15 Feb RACE REPORT – BIKES 6 FEBRUARY 2021 POWER SERIES 1
DOUBLE DELIGHT FOR ACKERMAN IN KILLARNEY SUPERBIKES
Veteran Jacques Ackerman on the Kawasaki South/Barker/Stepp ZX-10R not only posted the first race win of his career in the South Motorcycles Superbikes races at Round 1 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Kfm 94.5 at Killarney on Saturday 6 February, he made it a double!
Pre-race favourite David ‘McFlash’ McFadden wisely withdrew on the morning of race day after working through the night to repair Brett Roberts’ Yamaha, which suffered a gearbox failure during practice on Friday, setting up an epic duel in Race 1 between Ackerman and David Enticott (Motorwise/Sarum Engineering ZX-10R). The two were never more than a bike length apart until both ran wide going into Turn 3 on the final lap, when Enticott, in his own words, “got on the gas a little bit too early”, and very nearly highsided.
Enticott pulled off a near-miracle save, but it cost him about a second, and with it any chance of challenging for the win in the final corner, as he came home 1.327sec in arrears. Eleven seconds behind them late entry Connor Hagan (Suzuki GSX-R600) got the best of a race-long battle for third with Jean-Baptiste Racoupeau (RPM Center ZX-10R) and Roberts. That was actually decided two laps from the end when Racoupeau’s Kawasaki blew a fuse, leaving Roberts to chase home Super600 Class winner Hagan.
Less than a second behind him multiple former Regional champion Rob Cragg, riding McFadden’s spare R1 because his own Mad Macs ZX-10R was waiting on spare parts, finished fifth overall and second in the Masters Class. Sixth overall and second in the Superbike Class went to Supermotard hotshot Gareth Gehlig on the Liqui Moly SA ZX-10R after a superb dice with Donovan Le Cok (RPM Center ZX-10R) and Peter Haupt (Fueled Racking R1M) as they finished in that order, covered by less than a second.
Enticott was unable to stay with Ackerman in Race 2, and was caught in the closing stages by Le Cok, Racoupeau and Cragg. He refused to give up, however, setting up the closest finish of the day for second overall as Racoupeau, Le Cok, Cragg and Enticott came home in that order within 0.782sec.
Roberts, meanwhile, posted eighth overall and first in the Super600 Class after Hagan failed to finish.
On a day dominated by grown-ups another veteran, Wayne Arendse on the JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R, posted a hard-earned double win in the Clubmans/Classics/Breakfast Run races. His thunder was stolen, however, by Dylan Croudace on the Golden Circle 899 Panigale. The Ducati rider chased Arendse all the way in Race 1, while fending off a determined challenge from Nasief Smart (Yamaha R1), Deon Ebel (Ebel Bros CBR1000RR), and Shaun Mackrill (GFP Lighting ZX-10R), who posted the fastest lap of the race at 1min16.836 on his way to finishing third behind Arendse and Croudace, with Ebel and Smart fourth and fifth respectively.
Hot-starting Zobair Adams (Suzuki GSX-R750) got the hole-shot off the line and actually held second for a lap and a half before being blitzed by the big guns. He finished sixth overall (the first 750 home), just ahead of Classic Class leader Hilton Redelinghuys, out for the first time on a 1996 Kawasaki ZX-7R which he’d found under a tree on a farm and restored to immaculate condition, while Mitch Robinson (Hillbilly Racing EBR1190 RX) came home first in Class B and 12th overall.
Croudace was late for the start of Race 2 (he wasn’t the only one!) and had to start from pit lane, whereupon he set about carving through the field, making up nine places on lap one and another four on lap two. He was ninth on lap three, seventh on lap four and fifth on lap five after posting the fastest lap of the race at 1min16.947.
He closed to with 3.3 seconds of Adams in fourth by the end, but ran out of laps before he could get to terms with the lead group.
Ebel kept Arendse honest all the way to the flag, never out of touch and finishing just 0.119sec adrift, followed by Smart, Adams and Croudace, who was just 6.741sec off the lead at the line after the ride of a lifetime.