Endurance racing is the discipline of motorsport that comes standard with the largest helping of magic sprinkles. The sights and sounds of Le Mans-spec machines driving around classic racecars like they are standing still are unforgettable.
The screams of these cars against the surreal backdrop of Table Mountain, with mist rolling in off the ocean as the sun headed for the horizon, is something you have to experience to believe.
As Stuart White powered his way to a new Killarney lap record of 1:06.67 in qualifying, the youngster must have been pinching himself to check this was real. The Ginetta G57 looked set for a resounding victory come Saturday…
However, to finish first, first you have to actually start the race.
As many millions of Rands’ worth of racing machinery lined up on the grid, the Ginetta was absent. An electrical issue resulted in a nervous and very late start. The team’s luck barely improved as the Ginetta could only run for a short time before succumbing to its injuries. It never got close to its Friday pace.
Nevertheless, there was still a mouthwatering collection of cars on the grid, including a Ferrari F360 Challenge that reminded everyone what the best sounding Ferrari of all time is:
After 3.5 hours of racing, there were only a handful of cars still circulating. Endurance racing comes alive as the sun goes down, with flashing lights of prototype monsters signalling to the GT cars in front to get out the way. Killarney’s intimate layout for spectators means there is still plenty of entertainment even when a number of the cars have long since been packed away.
The Ligier of Adcock and Jensen looked set for an overall victory, but trouble started at the back of the car as the sun went down. We aren’t sure if it was linked to the car bottoming out the entire way down the pit straight, treating the crowd to a fireworks show of orange sparks, but the team pitted the car no fewer than three times in short succession to try sort it out.
Out of nowhere, we had a race for the overall win on our hands! The Lamborghini Gallardo of Stradale Motorsport could smell blood and the rampaging bull took the lead, having run a few seconds a lap off the pace of the Ligier for most of the day.
After an incredibly exciting and tense 30 minutes of the cars running within a second or two of each other, the Ligier suddenly blasted past the pits ahead of the Lamborghini to cheers from the team. We aren’t certain what happened, but the damage on the right hand side of the Lamborghini (including a bent rear wing) provides some clues.
When all was said and done, it was Adcock and Jensen who lifted the overall trophy in the AidCall247 Ligier JS53EVO. The Gallardo took 2nd overall and the F360 Challenge 3rd.
Special mention must go to the Autohaus Angel Civic Type R that the team transformed from a GTC2 car to an endurance car, which achieved 4th overall, 1st in class and 1st in index of performance.
The 2019 Mopar South African Endurance Series now heads to Port Elizabeth for another four hour event on 25th May. Be there and make damn sure you take your camera. There will be some extremely photogenic machines in town.