29 Sep RACE REVIEW: SHORT CIRCUIT 3-HOUR ENDURO 25 SEPTEMBER 2021
IT WASN’T AN ENDURANCE RACE – IT WAS A 3 HOUR SPRINT!
Every time the Short Circuit Racing section at Killarney proposes a long-distance race, the stated intention is always to focus on tactics, teamwork and strategy rather than outright lap speed. And every time the hotshots start off flat out and just keep going that way!
The 3 Hour Endurance race for lightweight motorcycles on Killarney’s 1.37 kilometre Short Circuit on Saturday 25 September was no exception, as the leading teams circulated at near- lap record pace to complete an impressive 194 laps in three hours of intense racing.
The event was open to all the lightweight classes eligible for the iconic 8 Hour, which is run on the Karting Circuit on the second Saturday in December each year, but in the end all the entries were on Honda CBR150 machines. They included two visitors from Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), teenagers Dylan Grobler and Ethan Diener, who joined Billy de Beer on the Red Beard Racing machine.
The No.72 HSC machine of Nicholas Hutchings, David Lindemann and Maxim Mandix qualified on pole, but is was De Beer on the Red Beard bike who got the best of the traditional Le Mans start, with HSC in hot pursuit. The Prestige Products entry of CBR150 series champion Slade van Niekerk, his father Willy and Project Sixty team principal Trevor Westman, himself a former Short Circuit champion, qualified seventh but Van Niekerk Jr, riding the first shift, sliced through the field to take the lead on lap four, from Red Beard, HSC 72 and HSC 74, the latter crewed by Brad Hutchings, Anthony Thomas and Raymond Alexander.
By the end of the first hour the Prestige Products team had reeled off 65 laps, one more than the Mag Workshop CBR150 of Mitch Robinson, Devon Chatton, Jacques Ackermann and Tristin Pienaar. Third at this stage was the only two-rider team, that of Justin Priday and Graeme Green, on 63 laps.
Prestige Products stretched their lead to three laps in the second hour, including the fastest lap of the race at 51.83 seconds, just 0.75sec slower than the fastest sprint lap of the day, set by Van Niekerk Jr on the same machine in Race 2. Second after two hours were Priday and Green, with 129 laps on their tally, followed by HSC 72 on 128.
Ten laps later HSC 72 moved up to take second, continuing a race-long battle that saw the two teams swop positions at least three times in the final hour. But nobody was able to catch the Prestige Products riders who maintained their three-lap advantage until disaster struck two minutes from the end.
With just two minutes left on the clock Abigail Bosson, riding the final shift on the HSC/Calberg CBR150 she was sharing with her uncle Stephen Bosson and James Bowden, crashed heavily in the Cut-Over while running 11th on 170 laps.
The Safety Bike was deployed immediately, leading the field slowly round for three more laps until the chequered flag came down after three hours and one lap, bringing to a rather subdued close an epic three-hour sprint.
Prestige Products led the final tally with 194, laps, three ahead of HSC 72, with Priday and Green third on 190. Of the 17 starters, all but the HSC/Calberg machine were still running at the flag – and even then their 170 completed laps placed them 12th in the final results.