The first of a new series of three endurance circuit racing series, the 2015 Suzuki 4:8:12 Endurance Circuit Racing series, took place at the Red Star Raceway near Delmas on Saturday.
Hosting a full field of circuit racing machines piloted by teams of three to four riders, the Suzuki 4:8:12 Endurance series took off with a bang.
As expected a small group of pro riders on pro machines completed the most laps, but by a winning margin of less than 2%.
Although won by a BMW overall, Suzuki motorcycles proved their reliability and endurance qualities by not only matching the top lap count overall as well as in the pro class, but also taking the honours in each of the other classes.
The series started last year, and for 2015 Suzuki Auto South Africa teamed up with Odin Power Sports as series sponsor. The series is open to riders from all walks of life giving novices the opportunity to break into the exciting world of motorcycle circuit racing.
“The series gives newbie riders as well as experienced racers the opportunity to test and develop their ability and talent to race a bike in a safe environment as opposed to blasting down the street,” said Suzuki Auto SA Motorcycle Sales Manager Stuart Baker.
“The series is based on the principle of legendary races such as the Suzuki eight-hour in Japan and the Bol d’Or 24-hour endurance race in France.
Aimed at motorcycle racing for everyone as opposed to professional riders, the series consists of three events – Saturday’s four-hour mini endurance race, the eight-hour coming up in the winter months and the final 12-hour endurance event towards the end of the year.
“Teams of a minimum of three and a maximum of four riders can enter any bike of their choice. There are absolutely no restrictions. Anything goes,” says Baker, adding that each event is held under the auspices of Motorsport South Africa (MSA) which means each rider must have an MSA racing license.
“Apart from that the event is open to anybody and everybody.”
The competitors are divided into three categories – the pro class for experienced riders, the club class for guys and girls who have been on a circuit before, and the rookie class for motorcycle racing newbies.
The endurance format of the series means it is not up to fastest lap times, but the amount of lap times in the four hours (or eight or 12) of the race.
“We had some well-known racers here today, but most of the riders are new to circuit racing,” said Baker. The likes of Sheridan Morais, Chris Leeson and AJ Venter all made an appearance on Saturday.
The hugely popular event will return to Redstar for the eight-hour event on the 20th of June, which will also be run in an anti-clockwise direction before the circuit will be switched to a clockwise direction for the third and final series event, the 12-hour on the 10th of October 2015.
The challenging track, especially designed for motorcycles, is four km long and has 13 turns. The easy access and excellent facilities make this the ideal choice for the Suzuki 4:8:12 Endurance series.
• Suzuki as the title sponsor of the series will sponsor the main prize at the end of the series, a GSXR 750 to be race-prepared by Odin Racing.
In addition to the main prize of the sponsored Suzuki GSXR750 the teams contesting the Suzuki/ ODIN series will have the opportunity to win class prizes as well as contingency prizes from participating vendors.
Suzuki, as the overall sponsor of the series, will be prominent at all the races with a feast of action and displays both on and off the track. Fans will have the opportunity to test ride the latest models while enjoying the exciting on-track rivalry of this form of racing, all as part of the Suzuki Way of Life experience.