New stars shine in Cape Superbikes

New stars shine in Cape Superbikes

Cape Town – While there is no doubt that the form man this season is Brandon Haupt, he won’t have it all his own way on Saturday at Round 3 of the Mike Hopkins Regional motorcycle series at Killarney.

Haupt laid down his marker at the opening meeting with a second and a very close third to take second for the day behind international star David ‘McFlash’ McFadden, and followed it up with the ride of a lifetime four weeks later.

Epic comeback wins Cape Superbikes 

Haupt led Race 1 from the start until the engine of the MX Clean ZX-10R self-destructed two laps from the flag, helped his pit crew transplant the engine of his father’s road-going Kawasaki into the race bike with minutes to spare and steadied his nerve enough to go out and win Race 2 by 0.02s after some serious debate with defending champion Ronald ‘The Red Baron’ Slamet on the BMW Motorrad S1000RR.

This weekend will see the cut-and-thrust resume at the sharp end of the field, as Slamet comes to terms with his new (and notoriously finicky) mount, while the rest of the Big Five – Class A stars Trevor Westman, Malcolm Rapson and Gerrit Visser – each on a Kawasaki ZX-10R and each capable of challenging for the lead on his day, keeping them honest.

BRAT PACK

Right behind them you can expect to see the Brat Pack – officially known as the 600 Challenge – making up in corner speed what they lose to the litre-class machines on the straights. The form man here is 17-year-old double champion Hayden Jonas on the Fifty 8 Motorsport ZX-6R but the rider to watch is Powersport graduate Warren ‘Starfish’ Guantario, now ZX-6R mounted by Mad Mac’s, whom Jonas has already learnt to respect in numerous junior-class encounters.

They’ll be chased all the way by Alex van den Berg (Wicked Tuning ZX-6R), John Oliver on the Glass It R6 and ASAP World team leader Karl Schultz (also on a ZX-6R), each ready to pounce if any of the class leaders makes the slightest mistake.

It’s a measure of how quick the top 600s are that Van den Berg, Oliver and Schultz are also leading class Class B from the Yamaha R1’s of Jacques Ackerman and Wesley Lewin.

CLUBMANS/POWERSPORTS

The heir apparent to the Powersport throne, JP Friederich on the Calberg SV650, will face another spirited challenge from Powersport B champion Mike van Rensburg (MVR ER650), but the re-formatted Clubman’s Class has delivered an unexpected challenge this season from Harry Clifton (MSD Auto Services ZX-10R), Jonathan Hope (Yamaha R6) and Shakir ‘Shrek’ Smith on the veteran Entity FireBlade.

Nevertheless, the rider to watch in the Junior races is 15-year-old short-circuit graduate Brandon Staffen, in his first season on the Keating and Jansen SV650 and already making waves. Any or all of these riders could be challenge for a top-three spot on the day – the racing is going to be intense.