North-south battles to thrill Killarney
The Killarney International Raceway hosts the second round of the 2018 Extreme Festival national championship circuit racing roadshow presented by Get Worth, Saturday 21 April. Featuring four national championship classes and a couple of regional and club races apiece, the highlight of the day is however likely to be the national challenge G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, which promises an epic North versus South spectacle set to trickle down most other classes too.
For many the race of the day promises to be that of the G&H Transport Extreme Supercars, where Cape Town’s top GT cars lay in wait for Vereeniging driver Charl Arangies and his so far indomitable Aston Martin Vantage GT3. Marcel Angel (Ferrari 458 GT3) and Dawie Joubert (Lotus-Honda) not only have Arangies to deal with, but also the likes of Simon Murray (Lamborghini Gallardo) and Jonathan du Toit (Ferrari F430), while Dino Scribante (Porsche 997T) and wild BMW trio Gianni Giannoccaro, Dawie Olivier and Len-Henry Gobey cannot be underestimated among a supreme Supercar line-up.
The lower classes also offer an intriguing north versus south bent with local Cape Porsche 997 GT3 Cup duo Nicky Dicks and Ant Blunden taking on the visiting Ricky Giannoccaro’s BMW M3 GTR in Class B, while Gary Kieswetter (Porsche GT3 RS) defends local honour against Jimmy Giannoccaro (Ferrari 430) and Elwyn Steenkamp (BMW M3) in Class C. Class D promises a straight fight between Cape BMW duo Niyaaz Modack and Faizel Coetzee taking on upcountry raiders Johan Hattingh (Nissan 350Z) and Troy Marais (BMW Z3).
Sasol GTC has everything to prove, but double-champion Michael Stephen’s Audi should resume battle with Gennaro Bonafede’s BMW, while local hero Johan Fourie will want to bounce back from a huge Kyalami crash. Audi’s Simon Moss is however the man to beat following a recent run of wins and don't ignore BMW duo Robert Wolk and Michael van Rooyen or the VWs of Mathew Hodges and Daniel Rowe. Sasol GTC2 always entertains between Golf GTI five, champion Keagan Masters and Adrian Wood and privateers Trevor Bland, Charl Smalberger and Johan Pretorius; Mini duo Bradley Liebenberg and Devin Robertson and local upstart Dayne Angel’s Honda.
The Engen VW Cup is set to thrill with its all new turbo Polo GTIs and if Kyalami form is anything to go by, Jeffrey Kruger is the man to beat. Other drivers to show early form include VW development star Jonathan Mogotsi, Pepper Racing trio Tasmin Pepper, Shaun Le Reservee and Keegan Campos; Charl Wilken who made an impressive racing return at Kyalami and rookie Delon Thompson. Juan Gerber was on the pace but hit trouble and expect the likes of Polo regulars Clinton Bezuidenhout, twins Justin and Darren Oates and Daniel Duminy to bounce back at Killarney.
The Investchem Formula 1600s now boast sequential shift gearboxes and the chance to win a trip to the Mazda Road to Indy shootout in the US in December and it’s Bloemfontein lad Stuart White who's made early claim to that ticket. He has the likes of Jozi lot Alex Gillespie, Cameron O’Connor, Harmen Van Beek, Andrew Schofield, Nicholas van Weely and Namibian rookie Siyabonga Mankonkwa to deal with, while Killarney’s faithful will be rooting for local lads Andrew Rackstraw and Joshua Dolinschek. Formula 1600 boss Ian Schofield (Investchem) will continue his Class B tussle with Allen Meyer in the Cape.
The Hankook SA championship Formula Vee regulars will have something extra to think about when they visit Killarney — a few local Vee drivers who regularly race in the WP Formule Libre series — Byron and Dylan Mitchell and Cyril Somerville will join the grid. How the Capeys match up to upcountry racers the likes of Jaco Schriks, Peter and Brandon Hills, Gert van den Berg and Lushen Ramchander remains to be seen, but that one should also be high on local fans list of races to watch.
The Killarney faithful also have the chance to see how one of their favourite local series, the Burly Pro GTi Challenge shapes up versus its upcountry equivalent MotorMart VW Challenge. The local lot sit this one out to leave the spotlight on the visitors, but there is local interest as Class A where Stiaan Kriel is a Capetonian at heart, racing against Rory Atkinson, Wayne Masters, Nic Clarke, Lyle Ramsay, brothers Shaun and Wayne Crous and Waldie Meintjes. Class B should see Roberto Joaquim maintain early momentum over Almero van Eck and occasional Capetonian Chris Dale. The new class C may not yet boast the excitement of the local class, but the locals will be watching the likes of Philip Croeser and Andy Gossmann’s progress with an eye on the local series’ long-term future.
The upcountry Extreme Festival visitors will be joined by three local classes with V8 Masters where Fabio Tafani will dice old rivals Marcel Angel, Richard Schreuder, Brian Evans and Mark Ridgway for Gold Class glory, while Peter Hills takes on Rob Warrington, Harry Taylor and Tim Reddell for Silver class honours. They share the track with the Makita Supercars where Jarryd Evans takes Ryan McCarthy, Andrew Moffitt, Jaco Lambert and Glen Phillips in the gold class, George Williams, Shane Smith and Martin Bensch fight over the Silver class and Nashrene Schloss, Stuart Spooner and Brian Fourie have Dario Busi to deal with in Bronze action.
One local two-wheeler race will entertain the bike fans where Kawasaki Superbike duo David McFadden and Trevor Westman will dice it out with Masters riders Kawasaki duo Rob Cragg and Jacques Ackerman fighting it out with Quintin Ebden’s Wingfield Yamaha and Mark van den Berg’s Auto Watch Suzuki, while 600 action will see Brandon Staffen (AJH Kawasaki) tackle ASAP World Kawasaki duo Jared and Schultz.
Fans can get up close and personal at Killarney’s extensive two-tier with the Extreme Supercars and Volkswagen Cup and the Global Touring Cars at Killarney’s extensive two-tier fan walk, where you can grab a selfie with your favourite driver in the Killarney frame while being entertained by live music around the circuit on the back of a monster truck, while a big screen TV and live timing screens will keep race fans right up to date with the track action.
There’s far more than just racing to keep fans happy with all form of trackside entertainment from public karting on the Kart Track to a radio controlled airplane show, live music at the clubhouse, vendors selling merchandise and good food around the circuit, TVs showing live sport and even fully kitted-out supervised kiddies corners to free up the children. Part of the attractions will include the visiting MotorMart VW Challenge handing over 3000 five litre water containers to Killarney’s charity of choice.
Get to Killarney early for easiest parking the best selection of new spectator vantage points — racing gets under way after final qualifying mid morning. Admission is R100 for adults and R40 for scholars under 16 with under 12s free. So there’s more than enough reason to clear your diary for Saturday 21 April if you are a petrol head and you live in the Cape - see you at Killarney’s Extreme Festival!