SuperGP series sizzles at KillarneyComment on this story
Cape Town - Clint Seller (Kawasaki ZX-10R) took all the honours in the third round of the SuperGP series at Killarney circuit on Sunday - but the championship leader and reigning SA Superbike champion didn’t have it all his own way.
Seller was made to work hard for his SuperPole win and back-to-back victories in the two 16-lap races that headlined the two-day Western Cape Super GP.
It was the first time the new national championship motorcycle series had visited Killarney and it was enjoyed by a large and appreciative Cape Town crowd in sunny conditions.
Local hero Ronald Slamet (Kawasaki ZX-10R) was fastest in qualifying on Saturday and just missed out on taking the SuperPole honours. Then, in two thrilling races, Seller fought off an inspired Brent Harran (Kawasaki ZX-10R), finishing just 0.093sec in front in Race 1 and 0.012sec ahead in Race 2.
Harran was doing all he could to get past Seller on the final lap, which they started nose-to-tail, but the championship leader was having nothing of it and hung on to win a race he celebrated in style with wheelies and burn-outs.
Earlier, in their first 16-lap encounter, Harran had looked to be the likely winner in the closing laps, moving up from fourth to take the lead with two laps to go, but clipped a kerb with his knee and was almost high-sided off his bike.
It was to prove to be a mistake that almost certainly cost him the win.
Seller has now won five of the six races held so far and enjoys a 14-point lead over Harran (125 to 111) in the championship
Third in both races was leading Cape Town rider Lance Isaacs (BMW S1000RR), who mixed it with Seller and Harran right to the end of the opening encounter to finish only three tenths of a second off the pace.
He was unable to match the pace of the two Kawasakis in Race 2 after running out of brakes in the second half of the race and finished five seconds in arrears, retaining his third place in the championship with 92 points.
Fellow Capetonian Slamet was unable to match his promising Saturday performance with a good result on Sunday. He was penalised 30 seconds for jumping the start in Race 1 and suffered a loss of drive as the race progressed, eventually being classified ninth. He recovered quite well to take fourth in Race 2, 18 seconds behind the winner, and moved up to fourth in the championship with 58 points.
Local rider Gerrit Visser (Kawasaki ZX-10R) completed a successful weekend with fifth in Race 2 after finishing fourth in Race 1 and was awarded Rookie of the Day in the SuperGP class. Garrick Vlok (Kawasaki ZX-10R) was fifth in race one ahead of Brandon Goode (ZX-10R), but was forced to retire from Race 2 with mechanical problems after eight laps. Goode was sixth in the day’s final event.
The main support event almost stole the show with a monumental six-bike battle for line honours in Race 1 that saw all six finish within 0.402sec with championship leader Steven Odendaal (Kawasaki ZX-6RR) in front when it mattered, by less than half a wheel, from reigning SA Supersprt champion Cameron Petersen (Yamaha R6) and Mathew Scholtz (Kawasaki ZX-6R).
Two crashes and a mechanical gremlin reduced the leading group to three in Race 2 – but those three finished within 0.17sec with Odendaal the victor by 0.05sec from Scholtz (Kawasaki ZX-6R), with Petersen’s Yamaha team-mate Dean Vos third.
Petersen was a little off the pace in Race2, finishing fourth, three seconds behind Odendaal.
Odendaal leads the championship after three rounds with 129 points from Scholtz second on 96 and Petersen on 87.
Cape Town riders dominated this class with Malcolm Rapson (ZX-10R) winning Race 1 over 12 laps by 1.8 seconds after an epic duel with Trevor Westman (Yamaha R1), with David Bolding (Kawasaki ZX-10R) third and Justin Gillensen (Kawasaki ZX-10R a distant fourth.
Westman’s turn to take the honours in Race 2, which he did by just 0,79sec from Rapson (who set the fastest lap of the day in his efforts to make it back-to-back wins) and a comfortable 37 seconds ahead of Bolding.
In the absence of the top three riders in the challenge, Janine Davies (BMW S1000RR), who scored two sixth places, moved up into second in the challenge standings with 63 points, behind Kyle Robinson (Kawasaki ZX-10R) on 90, who didn’t make the trip to Cape Town.
Third and also an absentee in Round 3 is Teddy Brooke (Kawasaki ZX-10R) with 60 points.
The next round of the championship will be run at the East London Grand Prix Circuit in the Eastern Cape on 15 June.