre 74 ISP / Pre 74 Trans Am and Pre 66 Le Mans / Sebring Sports / GT 2x10 Laps

With entries rather thin the two veteran classes were combined and it was Steve Humble who dominated the Pre 74 categories in his Harp Motorsport Opel Mallock Mk14B. It could be considered a rather large kart and it certainly is impressive in performance as it had the legs on Mark du Toit in the Catch me Buy One Lola T70 Spyder with Peter van der Spuy third in the magnificent Martini Porsche RSR 3.8. Rui Campos taking fourth in his neat Martini Porsche 911 RSR 3.8 and in fifth spot in was visiting Swede, Bernt Andersson, in his genuine Lola T212. Richard Pott sixth overall in his Porsche RSR 3.6.

In the Pre 66 category it was the magnificent genuine Ford GT40 entries of Jan Kling and Kennet Persson that followed one another home with Jonathan du Toit third in the Trans Africa Daytona Coupe. The little TVR Grantura of Colin Elstrop fourth, the Alfa Romeo GT Junior of Chad ten Doeschate fifth and the Alfa Guilia of Trevor Tuck sixth. The Alfa of Ten Doeschate not making many friends when he spilled oil on the racing line through Fastron corner.

Millstock Cars – Pre 80 / 90 Classic Invitation Cars 2x8 Laps

Franco Donadio took overall victory in his Donadio class S Ford Escort MkI BDA from the class A Lynx Motorsport Porsche 944 Turbo 2.5 of Eric van der Merwe and the impressive Datsun 240Z 2.9 of Richard Quixley.

Nothing came of the Ras Motorsport threat as Sarel van der Merwe was forced to withdraw the very neat looking Ford Escort MkI BDA on Thursday when the search for power led to burnt valves. Dave Köpke looked mincing in the Köpke Guesthouse class S Mazda R100 Rotary but the centre shaft on the gearbox was busy departing and he wisely nursed the R100 home in heat one before retiring for the day.

Robin Forbes placed his class S Chevrolet Stingray 5.7 fourth and he was followed home by the class E winning Ford Escort of Jonathan Gunn and the sweet sounding Ford Capri V8 of Terrence Ledner. Dave Alhadeff seventh in his class B Alfa Romeo GTA replica with Dr Geoff Bihl 8th in his Lynx Motorsport class C Porsche 944 3.0. Trevor Hutchings 9th in the neat VW Scirocco 1.8 and Steve Truter 10th in his class c Ford Escort 2.0.Dion Valentine winning class D in his rapid little Austin Mini 1.3.

Cars that caught they but failed to make the results  included the ex-van der Linde Nissan Skyline in the hands of Jan Willem de la Porte, the Alfa Romeo GTA replica of Ferdi van Niekerk Jnr, the mighty Chev de Ville 6.3 of Erik Mouton and the Ford Mustang of Mark Uytenbogaardt.

G&H Transport Extreme Supercars 3x10 laps

Classics are extremely rare and valuable so what to do if you do not want to risk writing off your exquisite investment. Simple really, you buy a not so rare, very expensive, replaceable GT3 version from a manufacturer, remove all the GT3 restrictions, call it an A+ and start chasing after the 1min09.5 set by a spectating Dawie Joubert in his “former” Lotus Exige Honda Turbo.

The Joubert brothers do not know the meaning of holding back so the liquorice Lotus had to make way for version A+ which is currently under construction, but Dawie was present to keep an eye on the opposition. Many moons ago the youngest of the Joubert brothers, Pieter, planted his reasonably standard yellow Lotus Elise in the barriers during the Bloomsbury Gydo King of the Mountain but it would return and beat the similar looking car of Dawie on the Jaguar Simola Knysna Hillclimb. Derek Hitchcock then made his debut at the recent Zwartkops round before scaring himself late on Friday with an on board fire which left his eyes looking as though he was surprised by Mike Tyson. No doubt the Joubert brothers will return and Derek will be rebuilding the Lotus.

007 reigns supreme in an Aston Martin and Charl Arangies pretty much did the same in his Stradale Motorsport Vantage V12, now resplendent in the blue colours of Pagid / Motul. Running free in unrestricted mode the 700bhp / 1230kg (50/50 weight distribution) normally aspirated Aston has proven supreme at every venue. However, taking the slightly longer route might prove worthwhile as it has allowed a blank sheet of paper to develop a 2014 Porsche GT3 into 850bhp / 1300kg (60/40 weight distribution). The Porsche is hot, in fact it is actually followed by it’s own personalised heatwave as 1.4bar boost does not cool that hair drier one degree. It has taken a bout of evil handling, big accidents and even hot cockpit fires to reach it’s current level of development. The good news is, there is reserves as they are capable of developing every aspect of this car whilst the opposition will have to knock on the manufacturers door for additional pace in the future.

Watching Dawie Olivier disappear in a cloud of dust after a shockabsorber broke, rupturing the brake lines, on his Baby Beemer Turbo at 250km/h on the back straight was rather nerve wracking as the driver required assistance. Had you enjoyed the privilege to see Dawie attack the Gydo Mountain Pass you will know that he does not spare the horses, but thankfully this was not the bottom of the Tony Rust Raceway in his turbocharged Opel Supercar! Somehow he also survived launching his famous Toyota Panelvan Turbo into a ravine some years ago, so three broken ribs and a very “eina” body could be considered minor injuries.

Three heats was a new addition to the itinerary and with the Aston Martin on pole the Porsche looked more than just threatening alongside. How fast is fast? 270km/h before hitting the brakes for Fastron Corner (Turn 5) is seriously impressive but when the leaders are capable of lapping some of the class D cars twice in ten laps the pace becomes incredible. Being rather big in size a fair sized blanket would be required but there was nothing in it as the Aston Martin claimed victory in the first heat.

Marcel Angel drove brilliantly in the Autohaus Angel GT3 Ferrari 458 to claim third spot with Craig Jarvis equally impressive in his older Panacea GT3 Ferrari F430. Gary Kieswetter delivering a stunning drive to claim fifth spot in his class B Advanced Packaging Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 whilst Killarney newcomer, Elwyn Steenkamp, certainly impressed with sixth spot in his neat Jeys Consultants class A BMW Turbo. Greg Parton was not happy with the traction of his Drizit Environmental Lamborghini class A Huracan in 7th place whilst Gianni Giannoccaro looked impressive in his 8th placed G&H Transport class A Squadra Corse Lamborghini LP5700. Jonathan du Toit quietly occupied 9th spot in his Trans Africa Ferrari F430 whilst Thouca Mechanicos blinded all the photographers enroute to 10th spot in the chrome class B Mercedes AMG 55.

André Brink pretty feisty in the 11th placed SSB Transport class B Porsche 997 GT3 Cup racer with Ricky Giannoccaro 12th in the second G&H Transport class A Squadro Corse Lamborghini Gallardo. Maarten Prins three wheeled the class C winning Clubsport Porsche GT3 Cup 3.6 to 13th spot with the A&M Plumbing class C BMW M3 GTR Turbo of Faizel Coetzee 14th past the chequered flag. Kishoor Pitamber 15th overall and 1st in class D with his Ferrari. Ammaar Coetzee 16th in the class D A&M Plumbing BMW M3 3.2. Roy Obery 17th in the Haual Edenvale class D Porsche 996 GT3 Cup and in 18th spot it was Johan Hattingh in his class D Ferrari 360. Cyril Ginsburg claimed 19th spot in his Ginsburg & Selby Private Wealth class D Porsche GT3 RS 3.8 with Len-Henry Gobey completing the top twenty in his class D G&H Transport BMW Z4M 3.2. Philip Booysen and his Bellfreeze class D Lotus Exige 2.0 21st and the final car home the G&H Transport class C Ferrari F430 of Jimmy Giannoccaro. Nieyaaz Modack not having a great day in his NSI Motors class A BMW 135 3.5 Turbo.

Heat two saw Franco Scribante get the jump on Charl Arangies and once again their pace in very close proximity of one another had the crowd on their feet. Dfeneding for his worth coming out of Fastron Corner on the final lap Franco changed line ever so slighty and the Porsche broke traction. Just enough for an eagle eyed Charl Arangies to pull alongside through the final kink. The two supercars glanced off each other and immediately the telemetry on the Porsche sensed a punctured right rear wheel, cutting engine power enroute to the chequered flag. The Aston taking victory by a scant 0.007sec. The heat was on!

Marcel Angel and Craig Jarvis followed in the two outgunned Ferrari entries with Elwyn Steenkamp 5th  after another great drive with Greg Parton 6th and Gary Kieswetter another fighting 7th. Nieyaaz Modack 8th, André Brink 9th and Thouca Mechanico 10th. Jimmy Giannoccaro taking class C from Maarten Prins and Faizel Coetzee. In class D Kishoor Pitamber led Ammaar Coetzee and Roy Obery home.

The third heat lasted five laps before Faizel Coetzee found himself a spectator in a spectacular accident which deposited his A&M Plumbing BMW in the middle of the circuit in the kink after G-Energy corner. The red flags came out but Franco Scribante still found himself farming on the inside of the track in order to avoid contact with the stricken Beemer.

Much has been said about the unexpected disqualification on the grid after it was deemed that the Scribante team had transgressed Parc Ferme rules. Sometimes the literal application of a rule simply does not weigh up to the indiscretion that lead to the decision. Come rallying and the term Parc Ferme will have a number of competitors turn sick at the mention thereof as petty indiscretions have seen senior competitors disqualified and the Clerk of the Course is expected to act in the interest of all competitors should transgressions take place. Bottom line is a decision was made and it unfortunately spoiled the highlight of the day.

The Pagid Aston Martin Vantage V12 of Charl Arangies cruising to a third overall victory with Marcel Angel and Craig Jarvis completing the podium for Cape Town and Ferrari. Jonathan du Toit 4th, Elwyn Steenkamp 5th and the giant killing Porsche of Gary Kieswetter 6th. Nieyaaz Modack, Greg Parton, André Brink and Gianni Giannoccaro completing the top ten. Maarten Prins claimed class C from Jimmy Giannoccaro.

Charl Arangies deservedly won the day in the mighty Pagid / Motul Stradale Motorsport Aston Martin Vantage V12 but they have to be worried, in fact, they should be extremely worried. The Scribante Porsche is just going to get stronger.  Overall for the day the order was Arangies, Angel, Jarvis, Steenkamp, Kieswetter, Parton, G Giannoccaro, Brink, R Giannoccaro, Prins, Obery and Pitamber.

Pre 66 / 68 SATT 30min Endurance Race

With a single pitsop required there was going to be some fun in the low entry 30min SATT and it was something of a surprise to see the Ford GT40 of Kennet Persson win from favourite, Mark du Toit, in the Catch Me and Buy One Lola T70 Spyder. Jan Kling spun himself out of a potential second spot shortly before the finish in the second Ford GT40 with Piet Matthee slotting into fourth spot in his Porsche 944. Vance Kearney fifth in a Birkin 7 with Johan de Bruyn sixth in his neat Porsche 911R (Replica).

Makita Supercars 2x8 Laps

Just eight cars for the opening round was bolstered by the fact that there was some new potential present. No surprise to see Ryan McCarthy take overall victory in the Hyper Lighting version but some surprise to note Steve McCarthy second overall for the day and Martin Bensch third in his Enter Access Control entry.

Stuart Spponer winning the Silver category from Glen Phillips and George Williams.

V8 Masters 2x8 Laps

Fabia Tafani proved that he is still the undisputed V8 Master. Even his slowing down with a misfire in heat two could not deny him overall victory with Mark Ridway taking second  and Richard Schreuder third. Richard could have claimed second had it not been for a little excursion of his own.

Paolo Cavalieri showed good form enroute to fourth overall, winning the Silver category, and hopefully he will find time to do contest most of the rounds in 2019. Clinton Thorne was classified as second Silver and fifth overall but made history by actually becoming the first drive to put a V8 Master on it’s roof when contact was made with the stationary car of Rob Warrington in Hoals Hoek during Heat 2. Despite the red flag Warrington retained sixth overall with Charl van Sittert seventh, Brad Hall eighth and Rhod Simpson ninth.

Pre 66 Production Cars & Little Giants 2x8 Laps

Peter Lindenberg simply stormed to overall victory in his well sorted Shelby SA Ford Mustang with Jonathan du Toit second in the Trans Africa Chevy Nova and Michiel Campagne third in the 1964 Lafayette Ford Galaxie. Trevor Tuck impressive in fourth spot with the Little Giant class B 1965 Alfa Romeo Guilia 2.0. Armand Adriaans fifth in the Chevrolet Biscayne and Frans van Maarshalkerwaart sixth in the massive 1957 Plymouth Fury. 62 year olds still delivering mighty performances – and I am not referring to the drivers!

Rodney Green won class C in his neat MGB 1.8 from the Colin Elstrop TVR Grantura and the very out of place looking Austin Healey Sprite of Fred Phillips.

Historic Single Seaters 2x8 Laps

Richard Smeeton was armed with the only Formula Junior present and simply disappeared at the front of the pack in the Foglietti, a car commissioned by Andrea de Adamich as a copy of the Lola A5. Patrick Dunseath second overall in his neat Merlyn Mk25 Formula Ford with Des Hillary third in his ex-Trevor van Rooyen SA Championship winning Infinitude Design Dulon MPISB Formula Ford.

Paul Richardson fourth in his Infinitude Dulon LD9 , Ron Liddard fifth in a Loyus 51A and Chris Clarke sixth in the WH Auctioneers Palliser WD 1.6.

Summary

May the prediction of the international visitors come true and the numbers and variety of the classic and historic cars represented show vast increase in numbers come 2020. Thank you to all those that were present, it will always remain a privilege to experience the years gone by. Compliments to the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars as this must now be the premier category of motorsport in South Africa. Not simply because of the exotic entry, but the fact that these cars are really being raced hard. Unfortunately everyone including the two leading drivers were denied a deserved climax but there will hopefully be a next time!

The large contingent of truly interesting motorcycles included in the motorcycle parade certainly enjoyed great appreciation.