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Regional Main Circuit Racing – Killarney 5 June

2 June 2010 No Comment

The renewal of the Execuline Classic Car battle between Martin Richards, at the wheel of the fastest Datsun in Africa, and a more sophisticated Porsche 911 RS driven by Keith Rose, is expected to be one of the highlights of Saturday’s main circuit meeting at Killarney.

Although these two won one each during their hard fought encounters last month, the Richards moustache was bristling at what he considered to be the lack of passing opportunities on the track.

Other potentially quick entries in this category include a pair of near identical rotary engined Mazda Capellas in the hands of Chris Carolin and Alan Dike, while Charles Arton (BMW 530) and Trevor Momberg (Ford Capri V6), could also constitute a threat.

Further down the line in class D, reigning champion Ernie Lightning Leite (Fiat 128 Rally) is going to have to deal with opposition from drivers like Keith Andrews (Alfetta GTV) and Jonathan Bernstein (Alfa Guilia), if he hopes to retain his title.

The GTi Challenge has attracted an excellent entry. Here there seems to be little to choose in class A, between Peet van der Walt in his innocent looking Mk 1 Golf and the evenly matched VW Polos of Farhaad Khan and the Armien and Ebrahim Levy family assault.

Watch out for Jacques Geldenhuys and Jason Thornton in class B, while Peter John van Heerden and Johan Nel should be among the leading challengers in class C.

Killarney - Regional Main Circuit - 5 June
Well known national Wesbank V8 driver Rui Campos will be making the trip from Mine Dump Country again to compete in the one make V8 Masters Series events. He is not going to find the going particularly easy against the likes of former Superkart champion Marcel Angel, veteran Clive Spolander and the Flying Dutchman Richard Weggelaar.

There are also going to be events for the Simons Outsourcing Fine Car Series. And as these are handicap races they tend to get more exciting as the field closes up towards the end.

Competitors will be well advised to take the weather into account and failing the correct tyres, gentler accelerator pressure may be required. As far as spectators are concerned however, watching racing in the rain is always a hugely rewarding exercise.

Gates open at 07h.30 with the first of the 15 races due to be flagged off after final practice and qualifying at 09h.40. Admission is R40 for adults and R10 for scholars under 16. But there is no charge for anklebiters under 12.
It sounds a little off-beat but, now that the mouse is away, the cats can safely come out to play.

David “MacFlash” McFadden, who rattled more than a few cages at the previous round of the Suzuki South Motorcycle championship when he beat the Cape’s top litre-class riders on a Honda CBR600RR to take overall honours for the day, will be away this weekend competing in a WesBank Super Series National meeting at Kyalami and will miss Saturday’s fourth round of the Regional series.

That means the litre-class riders will get the chance to battle it out among themselves without any interference from 600cc upstarts and, more specifically, the “quiet man” of the class, Malcolm Rapson will have the perfect opportunity to show whether his Honda Fireblade is capable of beating the Putoline ZX-10R of reigning WP champion Rob Cragg.

Cape Town’s unpredictable weather is always a factor, especially at winter meetings such as this one, and wet conditions often favour the better-funded teams, who have access to state-of-the-art “wet” tyres and tyre warmers.
It’s astonishing just how hard it is possible to ride in the rain on the right rubber.

With the top players away at Kyalami the 600cc Challenge field also offers a chance for up-and-coming riders to shine, notably Aran van Niekerk and Ryan Snyman, (each on a Yamaha R6) while Van Niekerk’s father Mark van der Walt (Suzuki GSX-R600) and Adam Wright (Yamaha R6) will represent the more grown-up generation.

Caught somewhere in the middle will be Paul Medell with his powerful but clumsy Konica Minolta RSV Mille (whoever thought we’d say that about an Italian bike!). Medell and his crew have improved the big V-twin’s set-up with every outing so far and he may just be able to ride it up to its potential this weekend; pencil him in under “horses, dark”.

Inclement weather will also favour the incredibly responsive Honda RS125 grand prix bikes of Luca Agostinelli and Jordan Weaving; stand by for another instalment in the Battle of the Bumblebees, with the two teenage hotshots under hot pursuit by Honda VFR400 riders Shane Wasserfall, Fran Engelbrecht and Ashley Aldridge.

Tony Jones’ superbly prepared Cagiva 650 Alazzurra must start as favourite in the Vintage Superbike Class while Buddy Ekron and his Kawasaki Z1A will be the stars of the Classic Class.
With the Midas Clubman chasers back in the limelight after missing out on the most recent regional contest, interest in Saturday’s meeting is running high.

There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the current championship leader is popular veteran Mark Smith in an aging 1996 VW Golf 1, a car that was originally campaigned by wacky Springbok biker Mike Cameron. A model of consistency, Smith has been able to build up a small lead over a pair of more glitzy BMWs in the hands of Shureez Brenner and Ashraf Ariefdien.

A long, but so far unsuccessful competitor in Clubman events at Killarney, Smith’s performance is seen as a giant killing act and there has been no lack of crowd support for his effort.

More importantly, he also has the benefit of the class system. With 169 registered drivers, the Midas Clubman category is easily the most well supported grouping in the Western Cape – possibly even in South Africa. And although not all of them are currently racing, it nevertheless still justifies a breakdown into six point scoring classes.

But while these are all equal, there are some that are more equal than others. Maximum points are only awarded if at least five cars in the class start the race and drivers in less well supported smaller categories often suffer at crucial times.

Then as has happened in the high profile class A, Brenner and Ariefdien with occasional assistance from fellow Beemer top gun Roshan Khan, have been sneaking points away from one another and all three have suffered as a result. While Smith is in class C which always has its full quota of entries, his main problem seems likely to come from reigning champion Peter van der Poel, whose Midas Toyota Conquest was classified as a new entry and began in the non scoring class X, before being reclassified in class C.

Andre Johnson’s magnificently turned out new Audi A4 turbo, could also pose problems. Johnson is another who began in class X before graduating rapidly from D to C. He is now due to start Saturday’s clash in class B for the first time, with talk that his ultimate objective is a place among the hard chargers at the head of the field in class A.

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