15 Sep SUPERBIKES SIZZLE AT KILLARNEY POWER SERIES
The RST Trac-Mac Superbike riders celebrated their return to racing at the Power Series presented by Wingfield Motors and Kfm 94.5 on Saturday 12 September with three sizzling races.
There were epic dices throughout the field, but all eyes were at the sharp end, where the expected confrontation between former champions Brandon Haupt (Fueled Racing R1), Ronald ‘The Red Baron’ Slamet (JP Marketing ZX-10R), and young gun Kewyn Snyman (Missile Motorcycles ZX-10R) did not disappoint.
Snyman qualified on pole, but it was Slamet who got the best launch to lead the Race 1 charge into Kfm Corner, followed by Snyman and Haupt, who got a poor start from the front row of the grid. By the end of lap one, however, Snyman was all over Slamet, with Haupt just a few seconds back, and closing.
On lap four, Snyman passed Slamet for the lead. The Namibian put in his best lap of the race, a 1min12.564, on lap five in his efforts to strike back, only to fall victim to Haupt a lap later. With two laps to go, Haupt was showing Snyman a wheel on almost every corner as they slowly pulled away from Slamet.
Both posted their fastest time of the race on the final lap – 1min12.254 for Snyman and 1min12.223 for Haupt – but the Fueled Racing star’s plans for a last-corner move were foiled by yellow flags at Fastron Corner and he was forced to follow Snyman home, 0.110sec adrift at the line.
Slamet chased them all the way to the finish, 4.139sec off the pace, with Jared Schultz (ASAP World R6) the only 600cc finisher in fourth overall. Rob Cragg (Mad Macs ZX-10R) got the better of Malcolm Rapson’s family-funded Suzuki GSX-R1000 two laps from the end, taking Masters honours (and fifth overall) by just 0.075sec after a race-long duel.
Schultz pulled a rocket-ship start to lead Haupt and Snyman into Kfm Corner at the start of Race 2, but by the end of the opening lap normal service had been resumed, with Haupt, Snyman and Slamet banging elbows on almost every corner.
Haupt then put in the fastest lap of the day – a superb 1min12.000 – on lap four and in real terms that won him the race, as it broke the tow and allowed him to eke out a slender lead. He came home 2.259sec ahead of Snyman, with Slamet a further 9.5 seconds adrift. Schultz bagged another fourth overall while Rapson got his revenge by passing Cragg on lap six and pulling away to take fifth overall and first in the Masters Class, 3.709sec ahead of the Mad Macs rider.
Two more Masters, Donovan Le Cok (RPM Centre ZX-10R) and Jacques Ackerman (Stepp/Barker ZX-10R) were next home, just 0.054sec apart after a superb tussle, while Brett Roberts and his Yamaha R6, the only other 600cc machine in the race, lost out to the oldest rider in the field, Brandon Haupt’s father Peter on the second Fueled Racing R1 (60 years young and not slowing down any time soon!) by 0.267sec after a race-long battle.
Haupt was first off the line at the start of Race 3 but was slowed by a huge wheelie as Snyman sliced past to lead into Kfm Corner and set the pace, showing commendable maturity and racecraft under intense pressure from Haupt. The 2018 regional champion briefly took the lead on lap six but Snyman struck back a lap later and posted his fastest lap of the day, a 1min12.194, on the last go-round.
He came home half a second ahead of Haupt, with Slamet five seconds further adrift. Schultz took fourth again to clinch 600cc honours for the day, while Rapson and Cragg finished fifth and sixth respectively, 0.422sec apart after another intense battle, well ahead of Ackerman.
Roberts and Haupt Senior were eighth and ninth, even closer than in their earlier encounter, but this time Roberts was in front by just 0.314sec.
Chris Williams put the Trac-Mac Panigale on pole for the Clubmans races, just ahead of Wayne Arendse (JJ Smith Trust ZX-10R) and Willem Binedell’s Chef@Home ZX-10R, but it was Arendse who made the running in Race 1 with Williams never more than a bike length behind and surprise front-runner Paul Rulu (Engine Guru ZX-10R) a close third.
Williams moved in even closer on the action-packed final lap and slingshotted out of Arendse’s slipstream on the sprint to the line to win by 0.012sec – about the width of a tyre. Rulu was third, two seconds further adrift with Michael Hunter (Kawasaki ZX-6R) hanging on to a distant fourth, and first in Class B.
Fourteen seconds later Michael du Toit (Kawasaki ZX-10R) crossed the line at the head of an express train as he, Jos Troch (Apex CBR1000RR) and Justin Michau (Honda CBR900RR) finished within 1.186sec and, four second later, Binedell, Robbie Pedrica (Yamaha R1) and Nigel Boer were even closer, with 0.689sec covering all three at the flag.
Nasief Smart on the Quickpos GSX-R600 was the first Breakfast Runner home in 15th overall.
Race 2 began like an action replay with Williams chasing Arendse off the start, followed by Du Toit, Binedell, Hunter and Michau. Binedell moved up to third on lap two, as Du Toit, Troch, Rulu and Michau battled it out for fourth, all three covered by 0.651sec at the end of lap four.
Then Michau ran off the circuit in Car Care Clinic Sweep on lap five and took a huge tumble, bringing out the red flags. Fortunately, Michau escaped with scrapes and bruises, and the field reformed on the grid for a four-lap sprint to the line.
Seconds before the restart, however, Williams’ Ducati stalled on the line, leaving him frantically waving his left hand in the air as the entire field, with the exception of Arendse and Binedell, went around him, fortunately without any collisions.
That left Arendse to romp home ahead of Binedell and Troch, while Williams sliced through the field from stone last to ninth on lap one, sixth on lap two and fourth on lap three. He was unable to reel in Troch, however, and had to settle for fourth ahead of Rulu, who blitzed Class B leader Du Toit on the final lap to take fifth by a scant 0.026sec.
Smart didn’t make the restart; Irshaad Mohamed (QP Racing Fireblade) led the Breakfast Runners home in ninth overall.
Stirred but not shaken, Williams started Race 3 determined to get back on terms with Arendse and stayed with the veteran Clubman racer for most of the race, only to drop back in the closing stages, crossing the line five seconds adrift after another thriller.
Binedell stayed out of everybody’s way to finish an unchallenged third, while Rulu, Troch and Du Toit disputed fourth, finishing in that order within less than a second, and Mohamed cemented his leadership of the Breakfast Run crew with a fine 10th overall.