The new-look national motorcycle championship series, the Monster Energy SuperGP Champions Trophy, blasts into being at Phakisa Freeway near Welkom on Saturday and Sunday (March 15 and 16).
The first Free State SuperGP will usher in a new era for national championship motorcycle racing, with a brand new sponsor, new race categories and Sunday racing. The championship will have eight rounds with the final round, back at Phakisa in October, forming part of the South African round of the FIM Superbike World Championship.
Race weekends will be run along similar lines to the World Superbike Championship – practice and qualifying on Saturday and racing on Sunday – with Super GP, a unique South African category for 1 000 cc entry-level evo rules machines (limited modifications), being the headline category.
Both reigning South African Superbike and Supersport champions will be seen in action this weekend. 2013 Superbike champion Clint Seller (Portable Shade Race! Kawasaki ZX10RR) heads the entries in the SuperGP category, while Supersport champion Cameron Petersen (Emtek Yamaha R6) will contest the new Super600 category alongside team-mate Dean Vos, who was third in last year’s Supersport championship.
A four-bike Emtek Yamaha team includes Robert Portman and Nicholas van der Walt, who will contest the SuperGP category on Yamaha R1 machines.
The Portable Shade Race! Kawasaki team will also be represented on the SuperGP grid by Dylan White, fourth in last year’s Superbike championship, and in Super600 by Anthony Shelly, fifth in the 2013 Supersport series, and Stephen Odendaal, both aboard Kawasaki ZX6RRs.
Two former national champions will be in action on BMWs in the SuperGP category. Lance Isaacs, who finished runner-up to Petersen in Supersport last year will make his SuperGP debut on a Black Swan Energy BMW S1000RR superbike. Greg Gildenhuys, a triple national Superbike champion who campaigned a factory BMW in the 2013 World Superstock 1000 championship, will add considerable interest on his BMW S1000RR. In addition, Nicholas Grobler, who was third in the 2013 Superbike championship, will also be BMW mounted.
Two lady riders who contested last year’s Supersport championship, Nicole van Aswegen and Loumari Grobler, will line-up on the Super600 grid on a Triumph Daytona 675 and a Kawasaki ZXR6 respectively.