|Posted on February 26, 2018 at 3:55 AM|
Michael White (Consortium Shipping / Mano Coal Yamaha R1) and David McFadden (RPM Centre / Stunt SA Kawasaki ZX10) produced a thriller in the opening race of the 2018 SuperGP championship, held at Zwartkops Raceway on Saturday, 24 February.
The pair traded positions in the early stages of the race before White was able to eke out a slight advantage and take his second-ever SuperGP win. Unfortunately, the crowd was deprived of act two after one of the Super600 bikes destroyed its motor in their second race, spreading oil over a large part of the circuit, Despite the best efforts of the Zwartkops marshals, they were unable to get the circuit back to a condition the riders felt was safe enough to race on, and the final part of the meeting was abandoned.
In Friday afternoon’s qualifying session Clint Seller (King Price Extreme / Bikefin Yamaha R1) set his quickest ever lap around the 2.4km Zwartkops circuit, despite a high-speed crash earlier in the day that destroyed his race bike. This came back to haunt him as his qualifying time was disallowed as it was set on his spare bike, forcing him to start from the pit lane. This promoted White to pole position with McFadden alongside him and Morne Geldenhuis (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1) completing the front row of the grid. Dylan Barnard (Shop #74 Yamaha R1), Darryn Upton (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 1000) and Mark Newland, the first of the SuperMasters riders, filled the second row of the grid.
At the start of the race White, McFadden and Geldenhuis headed the pack while Seller was on a charge through the field. Seller was perhaps a little over-eager to get to the front and crashed out early on. While he was able to re-mount and ride his Yamaha back to the pits, it was in no condition to continue the race. White and McFadden swapped positions with Geldenhuis keeping a watching brief in third. When White returned to the front for the final time he was able to open a small gap over McFadden who had Geldenhuis ready to pounce if he made the slightest mistake. Behind them, the Darryn Upton got the better of brother Gavin (Shop #74 / Turn Skill Engineering Yamaha R1), who also took the SuperMasters win from Thomas Brown (Extreme Print Ducati).
The riders did a three-lap recce of the circuit before they were going to start the second race, but the feeling was that the track was unsafe for competitive racing and race two was cancelled.
Adolf Boshoff (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) and Blaze Baker (King Price Extreme / Bikefin Yamaha R6) traded fastest laps in the Super600 qualifying session, Boshoff grabbing pole for the first race from Baker, with the positions reversed for the second race. Aiden Liebenberg (Shop #74 / Fercor Construction Kawasaki ZX6) completed the front row with Hayden Jonas (Samurai Racing Yamaha R6), William Friend (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600), and Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Kawasaki ZX6) filling the second row of the grid.
There was early drama in the first race when Baker lost the front of his Yamaha in the second corner. He remounted but was at the back of the field with a mountain to climb. He did manage to recover to seventh, not the result he was looking for from second on the grid. Baker’s misfortune allowed Boshoff an untroubled run at the head of the field, taking the win by over eight seconds. It was behind him that all the action happened with six or seven riders involved in the battle for the runner’s up spot. Friend and Liebenberg both fell out of contention early on while Ricardo Otto (ORT-Online Kawasaki ZX6) looked set for a podium finish until his bike cried enough with a lap to go.
In the end, it was Jonas who stood on the second step of the podium with Bester in third. Jarred Schultz (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR600) led a Cape Town trio over the line to finish fourth just ahead of Brandon Staffen (AJH Cooling / Keating & Jansen Kawasaki ZX6) and Gareth Gehlig (Formula Autos Kawasaki ZX6), the three of them separated by less than half a second.
In race two Baker and Boshoff were fighting for the lead when Boshoff crashed out coming onto the pit straight. The race was red-flagged shortly afterwards when Jonas and Bester crashed out after hitting oil dropped by one of the other competitors. With only two laps completed before the red flag came out, no result could be declared.
Kewyn Synman made his intentions in the new Super300 class clear in Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, lapping the circuit almost a second-and-a-half quicker than anyone else on his ORT-Online KTM RC390. Chase Hulscher (Uncle Andy Racing / RAD KTM RC390) was the best of the rest taking second on the grid from Zante Otto (ORT-Online Yamaha R3) for the first race and Savannah Woodward (Monroe Racing RSA Yamaha R3) in the second.
Snyman was never seriously challenged on his way to a comfortable win in the first race, taking the win by over eight seconds. The fight behind him was where all the action was with five riders involved in a titanic struggle, the final outcome only being decided in the final corner. When the dust had settled it was Dino Iozzo (King Price Extreme / Bikefin Honda) who took second by just over a tenth from Hulscher. Taric van der Merwe (Evolve Nutrition Yamaha R3), Woodward, and Otto completed the top six.
The second race was red-flagged early on after Hulscher and Woodward came together at turn two. While Woodward was able to remount and take the re-start, Hulscher’s race day was at an end. Snyman again took a comfortable win with Iozzo in a somewhat lonely second place. Woodward won the battle of the ladies to take the final podium position, getting the better of Otto by just 0.041” at the line. Van der Merwe had to settle for fifth with Tyreece Robert (Uncle Andy Racing KTM RC390) in sixth.
In the support classes, Thomas Brown (Extreme Print Ducati) won both of the BOTTS races. In the first race, he was followed home by Antonio Iozzo (Ducati) and James Harper (Ducati). The pair swapped positions in the second race.
The Kawasaki mounted pair of Divan de Wet and Wesley Steel shared the Breakfast Run wins with Adam van Tonder (Rex Diff & Gearbox BMW S1000) taking both Formula Extreme wins.
Lance Isaacs (Supabets Gaming Group BMW S1000RR) won the only Thunderbikes race from AJ Venter (Lekka Racing Yamaha R1). The Bridgestone Challenge went the way of Adan Barnard (GB Projects Kawasaki) with Renaldo Marais (LG Interiors / Fire It Up Kawasaki) and Reno Kruger (Adrenalin Powersport Yamaha R6) joining him on the podium.
The SuperGP Champions Trophy makes its way to Cape Town for the next round which takes place at Killarney Raceway on 24 March 2018.
Published by: Paul Bedford
Categories: FMN News South Africa