19 Feb Killarney Regional Superbikes Race Review 2018 Power Series (round 1)
“Killarney Regional Superbikes 1”
David McFadden took the overall honours for the day on his new Stunt SA ZX-10R.
Picture: Dave Abrahams
The 2018 RST Suzuki South Regional Superbike series got off thrilling start at Killarney on Saturday as 2017 champion David McFadden and 2016 champion Brandon Haupt served notice that this is going to be a thriller season.
Haupt completely fluffed the start of Race 1 on the the Fueled Racing/TCF R1 and was fifth into Turn 1 behind McFadden (Stunt SA ZX-10R), Trevor Westman (Mad Mac’s ZX-10R), Gerrit Visser (Samurai R1) and Andre Calvert on the Omega Panigale.
He went down the inside of Calvert into Turn 5 at the end of the first lap but the two collided, sending the Ducati careening into the dirt and out of the race, while Haupt managed to stay on, albeit at the expanse of kicking a hole in the R1’s carbon-fibre tailpipe.
Then he set about working his way through the field to get back in contention, passing Visser on lap two and Westman a lap later and slowly reeling in the leader to finish little more than two seconds adrift at the line.
Visser put in a flyer on lap three to pass Westman and finish a convincing third, while multiple 600 Challenge champion Hayden Jonas aced the Supersport class, finishing fifth overall on a Samurai R6 so new it hadn’t yet been painted in the team’s livery.
Haupt got a perfect start when the lights went out for the start of the second race but ran wide in Turn 2, opening the door for McFadden to dive into the lead, setting up a thrilling chase as Haupt harried his opponent at every turn, never allowing McFadden to settle into his usual race rhythm.
Finally, Haupt dived inside under braking for Turn 5 on the final lap, held the line to stay in front coming out; McFadden ducked out of the slipstream for a slingshot pass on the line but failed by half a wheel.
Visser held off a late charge from Westman to take third by – unbelievably! – the same tiny margin, while Jonas was the first 600 rider home in a lonely fifth after an early dice with Brandon Staffen (AJH ZX-6R) and Alex Van Den Berg (Suzuki South GSX-R1000).
Danie Maritz (Suzuki GSX-R/Bandit) was mugged off the line and finished lap one fifth behind Willem Binedell (Dog Box GSX-R600), Chris Williams’ Trac Mac 1299, Wessel Kruger’s Honda VTR1000 SP2 and Shameer Alexander on the Ecoyze360 R6.
By lap three however, he was fourth; he moved to second on lap four, and took the lead on lap five, until Leslie Sim (Kawasaki ZX-6R) crashed out of sixth at Turn 4 on lap seven and brought out the red flags.
Maritz got another poor start in Race 2, worked his way up to fourth by lap three and dived into the lead going into Turn 5 a lap later, only to run wide and lose five places.
The next four laps were a thriller as Maritz did it all over again, grabbing the lead for the second time a lap before the end – only to be outdragged to the line by Williams’ hugely powerful Ducati.
Defending champion JP Friederich and his GR Tax /MSO Racing SV650 took up in 2018 where he left off in 2017, romping away to two dominant wins in Powersport A, leading home finishing Chris Williams (TracMac ER650) by 18.7s in Race 1 and 12.9s in Race 2, with Mike van Rensburg (Simple Maintenance ER650 even further behind in third.
But the ride of the race came from teenager Kewyn Snyman, who finished fourth overall in both races on the Class B Mag Workshop RC390, well head of teenager Zante Otto, who is so tiny she makes a 300cc Yamaha R3 look like a superbike.
Otto finished fifth overall in Race 1 and seventh in Race 2 to take second for the day in Powersport B.