|A massive storm overnight threatened to sink the second round of the 2016 SuperGP Champions Trophy at Phakisa Freeway on Saturday, 12 March but a huge effort by everyone involved got the pits dried out and the circuit in a condition suitable to race on.
Clint Seller (NeoLife Africa Yamaha R1) didn’t let the delay put him off his stride, taking two comfortable wins in the SuperGP category while Steven Odendaal (Petra Yamaha R6) and Adolf Boshoff (NeoLife Africa Yamaha R6) shared the Super600 wins.
In Friday afternoon’s qualifying session defending champion Seller showed that he meant business after the disappointment of the opening round where a first race crash left him with no points after the weekend. He claimed pole by 0.5 seconds from Mathew Scholtz (ETR Yamaha R1). Nicolas Grobler (Golden Mile Estate BMW S1000RR) completed the front row of the grid.
Veteran Lance Isaacs (LIR BMW S1000RR) headed the second row with the Kawasaki ZX10Rs of Greg Gildenhuys (Autohaus Towing) and Brent Harran alongside him.
When the flag dropped to signal the start of the first SuperGP heat of the day Seller immediately took the lead which he held until the flag. Scholtz pushed as hard as he could but had no answer to the defending champion. Behind the leading duo, Isaacs and Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) were involved in a race-long battle for the final podium position. Isaacs just managed to hold on, crossing the line just a couple of bike lengths to the good. Gildenhuys won the Kawasaki contest taking fifth place ahead of Harran in sixth.
I race two Scholtz arrived on the grid missing a knee slider that had come off during the warm-up lap. While the slider was easily replaced, it ended his race in a most unfortunate fashion. As usual it was Seller and Scholtz at the front on the opening lap but Scholtz managed to find the missing knee slider with his front wheel and crash out leaving Seller with an easy race victory. White got a great start and, with Scholtz out, had an untroubled run to second.
All the action happened behind the leading pair. The fight for the final podium position was a nine-way struggle that saw the lead swap almost every lap. Isaacs eventually emerged on top taking third from Daryn Upton (Turnskill Engineering BMW S1000RR), Dean Vos (Trolan Bikes Kawasaki ZX10R) and Gildenhuys.
Seller’s double win, combined with Scholtz’s second race misfortune, narrows the gap at the top of the championship log. Scholtz still leads but with a much reduced margin. White’s consistency sees him move up to second ahead of Isaacs with Seller not far off in fourth.
Both races in SuperMasters category, run in conjunction with the SuperGP heats, went the way of Isaacs. Jade Gutzeit (Dezzi Raceway Yamaha R1) took second on both occasions while Damion Purificati (Amalgam Welding Shop Kawasaki ZX10R) just managed to keep Justin Gillesen (LIR BMW S1000RR) behind him in both heats, the gap less than a couple of bike lengths each time.
Boshoff and Odendaal continued the battle that started at the opening round in Friday’s qualifying, Boshoff emerging on top by just over a tenth of a second. Blaze Baker on the Uncle Andy Suzuki GSXR600 was third ahead of team mate Darien Kayser. Dylan Barnard (Kawasaki ZX6) was fifth with Nicole van Aswegen on the Women in Motorsport Triumph 675 in sixth.
In race 1 Odendaal got the better start and grabbed the lead, which he held until the flag. Boshoff was on his back wheel the whole way but just could not find a way through. Behind the Yamahas it was the Suzuki pair of Baker and Kayser who finished in third and fourth respectively. Van Aswegen managed to hold off Dorren Loureiro (Family Fotness Centre Triumph 675) by just 0.013 seconds to claim fifth.
Boshoff turned the tables on Odendaal in race 2 despite making a mistake that dropped him to second for a while. He fought back and regained the lead, going on to win by almost 2 seconds. Baker claimed his fourth podium finish of the season ahead of Barnard, van Aswegen and Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Elements Kawasaki ZX6).
Odendaal and Boshoff are still tied at the top of the championship log with Baker in third.
In the SuperJunior category, where riders compete on identical KTM RC390 machines, Aiden Liebenberg showed that he meant business with his move into the national category. He took a comfortable pole position from Tyreece Robert and Camron Hackart. Luca Coccioni, Dominic Doyle and Chase Hulscher filled the second row of the grid.
Liebenberg didn’t have a great start in race 1 but it didn’t take him long to work his way into the lead and he slowly pulled away, taking a comfortable win from Hackart. Doyle and Robert fought it out of the final podium position, Doyle clinching it by a tenth. Coccioni and Brandon Staffen rounded out the top six.
Race 2 also went the way of Liebenberg but the action was behind him. Doyle and Robert, with Coccioni keeping a watching brief just behind them, fought it out throughout the seven-lap race with Doyle claiming the runners-up spot by a bike length. Hackart, who had an off track excursion early on in the heat, came back to take fifth ahead of Staffen.
Northern Regions Racing
Thomas Brown (Ducati) had two relatively comfortable wins in the BOTTS class in the opening round at Red Star but on this occasion he had to settle for second place in both heats behind Ivan van Niekerk on a similar Ducati. Jason Wessels (Moto Rentals KTM) took third in both heats ahead of Shaun Jubber (RAD Moto KTM).
Class A in the SuperMasters Regional category went to Brown on both occasions with Brian Bontekoning (Jaguar Power Porducts Kawasaki ZX10R) in second ahead of Ewald Vorster (Hyundai Commercial Vehicles BMW S1000RR) in the first heat. In heat 2 Bontekoning had to settle for third behind Kyle Robinson (Uncle Andy Racing Ducati). Johan Otto (TK Imports KTM) claimed both Class B wins.
In the Ladies Cup Zante Otto (Kawasaki) won both heats from Daphne Lang (BMW).
Lodewyk Hattingh took both Breakfast Run heats from Dimitri Zapheriou while the Formula Xtreme class went the way of Brandon Quaye (Kawasaki). Byron Rothquel (Kawasaki) took second in the first race ahead of Joe Herbig (MV Brutale) but had to be content with third in heat 2 behind Ferdinand Frederick (BMW).
Luke MacGreggor (Kawasaki) continued his winning ways in the 250 Cup taking both heats from Aiden Liebenberg (Kawasaki). Savannah Woodward (Kawasaki) claimed the final podium step in the opening heat while and Luca Balona (Kawasaki) grabbed it in the second race.
Dave Griffin and Beau Levey shared the wins in the KTM 390 Seniors class.
The next round of the SuperGP Champions Trophy takes place at Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria on Saturday, 30 April 2016.