The 2021 South Superbikes championship was fought out at Round 9 of the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors on Saturday 6 November, between two Master Class riders. On the day, however, Malcolm Rapson and the Racebase GSX-R1000 did just enough to outpoint Jacques Ackermann on the South/Barker/Stepp Durbanville ZX-10R.

Line honours for the day, however, went to David ‘McFlash’ McFadden (StuntSA/RPM Center R1), who won both Superbikes races going away. Ackermann held second for most of Race 1 but fell victim to a late charge from Rapson as the two came home in that order, half a second apart. Nevertheless, that was enough to clinch the title for the Suzuki rider, no matter what the outcome of Race 2.

The second superbike race produced an unexpected result as former Powersport star JP Friederich, fresh out of retirement on the GR Tax/M1 Car Centre/Johnny Fox R1, moved up to challenge Rapson for third, passing him on lap three and finishing only 0.252sec behind Ackermann in second while Rapson, having already taken the title, dropped back in the closing stage to come home a safe fourth.

The biggest surprise of the day, however, was the appearance on the grid for the combined Clubmans, Classics and Breakfast Run category of 57-year-old ‘Danie van Killarney’ Maritz, on the Suzuki GSX-R750 with which he won the 1985 Regional title. Maritz, who had not raced for three years, was soon back in the groove. He sliced through the field after a poor start in Race 1 that saw him eighth at the end of the opening lap, to challenge Deon Ebel (Maui Jim/Edel Bros CBR1000RR) for the lead.

Ebel and Maritz had already taken the flag when the exhaust canister of Rob de Vos’ Hillbilly Racing Buell 1125R fell off in Car Care Clinic Sweep and got under the rear wheel of the bike, spitting him off in a spectacular highside and bringing out the red flags. The result was thus taken as at the end of the previous lap, which didn’t actually change the result, with Ebel classified 0.347sec ahead of Maritz and Wayne Arendse third on the JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R, half a second ahead of hot rookie Reginald Seale (CX International/AllMoto R1).

Leading Breakfast Runners Nicho Venter (Yamaha R1) and Wayne Gresse (Kawasaki ZX-10R) enjoyed a splendid midfield dice to be classified 12th and 13th overall respectively, little more than a tenth of a second apart.

Race 2 was a thriller as Maritz moved up to take second from Arendse on lap four and posted the fastest lap of the race (1 min 16.939) a lap later as he passed Ebel for the lead. Ebel wasn’t about to hand over the win without a fight, however, and chased the veteran all the way to the flag, finishing exactly a quarter of a second adrift, with Arendse, Seale and Zobair Adams (EVS Ventilation GSX-R750) taking the next three places.

Venter and Gresse did even better than in Race 1 to finish 10th and 11th respectively at the top of the Breakfast Run Class.

Short Circuit hotshot Slade van Niekerk (Project Sixty60 ER650) showed the cheering spectators exactly why he is also the 2021 Powersport champion with two superb wins in this tightly contested category. He was chased all the way home in Race 1 by David Lindemann (GM Contractors SV650) and Jason Linaker (RST Ninja 650), all three covered by 0.32sec at the line!

Tiny Zante Otto, who makes the Missile Motorcycles ER6 look like a superbike, lost out to veteran Lance Jonas (Samurai Racing/BMW Accident Repair Centre SV650) on the final lap to finish a close fifth, while Tristin Pienaar (KTM RC390) and Nicholas Hutchings (HSC RC390) recorded the closest finish of the day, just 0.025sec apart at the top of the Powersport 300 Class in seventh and eighth respectively.

Van Niekerk fitted a fresh rear tyre for Race 2, took almost two seconds off his lap times and romped away to win by more than six seconds from Lindemann and Linaker – only for Lindemann to run out of fuel on the last lap! Otto, meanwhile, determined to take her revenge on Jonas, held a solid fourth until the ER6 blew its head gasket two laps from the flag and forced her into the pits. That handed third to a surprised Jonas, with Rob de Vos, bruised but undaunted, fourth on the MSA/Mag Workshop ER6 and Pienaar and Hutchings fifth and sixth overall respectively, 0.101sec apart at the top of the Powersport 300 Class.