The form book took a bit of flak at round three of the WesBank Super Series at Killarney.
Championship leaders and some of the more fancied drivers and riders were under the whip on a day full of drama and cut-throat racing. If one had to hand out individual honours they would probably go to motorcycle star Sheridan Morais (Emtek Racing Kawasaki) who took three wins in two different categories.
Morais won both heats of the Interfile Supersport Championship and also bagged victory in the second heat of the Interfile Superbike Championship. A mechanical fault when he was well placed for a fourth win dropped reigning champion Morais out of contention in race one of the Superbike event.
A dramatic last lap of the opening Superbike heat saw championship leader Clint Seller (Team Yamaha) go from first to fourth in one easy move at the chicane that is within sight of the start/finish line. Former champion Shawn Whyte (Team Yamaha), Lance Isaacs (Portable Shade Honda) and Greg Gildenhuis (Race Nation Honda) sneaked past Seller on the run to the flag.
Seller crashed early in race two and Morais gradually got the better of a spirited challenge from veteran Isaacs. Whyte took the remaining podium place – and increased his lead in the Masters Championship for riders over 35 – with Gildenhuis and local hero Robert Cragg (Kawasaki) rounding out the top five.
Morais had it much easier in the Supersport category. He cruised to a pair of wins to maintain a 100 percent record so far this season. In the opening heat Race Nation Honda pair Eddy Alberts and Jacques Peskens took second and third, with Peskens and local rider Graeme Green (Leatt Brace Honda) also on the podium in race two.
The WesBank V8 Supercar event produced a touch of controversy and turned into an Auby family benefit with reigning champion Hennie Groenewald having another miserable day. In heat one teenager Brandon Auby (ELT International Jaguar) led home father Deon (ELT International Holden) and brother Marc in another ELT Jaguar with the trio all finishing behind Groenewald, in the Team Timken Jaguar, on the track.
Groenewald took pole position but on the warm-up lap a wheel came off the Jaguar and the start was delayed while the Timken car was hastily readied for combat. Groenewald then took up his slot at the front of the field and, once the race was underway, was hit with a 30 second penalty for not starting from the back of the grid.
The second heat, run to the inverted grid format which characterises WesBank V8 Supercar events, saw championship leader Marc Auby take his third win of the season. He charged through the field to lead home Mackie Adlem, making a welcome return to action in a Jaguar, and Richard Pinard in the second Team Timken Jaguar.
Brandon Auby and Jaco Correia (Liqui Moly Chev Corvette) completed the top five with Groenewald again out of luck. Looking for his fourth successive WesBank title the Fourways based driver had to be content with seventh and his title prospects look bleak.
Bridgestone Production Car champion Graeme Nathan and Anthony Taylor, leading the premier Class A category, also took a little strain. Taylor (Afrox BMW) finished second to Leeroy Poulter (SAM Racing/GP Windscreens Nissan 350Z) in the opening heat with Michael Stephen (Engen Xtreme Audi A4) also on the podium.
The second race, also started under the reverse grid format, saw reigning champion and local hero Johan Fourie (Indy Oil Audi A4) dominate proceedings from pole position. He was chased all the way by Shawn Watson-Smith in the second Xtreme Team Audi and Lee Thompson who was deputising for Robert Wolk in the second Afrox BMW.
Taylor, who started eighth on the grid, salvaged valuable championship points with a fighting fifth. The former champion came home behind Dawie Olivier who had a steady run in the Sasol Subaru STi.
Nathan, the reigning champion and current Class T leader, had to be content with two second places in the Kaye Eddie Golf GTi. Both wins went to multiple South African champion Gary Formato in the Ford Racing Nando’s Ford Focus.
A brave performance saw Hein Bose (MFC Mazda3 MPS) take a brace of third places. Bose was involved in a huge accident during morning qualifying and worked against time to get the car ready for battle.
Local favourite Kosie Swanepoel (Barnett’s Toyota RunX) took the Class B wins. In both races he came in ahead of Gary Green in the Green Auto Alfa 147.
Engen VW Cup leader Mathew Hodges (PG Glass VW Polo) also came under fire. A disappointing 10th and a fourth were all he could manage with both wins going to young Gennaro Bonafede in the Champion Spark Plug VW Polo.
In race one Bonafede led home reigning champion Jared Mortimer (Liquid Lounge VW Polo) and Kieran Quarmby in the Interfile/Gallardo VW Polo. In race two Devin Robertson (Champion Spark Plug VW Polo) and Mortimer came in behind Bonafede who is the son of former SA rally champion Vito.
There were a pair of first time winners in the Formula Volkswagen event which also saw a current championship leader having to settle for disappointing results.
Gordon Connelly (Bravo/Cowan Signs FVW) and former Rotax Max kart world champion Wesleigh Orr (SAM Racing/Global Consulting Solution FVW) took maiden wins.
In race one Connelly lead home Orr and another former Rotax Max world champion in Cristiano Morgado in the City of Durban FVW. Fourth went to Jimmy Auby, the third of the racing Auby brothers, with championship leader Jayde Kruger, in the Motul/First Freight Formula VW, having to settle for fifth.
Orr dominated race two but was chased all the way by Connelly. Kruger salvaged pride and point with third place and was followed by Auby and Morgado.
Interfile SA Superbike: Race 1 – 1 S Whyte (Yamaha); 2 L Isaacs (Honda); 3 G Gildenhuys (Honda); 4 C Seller (Yamaha); 5 R Cragg (Kawasaki). Race 2 – 1 S Morais (Kawasaki); 2 L Isaacs (Honda); 3 S Whyte (Yamaha); 4 G Gildenhuys (Honda); 5 R Cragg (Kawasaki).
Interfile SA Supersport: Race 1 – 1 S Morais (Kawasaki); 2 E Alberts (Honda); 3 J Peskens (Honda); 4 D White (Yamaha); 5 J Egan (Honda). Race 2 – 1 S Morais (Kawasaki); 2 J Peskens (Honda); 3 G Green (Honda); 4 D White (Yamaha); 5 S Odendaal (Suzuki).
Engen VW Cup: Race 1 – 1 G Bonafede (VW Polo); 2 J Mortimer (VW Polo); 3 K Quarmby (VW Polo); 4 B Morgan (VW Polo); 5 K Barnes (VW Polo). Race 2 – 1 G Bonafede (VW Polo); 2 D Robertson (VW Polo); 3 J Mortimer (VW Polo); 4 M Hodges (VW Polo); 5 B Morgan (VW Polo).
Formula VW: Race 1 – 1 G Connelly (Formula VW); 2 W Orr (Formula VW); 3 C Morgado (Formula VW); 4 J Auby (Formula VW); 5 J Kruger (Formula VW). Race 2 – 1 W Orr (Formula VW); 2 G Connelly (Formula VW); 3 J Kruger (Formula VW); 4 J Auby (Formula VW); 5 C Morgado (Formula VW).
WesBank V8 Supercars: Race 1 – 1 B Auby (Jaguar); 2 D Auby (Holden); 3 M Auby (Jaguar); 4 W van Zummeren (Ford Mustang); 5 F di Matteo (Jaguar). Race 2 – 1 M Auby (Jaguar); 2 M Adlem (Jaguar); 3 R Pinard (Jaguar); 4 B Auby (Jaguar); 5 J Correia (Chev Corvette).
Bridgestone Production Cars: Race 1 – 1 L Poulter (Nissan 350Z); 2 A Taylor (BMW 330i); 3 M Stephen (Audi A4); 4 M da Cunha (Nissan 350Z0; 5 M Priest (Audi A4).
Class A – L Poulter (Nissan 350Z); Class T – G Formato (Ford Focus); Class B – K Swanepoel (Toyota RunX). Race 2 – 1 J Fourie (Audi A4); 2 S Watson-Smith (Audi A4); 3 L Thompson (BMW 330i); 4 D Olivier (Subaru STi); 5 A Taylor (BMW 330i). Class A – J Fourie (Audi A4); Class T – G Formato (Ford Focus); Class B – K Swanepoel (Toyota RunX).