STYLISH DRIVING: Experienced driver Steve Humble in his Honda-powered Juno S2000 flashes past. Image: Colin Brown.
The popular Power Series is set to return to Killarney on Saturday (Feb 21) in its new 2015 guise. And, with everybody realising the value of a good start in the first leg of a 10-round shoot-out, a day of boot-to-the-floor racing can be expected.
This applies particularly to the GTi Challenge in which the knives may be out for Paul Simon, the hard-charging new champion. Although this Class C driver was in magnificent form throughout 2014 there was the inevitable needle that some may feel is still be resolved this season.
Others who must be considered as in with a chance include the previous season’s overall second and third-placed Nian du Toit, as well as the promising young Marco Busi.
With five evenly matched Class A cars at the head of the field the Midas Clubman category promises to be one of the best. It will be Andre Johnson’s hot Audi turbo up against a pair of BMW's in the hands of Danie van Niekerk (325 E36) and Gavin Cerff (Beemer) with the two-litre Volksies of Clint Rennard (Golf) and Jesse Huggett (Jetta), also in the mix.
Behind them Wayne Wilson – whose lone Nissan Maxima stands out in a field dominated by Golfs and BMW's – will be waging a one-on-one battle against Mansoor Parker (BMW 325) in Class B.
Although Andrea Bate is a new entry and therefore in Class X this winsome lass was voted 2014's Most Improved Driver in the recently completed Volkswagen Cup series. Having mixed it with the best in the country, she certainly deserves to be rated as a contender for Clubman class honours.
Lotus Exige pilot Dawie Joubert and Craig Jarvis (Porsche GT3) seem most likely to challenge the high-flying Francis Carruthers (Nissan SS3) in the Sports and GT events. However the X Factor here is undoubtedly going to be the experienced Steve Humble (pictured above) in his impressive Honda-powered Juno S2000.
Speculation in the pits about how the Supercar gunslingers are likely to fare is mainly concerned with whether Gareth Easom, making a debut in Gold after earning his spurs in Silver last year, will be able to unhorse reigning champion Nick Adcock.
The fact is that while Easom did incredibly well to claim pole in two of the final events last year he has yet to get an outright victory. Adcock, on the other hand, is a seasoned campaigner who is going to be flanked by other top-class drivers such as Brad Wadeley, Dayne Angel, Andrew Moffitt and Jarryd Evans.
It’s a difficult one to call.
Final practice and qualifying will start at 9am with the first of the 16 races due off at 10.45am. There will also to be a fan walk by the GTi entries during the lunch break and a drifting demo after the last race.
Admission R60 for adults and R20 for schoolgoers younger than 16. No charge to bring an under-12 along. Tickets also from Computicket.