McFlash setting the pace at KillarneyComment on this story
Coming up this weekend at Cape Town's Killarney circuit is the third round of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles Regional motorcycle series, and already a pattern is emerging.
Setting the pace is National Superbike star David 'McFlash' McFadden on the Race Prep ZX-10R - and what a pace it is!
At the recent WesBank Super Series meeting McFlash was clocked at 1min11.187, a time that not very long ago would have been unthinkable for a street-based litre-class sports bike - but he's not going to have it all his own way.
McFadden will face a number of determined and - in many cases more experienced - challengers, nearly all of them riding BMW S1000RR's, starting with Trevor Westman's Xylem-backed machine, reigning champion Malcolm Rapson on the Donford Mottorad Beemer, and dark horse Ronald Slamet, who came out of nowhere at the Nationals to give the main manne a big fright on the I-S Freight bike, before he overdid it and took himself out.
He and the I-S bike are back together for this weekend and, if anybody in this big field of 24 entries bears watching, it's young Slamet.
Nipping at their heels, however, will be a bunch of very fast youngsters on 600cc Supersport machines, competing amongst themselves for the 600 Challenge silverware as well as for overall Class A honours. Favourites here must be 14-year-old Nicholas van der Walt on the Race Prep CBR600RR, Slamet's brother Richard on the I-S Freight R6 and rookie Mike van Rensburg (Bikernetics/Kenter R6).
But the rider to watch out for here is quiet teenager Brandon Haupt, who lets his Suzuki GSX-R600 do all the talking for him. Haupt turned the fastest laps of his life before crashing at the Nationals and could upset the 600cc establishment this weekend.
Van Rensburg will also be the man to catch in Class B, where he will have Mike Wilhelmi (Fast Fence ZX-10R), Terry Smith (Honda CBR1000RR), Cordell McQueen (Race Prep ZX-10R) and 'Shrek' Smith (Entity/Fundamentals CBR1000RR) on his case. Last time out Smith, McQueen and Shrek finished within 0.6sec of each other - expect fireworks.
Barring disaster, Carl Liebenberg and the Calberg F800 will have it all sewn up in the Battle of the Twins, but anything could happen in the Powersport class, with Brandon Storey (Race Prep VFR400) starting as favourite after a superb outing in Round 2.
He'll be under intense pressure, however, from reigning Powersport champion Hayden Jonas (Honda RVF400) Anthony Lane (Fibreprod SV650), Andrew Liebenberg's Calberg RVF400, Paul Cooper (Honda VFR400) and Warren 'Wozza'
Guantario, out for the first time on a Suzuki SV650.
And once again the Vintage Superbike honours will be fought out between the two Tonys: Tony Sparg on the heavy-duty Suzuki GSX 1100 and Tony Jones on the incredibly agile Edgetools 650 Alazzurra.
Racing on Saturday starts at 10am and the bikes are third on the card: be there early, for the most exciting racing of the day.