Cape Town – While there will be only two ladies competing in Round 6 of the RST/Trac Mac/Suzuki South regional motorcycle series at Killarney on Women’s Day, Thursday 9 August, there’s good news for all fans of two-wheeled motorsport action.
Defending regional Superbike champion David McFadden is back from his overseas racing commitments in Spain, so the sibling rivalry for line honours in the premier class between brothers Brandon and Bernard Haupt on the Fuelled Racing R1s becomes a three-way fight with McFadden’s Stunt SA/RPM ZX-10R.
Factor in Trevor Westman on the Mad Macs ZX-10R, Gerrit Visser on the Samurai R1 and Andre Calvert on the Omega Property 1299S, and the fight at the sharp end promises to be a thriller.
And right behind them will be the blue No.58 Samurai R6 of Hayden Jonas, who has dominated the Super600 class this season to the point where he can wrap up the title at this meeting - and he has every intention of doing so, with the aim of moving up to a litre-class machine for the rest of this season in preparation for a serious attempt on the regional Superbike title in 2017.
So if all goes well, this could be the last time we see Jonas on a 600 – which will come as a huge relief for talented riders such as Brandon Staffen on the AJH Coolijng/RPM ZX-6R, Jared Schultz on the Uncle Andy/ASAP World GSX-R600, his father Karl on the ASAP World ZX-6R, and Gareth Gehlig on the Formula Autos/RPM ZX-6R. With Jonas playing in the big league, the riders to watch will be Staffen and Schultz Jr - but the Super600 class is always unpredictable; anything could happen and probably will.
Another needle match has also suddenly become a three-way fight with the return of veteran former champion Malcolm Rapson on his family-funded Kawasaki ZX-10R, to challenge Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R) and Quintin Ebden’s Milu R1 in the Supermasters class for rider over 35. Rapson was immediately on the pace at his return last out and will bear watching on Thursday.
The riders to watch in the Clubmans class, however, will be the oddly-matched Chris Williams on the thundering Trac Mac Panigale and Willem Binedell’s screaming Dog Box GSX-R600. Even though each of the big Ducati’s two cylinders is bigger than all four of the Suzukli’s put together, their laps times are within fractions of each other and their ongoing rivalry is a treat to watch.
This is also the class where you’ll see the black No.97 Suzuki of Zandri-Mari Uys holding her own against the guys - give her a special Women’s Day cheer as she goes by.
The other lady racer will be much easier to spot – Zante Otto will be at the front of her class in the Powersport races, and her Yamaha is in any case painted bright pink. She’ll be disputing class honours with racing prodigy Kewyn Snyman, who likes to mix it with the 650s on his Mag Workshop RC390.
Look out for Chris Williams (Trac Mac ER650) and Mike van Rensburg (Simple Maintenance Solutions) at the head of the Class A field, with veteran Paul Medell (Kawasaki ER650) keeping them honest.
And finally, because Thursday is Womens Day, we celebrate the talented ladies who have graced Killarney’s motorcycle racing over the past four decades, including but not limited to Ruth Abrahams, Lyn Curling, Suzanne Clark, Jenni Peters, Clauwdet Lok, Cindy Brown, Jeannette Kok-Kritzinger, Martie Bosson, Carmen Agnew, Mandy ‘Steel Bender’ Peake, Lynne von Buddenbrock, Sandra Stammova and the indomitable Erin Lane.