The strength of the BMW M4 Coupé is evident in every detail.
East London - Clint Seller (Kawasaki ZX10) and Lance Isaacs (BMW S1000RR) shared the spoils in a dramatic and incident-packed fourth round of the SuperGP series on Sunday at the historic Grand Prix circuit, South Africa’s fastest and most daunting motorsport arena, where the top riders reach speeds close to 300km/h through Potter’s Pass and Rifle Range bends.
Isaacs’ and BMW’s first win of the season came in Race 2, run in extremely windy conditions, after Seller posted his sixth win of the season in Race 1 by just 0.524sec from Isaacs. It was all Isaacs second time around and the popular Cape Town rider took the chequered flag a convincing 5.281 seconds ahead of the championship leader after nearly colliding with a hadeda on the run-in to the chequered flag.. He also recorded the fastest lap of the race, 1m19.401 to set a new SuperGP lap record around the 3.921km circuit.
Then Seller, celebrating a good day’s results in customary style with a wheelie, lost control of his bike in a strong gust of wind and crashed, landing heavily on his shoulder.
ON THE PACE
Seller and Isaacs dominated Race 1. They were the only riders under 1m20, and came home nearly 14 seconds ahead of third-placed Brent Harran (Kawasaki ZX10). Drama on the last lap saw Isaacs’ BMW make brief contact with the back of Seller’s Kawasaki as Seller missed a gear accelerating down the beach straight but fortunately both managed to stay aboard their machines.
Harran clearly didn’t have the pace of the leading pair and settled for a safe third and valuable championship points in Race 2, finishing more than 19 seconds behind Isaacs. He retains his second place in the championship with 143 points to Seller’s 170, with Isaacs closing to 137 points in third.
Brandon Goode (Kawasaki ZX10) completed a useful weekend with a fifth and a fourth after placing fourth place behind Seller, Isaacs and Harran in Saturday’s SuperPole, and was awarded the rookie of the day title for his efforts.
Dylan White, fourth in Race 1 on a Kawasaki ZX10RR, crashed heavily in Race 2.
“It was my fault,” he declared. “I was pushing too hard. That’s racing. The bike is repairable and we’ll be back for the next round.”
Championship leader Steven Odendaal (Kawasaki ZX6RR) scored back-to-back wins to take his season’s total to six out of eight. Mathew Scholtz (Kawasaki ZX6) pushed him hard to finish just 0.234sec behind in Race 1 with Dean Vos (Yamaha R6) third, 3.26 seconds in arrears.
Nicholas Kershaw (Kawasaki ZX6R) was fourth ahead of Blaze Baker (Kawasaki ZX6RR) and Anthony Shelley (ZX6RR).
Vos went one better in Race 2 to come in 0.221sec behind Odendaal with Kershaw third, a further 0.834sec adrift. Vos also set the fastest lap of the day at 1m22.672 sec to establish the first SuperGP lap record at East London.
Baker was fourth ahead of Shelley and Michael White (Kawasaki ZX6), who finished 0.0119sec apart after 16 laps of high-speed duelling.
Darryn Binder’s dreams of a debut Super600 win after his impressive pole position in qualifying were dashed when he crashed his Suzuki GSX-R600 out of the lead entering the complex in Race 1 and was unable to start Race 2.
It was not a good day for Vos’ team-mate, championship contender Cam Petersen, who qualified second behind Binder and ahead of Odendaal. He high-sided the Yamaha in the tight Beacon Bend at the end of lap four soon after passing Scholtz for third. It was a big crash and his hard-working pit crew was unable to get the bike ready for Race 2.
Odendaal leads the championship after four rounds with 179 points with Vos second on 120 and Scholtz third with 116.
The next round of the championship will be run at Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth on July 26 and 27.