Motorcycle racing in South Africa is about to enter a new era with the formation of a bikes-only national championship tour, with a planned eight rounds in five provinces.
The race meeting format of the new SuperGP Champions Trophy will be similar to the World Superbike series, with races for six categories of machines. The premier division will be the SuperGP Class, a unique South African 'evo' category for litre-class production machines with limited modifications, that's been introduced to meet the need for a more affordable premier racing category.
Similar near-standard limitations will apply to the 600cc Super600 class, while the Superbike and Super600M support classes will be equivalent to current SA Superbike and SA Supersport categories, which allow for considerable (and very expensive) modifications.
Ironically, this means that the 'supporting classes' will be significantly faster than the premier-class bikes...
The organisers, Gas Sports, envisage a national championship in all four of these classes, as well as a fifth class, SuperMasters, open to litre-class bikes running under either SuperGP or Superbike rules, for riders aged over 35.
A sixth category, SuperTwins, will cater for twin-cylinder motorcycles up 1200cc and will be run as a national challenge series.
At the announcement this morning executive director Anthony Lauter said the new series had been 10 months in the making, including lengthy discussions with Motorsport South Africa and the motorcycle importers and distributors with cost containment being a key priority.
The opening round of the SuperGP Champions Trophy is pencilled in for March 2014, with one round a month until the final showdown in October at Phakisa, as part of a planned South African round of the World Superbike series.
The full calendar, which is subject to MSA approval and inscription requirements, will be announced in February.