Michael White leads Clint Seller and Greg Gildenhuys
Image by Paul Bedford – Action Images
On his first visit to the Aldo Scribante circuit in Port Elizabeth, Michael White (Consortium Shipping Yamaha R1) claimed his maiden SuperGP victory when he took a lights-to-flag win in the second heat of round 6 of the 2016 SuperGP Champions Trophy. This came after championship leader Mathew Scholtz (ETR Nashua Yamaha R1) had extended his points advantage in the opening race on Saturday, 27 August.
Lance Isaacs (LIR Motorrad BMW S1000RR) continued his winning ways in the SuperMasters Interprovincial championship, taking another two heat wins.
The Super600 category served up two first-time winners. Kewyn Snyman (Inex Construction Kawasaki ZX6) took the opening heat while Blaze Baker (Uncle Andy Racing Suzuki GSXR 600) had a comfortable win in the second.
Not content with a win in the first SuperJunior race, birthday boy Dominic Doyle (Techron Systems) put his knowledge of the Aldo Scribante circuit to good use and took the second race as well.
In Friday afternoon’s qualifying session, it looked like normal service had been resumed when Clint Seller (Neolife Yamaha R1) grabbed the SuperGP pole over half a second ahead of Scholtz. Greg Gildenhuys (Kreepy Krauly / Transport.co.za Kawasaki ZX10R) was next up with Isaacs in fourth. White and Brandon Goode (Linex Yamaha R1) were fifth and sixth respectively.
While Seller pulled away at the front of the field in the opening race, Scholtz was prepared to play the long game. He remained in contact in second and, when Seller began to battle with arm pump, was able to move through into the lead and pull away, going on to take the flag by 3.7 seconds. Seller just managed to keep Gildenhuys behind him to take second.
White ended in a somewhat lonely fourth place with Isaacs, who got the better of a race-long duel with Daryn Upton (Turnskill Engineering Yamaha R1), in fifth.
In race two White got a flyer when the lights went out and grabbed the hole shot. Seller and Gildenhuys tried everything they knew to get past but White was able to hold them off. The trio crossed the line separated by a little over quarter of a second with Seller having to settle for second ahead of Gildenhuys.
Scholtz spent a large part of the race involved in a battle for fourth with Upton, but was able to pull away in the closing stages. Upton took fifth with Isaacs in sixth.
Seller’s two second places have moved him back to second on the championship log, 39 points behind Scholtz but only a single point ahead of White.
Coming to Port Elizabeth, Isaacs had won every SuperMasters heat of the season. He kept that record intact with another two comfortable wins and, subject to official confirmation, wrapped up the 2016 SuperMasters Interprovincial Challenge title.
In both races he was followed over the line by Damion Purificati (Amalgam Welding Shop Kawasaki) and Hendrik de Bruin (RSA Racing Yamaha R1).
Boshoff took yet another Super600 pole position although, with the top three covered by less than a tenth of a second, exciting racing was on the cards. Steven Odendaal, his closest rival in the championship, was racing in Spain trying to secure the European Moto2 title so it was left to two Western Cape riders to take up the challenge. Hayden Jonas (Arai / PJ1 Formula Autos Kawasaki ZX6) ended the session in second with Snyman just behind him. Baker was in fourth ahead of Dorren Loureiro (Family Fitness ZX6) and Dylan Barnard (Kawasaki ZX6).
The promised close racing got a bit too close in the opening stages of the first race. Boshoff and Jonas tangled on the second lap, putting both of them out of the race and bringing out the red flags. From the restart it was Baker and Snyman setting the pace out front. Snyman found a way into the lead in the closing stages of the race and was able to hang on to take his first national championship win. Baker crossed the line a few bike lengths back with Barnard on the final step of the podium. Alex van den Berg (Kawasaki ZX6) and Zante Otto (Inex Construction Kawasaki ZX6) were the only other classified finishers.
Jonas and Boshoff both made it out for the start of the second race although Boshoff had to start from pit lane as he was on his spare bike. This time Baker took the lead from the start and was never seriously challenged on his way to his first Super600 win. Boshoff worked his way through the field to take second ahead of Jonas.
First race winner Snyman had to settle for fourth ahead of van den Berg and Otto.
Boshoff still has a comfortable lead in the championship and, with Odendaal being given the chance of a Moto2 wild card ride at Aragon on the same weekend at the next round of the South African championship, the title is almost in the bag.
The top five SuperJunior qualifying times were within a second of each other with Doyle just ahead of CJ Hackart (Firequip / Elite Car Park) at the top of the pack. Riccardo Otto (Inex Construction) had his best qualifying session of the season to finish third ahead of Jared Schultz (ASAP World Formula Auto). Aiden Liebenberg (Fercor Construction) and Tyreece Robert (Evolve Nutrition / Autostyling) rounded out the top six.
At the start of race 1 it was Doyle and Hackart that set the pace at the head of the field. The pair managed to open a gap while still battling each other for the lead. Doyle was in front when it counted to take his maiden SuperJunior win. Liebenberg had to settle for third. Shultz got the better of a great dice with Robert to take fourth with Otto rounding out the top six.
The second race was similar at the head of the field with Doyle just managing to hold off Hackart to take another win. The dice for the final podium position was one of the closest of the day. Liebenberg, Schultz, Robert and Otto crossed the line in that order, separated by less than a second.
With Brandon Staffen suffering overheating problems that saw him have to pull off the circuit in both races, Liebenberg now moves to the top of the championship log.
Thomas Brown (REHAB Racing Ducati), Jade Gutzeit (Dunlop Dezzi Raceway Ducati) and Shaun Jubber (RAD KTM RC8) qualified within 0.038 seconds of each other on Friday afternoon. Gutzeit took race 1 from Jubber and Brown.
In the second race, a late challenge by Jubber didn’t come off and he dropped down the field. Gutzeit took his second win of the day, this time from Jason Wessels (Supreme Moto Rentals KTM) and Brown.
The next round of the SuperGP Champions Trophy takes place at Dezzi Raceway in Port Shepstone on Saturday, 24 September 2016.