There was another first for me as I made my way back to Redstar Raceway this past weekend, this time to catch the SuperGP national championship races and I was truly impressed with what I saw.
A few weeks back I caught some of the action when highlights of the previous races were broadcast on TV. My jaw was on the floor, I could not believe the quality of racing I was seeing, some of the most exciting I have seen. It was great to watch and right then and there I decided I had to witness this live.
What has happened so far?
The Super600 class has been highlighted by two riders, one more familiar than the other at the moment but both amazing talents and in a class of their own. Those two riders are Steven Odendaal and Adolf Boshoff on board Yamaha R6’s. Watching these two guys battle it out has been a pleasure to watch. In the first race of the season at Redstar Raceway, 2015 champion Odendaal was beaten to first by Boshoff. Odendaal got his revenge when he took first ahead of Boshoff in race 2, Suzuki rider Blaze Baker taking third in both races.
Round 2 was held at Phakisa Freeway in Welkom. Terrible weather hit the track before the race weekend but a great effort form all involved saw the racing go on.
Odendaal and Boschoff were at it again with both sharing victories on race day as they did in the first races of the season, Blaze Baker again taking third in both races, great consistency from the Suzuki that has returned to the championship this season.
Zwartkops was the venue for the third round of the season where Odendaal and Boshoff would continue their battle. Blaze Baker would crash out of race one in spectacular fashion leaving the door open for third which would be taken by Dylan Barnard ahead of Nicole van Aswegen, who is a very impressive woman rider by the way! The win going to Boshoff ahead of Odendaal. Race two would again saw first place change hands as Odendaal took the victory ahead of Boshoff. Baker was back for race two, his crew doing a great job putting his bike back together. He would end fourth behind Barnard.
Round 4 and it was off to Killarney in Cape Town. Boshoff, in the absence of Odendaal, who was away on international duty riding in the Spanish Moto2 championship, took victory in both races. Blaze Baker did not make thing easy for Boshoff in race two, battling him right to the end.
The SuperGP class has been all about the Yamaha R1’s. Mathew Scholtz, Micheal White and Clint Seller lead the way in the championship. The tragic loss of Anthony Shelley has been a big hit on the championship. Shelley took second in both races at Redstar. He would most likely have been challenging all season long.
Mathew Scholtz would take victory in both races as his rival Clint Seller crashed out in the first race while leading, his bike too damaged to take part in race two.
Michael White coming home in fourth in race one and third in race two.
Round two at Phakisa saw Seller put a terrible weekend at Redstar behind him and take victory in both races. Scholtz took second in race one but would crash out in race two. The crash in itself was a weird one, Scholtz lost his knee slider which would be hit up by Seller a few laps later finding it’s way under the under the front wheel of Scholtz sending him into the dirt. Veteran, Lance Isaacs took third in race one ahead of White in fourth. Race two saw White take second ahead of Isaacs in third.
Zwartkops and round 3 saw Seller dominate race one. Race two however was a different story as Seller would have a huge crash, Scholtz taking a easy victory. AJ Venter, South Africa’s Isle of Man racer, would go on to take third in race one and fourth in race two behind Greg Gildenhuys in second and Micheal White in third.
Thrilling racing in Cape Town would see Scholtz take first in race one after reeling in Seller with lap record pace. Seller making one final attempt at Scholtz in the final corner would run wide seeing him finish fourth behind White and Gildenhuys. White led the way in race two but would be caught up by back markers. Seller forced his way through and a coming together between him and White saw White run wide and having to settle for fourth. Scholtz would take advantage of the coming together to take first ahead of Seller and Gildenhuys. Gildenhuys the only man really challenging the Yamaha’s on the Kawasaki ZX10.
So that’s what had happened leading up to this past weekends race at Redstar for round 5, where I would be attending. Tributes were paid to South African race car driver Gugu Zulu over the race weekend who passed away recently while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for the Trek4Mandela expedition. Yellow smiley stickers could be seen on all the bikes and flags with the smiley on the Redstar Raceway bridge that represented the memory of Gugu Zulu.
The racing was world class, racing that Gugu Zulu himself would have approved of. It is unfortunately rather difficult to keep up with what is happening on track as you can only view the racing from the main grand stand and other smaller stands down the start, finish straight. I really do hope that in future they will add more viewing points around the track, it is a shame not being able to witness more of the spectacular racing taking place. However, spectacular racing it was and there was a great vibe around Redstar, Darryn Binder, Moto3 rider and brother of Brad Binder, also in attendance. I spotted him walking around but regrettably didn’t want to come across as a weird fan boy asking for an autograph and picture, it was awesome seeing him there nevertheless.
To the racing itself and the SuperJunior’s really surprised me, just as the SuperGP series has been doing in general. These guys really are showing some true talent and potential to be the future Brad and Darryn Binder’s of South African racing. A three way battle took place in race one between Camron Hackart, Aiden Liebenberg and Tyreece Robert.
Liebenberg taking the victory after Hackart lost the front end while leading the way. Robert finishing in second ahead of Luca Coccioni in third.
Race two saw the three way battle commence yet again, Liebenberg taking his second victory of the day, Hackart in second and Robert third.
Adolf Boshoff and Steven Odendaal continued where they had left off before Odendaal had headed off to international duty. Blaze Baker however had his say as he led the two Yamaha’s on the first lap. It would not last long though as Boshoff soon found his way past leaving Odendaal stuck trying to find his way past Baker. Oddness would find his way past and close the gap on Boshoff but it was not enough as Boshoff took the win. Odendaal in second ahead of Baker.
In race two, Boshoff and Odendaal were in a race of their own, opening up a big gap to third and fighting it out over the twelve lap race. The two would make move after move on each other, swopping positions all the way to the end. In the end it would be Boshoff who came out on top ahead of Odendaal. Blaze Baker was unfortunately forced to retire as his bike spluttered it’s way back to the pits. Rudman on the Kawasaki would make up for his crash in race one while he was in third by taking the final podium position in race two.
The SuperGP races were again dominated by the Yamaha R1’s. Mathew Scholtz led the way early on but was passed by Seller down the long highway straight. The race was ended due to a crash seeing Seller in first while Scholtz, who made a mistake, sliding off the track, would finish in twelfth. Michael White would take second ahead of Greg Gildenhuys in third.
Seller had a bad start in the second race and was in fourth early on. He would be in a battle with White and Gildenhuys leaving Scholtz to open up a gap at the head of the race. Seller would eventually find himself in second and set about catching Scholtz, which he very nearly did finishing less than a second behind Scholtz. White would finish in a lonely third.
With three rounds remaining the championship in all three classes is hotting up. I can’t wait to catch more of the action and see who will come out on top.
Round 6 of the SuperGP championship will be held at Aldo Scribante in Port Elizabeth on Saturday the 27th of August.
This is my word on the SuperGP national championship and round 5 at Redstar Raceway.