Cape Town – The 10th and final round of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles Regional Superbike Series at Killarney on Saturday delivered sparkling racing, albeit with few surprises, and not a single crash, although there were a few near-misses; in all, a very satisfactory finale to an epic season.
David ‘McFlash’ McFadden, having solved the braking problems on the Race Prep S1000 RR by simply bypassing the ABS, threw down the gauntlet with a 1m11.5s qualifying lap – half a second quicker than anybody else – and went on to win both races in fine style.
Behind him, however, things were far less clear-cut, as newly-crowned regional champion Brandon Haupt on the MX Clean ZX-10R came under pressure from Trevor Westman on the newer but more temperamental Mad Mac’s ZX-10R.
The two gave it stick in Race 1, with Westman all over the champion for the first few laps, but by mid-race Haupt was pulling away and came home seven seconds clear. They were followed by Malcolm Rapson on a family-funded Kawasaki ZX-10R, who was suffering from a severe head cold and got a dismal start.
Then, as so often happens in motorcycle racing, he overdosed on adrenalin and came up from seventh at the end of lap one to finish fourth, ahead of Quintin Ebden on the Milu Logistics R1M and Andre Calvert, who had borrowed the beautifully prepared Race Prep GSX-R1000 L5 from McFadden and had the ride of a lifetime into sixth.
But nobody was watching him because behind him born-again racer John Oliver on the Glass It R6 and 600 Challenge champion Warren ‘Starfish’ Guantario on the Mad Mac’s ZX-6R were disputing 600 Challenge honours, mixing it with Calvert in the early stages and then, as Calvert pulled away, with each other, finishing just 0.113s apart, with Oliver in front when it counted.
At the top of Class B, Klint Munton on the Sunscan ZX-10R and Leroy Malan (LM Racing ZX-10R) got into the dice of the race with Class A tail-enders Jacques Ackerman (Mad Mac’s ZX10R) and Mark van der Berg (Loud & Clear CBR1000RR) that saw all four covered by less than two seconds at the end, with Munton taking Class B line honours.
Class champion Warren Guantario took 600 Challenge honours for the day on the Mad Macs ZX-6R. Picture: Dave Abrahams
McFadden completely fluffed the start of Race 2 and was fifth going into Turn 1, but was up to second behind Haupt at the end of Lap 1. He powered past Haupt on the back straight on lap two and went away to win by almost seven seconds, followed home by Haupt and Westman, with Rapson a distant fourth.
Sadly, the expected rematch between Gauntario and Oliver didn’t materialise; Gauntario chased Calvert and Ebden all the way home, finishing just three seconds behind the two bigger machines in seventh overall, while Oliver finished fourth in a race-long five-way dice with Van den Berg, Malan, Ackerman and Jared Schultz (ASAP World ZX-6R) that saw then finish within three seconds and gave Malan the overall Class B win for the day.
Bronte Heinrich won both Clubmans races on his classic Ducati 996. Picture: Dave Abrahams
The Clubmans/Powersports races belonged to Bronte Heinrich and his classic Ducati 996, followed home in Race 1 by JP Friederich on the Calberg SV650 and Wessel Kruger’s Honda SP-1.
The surprise of the day, however, was 600 Challenge star Hayden Jonas, who borrowed an ER650 because the Fifty8 Racing ZX-6R was still waiting for a new engine and gave the Powersport runners a wake-up call. He ran second in the early stages before being caught by slow-starting Friederich and Kruger, losing out for third overall to Kruger by just 0.004s on the line.
Jonas pulled a superb start in Race 2 to grab the early lead while Heinrich and Kruger rebooted the legendary Ducati/Honda rivalry of the late 1990s. Heinrich again used the Ducati’s long legs on the back straight to power his way into the lead on lap two, while Friederich and Kruger mixed it with Jonas.
By the end, however, Kruger had dropped about two seconds back, while Jonas and Friederich swopped place three times in as many laps, finishing just 0.052s apart with the crowd on its feet and Jonas in front when it counted.