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Saturday sees the 30th running of Cape Town's annual endurance race for lightweight motorcycles on the “K” karting circuit at Killarney.
The RST 8 Hours is open to four-stroke motorcycles with standard engines up to 150cc and 'anything goes' modified two-strokes up to 80cc. Teams may consist of two, three or four members and no rider may ride for more than 35 minutes at a stretch.
It gets under way with a traditional Le Mans start at 10am and the leading teams will complete more than 520 laps of the tight and twisty one-kilometre circuit by the time the chequered flag comes out at 6pm.
By then each and every bike will have been crashed at least once - most several times - and some will be running with no furniture whatsoever other than a fuel tank. Such is the spirit of this race that teams will always help each other to keep the bikes running, even donating parts from crashed machines to teams with a chance of finishing.
INTERN ATIONAL ENTRIES
It's also an international event; lead sponsor RST is a British-based bikewear manufacturer whose CEO Jonny Towers comes to Cape Town to compete each year. As defending title-holder - the No.17 RST CBR150 won the 2011 8 Hours - Towers has put together a dream team of David 'McFlash' McFadden, Trevor 'Killer' Westman and Warren 'Starfish' Guantario for this year's 8 Hours.
But they won't have it all their own way; among the more than 30 entries are a 'works' Honda CBR150 team with SA Supersport hotshots Lance Isaacs and Brent Harran, suspension guru Martin Paetzold and newly-crowned Powersport champion Hayden Jonas on a very special two-stroke hybrid based on a KTM 65 motocrosser, and 2012 600 Challenge champion Gerrit Visser, Powersport rider Andrew Liebenberg and short-circuit star Ryan Snyman, also on a Honda CBR150.
CRASHERS OF NOTE
Expect to see veteran Donald Craig and partner Wesley Jones on the Craigs CBR150, a Yamaha TZR60 in the hands of two-stroke purists Malcolm 'Moogly' Steyn and Steven Thurling, and a 'grown-ups' team of convenor Jimmy Pantony, Gerrit Visser Sr and former production-bike star John Craig – who has taken part every year since the first Two-Hour in 1982.
And don't write off the Vanbros team of brothers Aran van Niekerk and Nicholas van der Walt, teamed with their father Mark van der Walt. All three are very, very quick around the “K” circuit but are crashers of note. If they can stay out of trouble they could just provide an upset at 6pm.