If there's a dark horse worth watching on Saturday, it's the all-black Xylem R1 of Aran van Niekerk.

With reigning South African Supersport champion David 'McFlash' McFadden and his Race Prep ZX-10R topping the entry list for Round 4 of the Mike Hopkins Motorcycles Regional series this weekend at Cape Town's Killarney circuit, racing fans are guaranteed spectacular racing, astonishing lap times and a glimpse of true star quality.

But that doesn't mean he will have it all his own way.

The BMW's of former short-circuit star Trevor Westman (Xylem S1000 RR) and 2011 Regional title-holder Malcolm Rapson (Donford S1000RR) are, on paper, at least the equal of McFadden's Kawasaki, but there's more to riding a 150kW superbike than just getting on and going faster.

Westman and Rapson are still on a very steep learning curve, while Westman's team mate Aran van Niekerk has put in a couple of stellar performances this season on an outdated R1, even briefly leading races before giving way (not without a fight!) to the new-generation machines. If there's a dark horse worth watching on Saturday, it's the all-black No.88 bike.


Then there's a group of very fast 600 Challenge riders who've not only been banging elbows amongst themselves but also on occasion taking the fight to the litre-class leaders. Notable among them are teenagers Gerrit Visser (Competition Bikes CBR600), Nicholas van der Walt (Race Prep CBR600) and Brandon Haupt (Suzuki GSX-R600), any of whom is capable of embarrassing a litre-class rider who makes an unforced error.

Class B seems to have developed into a private bunfight between Kenter R6 rider Mike van Rensburg (who not so long ago was in Class C), Cordell McQueen on the second Race Prep ZX-10R, Mike Wilhelmi's Fast Fence ZX-10R and 'Shrek' Smith on the Entity CBR1000RR.

These four finished almost within touching distance of each other last time out and will take up on Saturday where they left off three weeks ago.

Veteran racer Vossie Vosloo seems to have Class C under control on the DEA R1, but it's likely that Robyn de Goede (Honda CBR600) will have something to say about that.


The big question here is whether Carl Liebenberg on the Calberg Hydraulics F800 S, will be able to come up with an answer to Warren Guantario, who went out on the Fibreprod SV650 for the very first time at the last meeting and walked all over the previously dominant Liebenberg.

Liebenberg, to his credit, said he was delighted to have somebody to race against - now we'll see whether the Calberg machine has what it takes.

The Vintage Superbike Class will, as usual be fought out between the two Tonys - Tony Spark on the big, heavy GSX1100 Suzuki and Tony Jones on the Edge Tools 650 Alazzurra. Is it a case of the Fast and the Furious, or David versus Goliath? You decide.