Extreme Festival fires up Killarney

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The headline National Production Car races saw three separate winners. In race one Hennie Groenewald (Audi S4) beat Gary Formato (Ford Focus ST) to the flag by two seconds, with Michael Stephen (Audi S4) third, another second adrift.

Pre-event favourites Graeme Nathan (VW Golf GTI) and Gennaro Bonafede (Audi S4) clashed and went off the road together, leading to Nathan's immediate retirement.

Race two, from an inverted grid, saw Bonafede leading from pole position to chequered flag, followed home by Formato and his Ford team-mate Shaun Duminy

Race three produced a huge three-way fight between the Audis of Bonafede, Groenewald and Stephen.

The lead changed hands six times before Stephen eventually won from Groenewald and Bonafede, with the three cars covered by three tenths of a second over the finish line.

VOLKSWAGEN CUP

Sheldon van der Linde, Matthew Shorter and Mathew Hodges drew the top three for Race 1 with Daniel Rowe, Hodges and Chris Shorter the first three on the grid for the second outing.

After Van der Linde led the field into Turn 1 and went on to a lights-to-flag win ahead of Matthew Shorter and Hodges (who was also the first Master home), it looked as if Killarney would turn into a replay of Round 1, with the defending champion dominating the results.

The spice of the race, however, was the do-or-die drag to the line for seventh sport between Nian Du Toit, Bradley Liebenberg, Duvall Maritz and Michael Gibson - but it was Liebenberg's performance that impressed. Starting from last on the grid, he made up 10 places in 10 laps to finish eighth.

The tables turned in race two, however, as Van der Linde picked up a gearbox gremlin and then got involved in an 'incident' with Shaun Holtzhausen that dropped both of them way down the order.

Lyle Ramsay's race ended prematurely when he ran out of brakes at the fastest point of the circuit - the brake marker for Turn 5. The polo left the track backwards at the end of the back and smashed through the wall, where it stayed fro the rest of the day.

In the end it was the vastly experienced Hodges who took the win with Rowe second and Trevor Bland third, making it two Masters in the top three for the race.

That gave Hodges the overall win for the day, ahead of Rowe and Bland - another indication that the Masters competitors will play an important role in the 2015 series.

The Driver of the Day was a tough choice, with Liebenberg under consideration for his excellent performance in Race 1 and John Johnstone for producing his best result yet at Killarney, but it was Hodges and Rowe that share the award for their on-track battle which saw intense, clean racing at close quarters on the day.

FORMULA FORD

Youngster Julian van der Watt (Mygale) won the first race, leading home Matthew Merton (Mygale) and Keagan Masters (Performance Masters Mygale).

The next time around veteran Robert Wolk (Mygale) won from Werner Scholtz (Mygale) and Merton.

REGIONAL CLASSES

In contrast to the sparse national series grids, the regional Sports and GT races produced huge entries, with more than 40 cars lined up for the start.

Francis Carruthers (Harp Juno) won both races, followed home the first time by Steve Humble (Harp Juno), Dawie Joubert (Lotus Exige Honda), Nicky Dicks (Porsche GT3) and Craig Jarvis (Porsche GT3).

The next time out, Dawie Joubert took the runner-up spot from Humble, Jarvis and Johan Engelbrecht (Porsche GT2R).

The Clubman races boasted a full grid of 46 cars.

Race 1 went to Clint Rennart (VW Golf), followed by Mansoor Parker (BMW E30 325), Gavin Cerff (BMW E36) and Mark Smith (VW Golf).

Race 2 saw Alex Johnson (Audi) winning from Danie van Niekerk (BMW E36), Parker and Cerff.

Marcel Angel won the first Formula Supercar race from Richard Schreuder and Jurgen Zu Bentheim.

Craig Jarvis won the second leg, leading home Franco Donadio and Brian Evans

The next round of the 2015 Extreme Festival tour will be run at the Free State Phakisa Raceway on Saturday 2 May.

Original source: Extreme Festival fires up Killarney

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