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Western Cape Superbikes wide open

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IOL mot pic jul29 Killarney Regional Preview 1

Dave Abrahams

Aran van Niekerk has been punching way above his weight this season on the five-year-old Holmes R1.

Riders and motorcycle racing fans alike often comment that, exciting as they are, the eight-lap sprint races of the Mike Hopkins Regional championship leave little scope for strategy. By the time you figure out all the angles, they say, the race is over.

So, for all those who take a somewhat more analytical approach to motorsport, the programme for the sixth round of the series this Saturday at Killarney, will include - in addition to two sprint races each for the Superbike and Powersport/Classics brigades, a 30-minute 'endurance' race with a Le Mans start.

That doesn't sound like a lot - most endurance races are measured in hours - but, with the Class A riders circulating in less than 1min15, it's likely that the top riders will complete at least 24 laps.

That's three times the length of a normal regional race, more than double the length of a National, and plenty of time for tactics to come into play, particularly as the race distance may be slightly more than the tank range of some of the faster machines, and it is likely that race fans will be treated to some high-energy splash-'n-dash pit stops

THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS

With the seemingly unbeatable David 'McFlash' Mc Fadden away, competing in a National meeting at Phakisa, the field is wide open for the local hotshots to fight it out between themselves for line honours.

Expect to see another epic battle between the Fast - defending Regional champion Malcolm Rapson on the Donford S1000RR and Trevor Westman on a similar BMW under the Walker Brothers banner - and the Furious - VanBros Racing's Aran van Niekerk, who has been punching way above his weight this season on the five-year-old Holmes R1, and Sharl Wasserfall on the Burlux ZX-6R, who has more than once shown that he's capable of mixing it with the litre-class bikes despite a 400cc disadvantage.

Wasserfall will also be the man to watch in the 600 Challenge, although he is likely to come under severe pressure from Gerrit Visser on the Competition Bikes CBR600, VanBros rider Nick van der Walt (Race Prep CBR600) and Brandon Haupt, showing new maturity on his Suzuki GSX-R600.

Class B will be the usual bunfight between Marco Smith (Tiffandales CBR1000RR), Terry Smith on the Eclipse CBR1000RR, Mike Wilhelmi's Fast Fence ZX-10R and Shrek Smith on the Entity CBR1000RR.

POWERSPORT, CLASSICS AND TWINS

The Powersport/Classic races will be dominated by the next instalment of the twin-cylinder soap opera, with patriarch Carl Liebenberg on the Calberg F800 fending off the attentions of Warren 'Starfish' Guantario on the Fibreprod SV650. When the Suzuki is running properly Guantario is capable of running with the maestro and, indeed challenging him, but the SV has been plagued with a series of mechanical gremlins at recent meetings and has yet to live up to its early promise.

Powersport wunderkind Hayden Jonas also showed flashes of brilliance in his first outing on an SV650 at the July meeting, before crashing heavily on a wet track. If he can keep the shiny side up he could throw a spanner in the Liebenberg/Gauntario works.

Also on twins (F800's in this case) are Leroy Malan and Ray Wilson, with Liebenberg's son Andrew, J-P Friedrich and Ayden van Rooijen, each on a 400cc Honda V4.

Vintage honours will, as usual, will be decided between Beauty (Tony Jones' Cagiva 650 Alazzurra) and the Beast (Tony Sparg's Suzuki GSX1100).

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