By: Colin Windell
Port Shepstone - Championships and the resultant bragging rights are teetering on the edge following the penultimate round of the KZN Road Racing Club Championships at Dezzi Raceway, Oslo Beach at the weekend.
With several large pods of whales showing their appreciation for the on-track efforts by leaping and tail-slapping just beyond the backline, spectators were well entertained between races when given a brief chance to catch their breaths before the action restarted.
In the Formula Extreme motorcycle category, it seems as though Stephen Puren (Kawasaki ZX6) has an unassailable points lead even though it was Liaan Smit (Dafco Yamaha R6) who was in devastating form on the day and won both heats from Puren by more than 20 seconds. Clinton Massey-Hicks brought the Carshop.co.za Honda CBR 600 home in third place.
Things are somewhat closer in the 300 Class where Drew Gates (Kawasaki 400) is 30 points ahead of Felix Kroeber (Kawasaki 400) – but has made his task a whole lot harder by opting to start from the last row of the grid and 15 seconds behind the field as part of his training for a season overseas next year.
In the first heat it took seven of the 10 laps for him to worm his way through the field and take the lead with Kroeber only able to claim a third place in the Class behind Brent Goulding. In the second Gates again came through for the win with Kroeber this time second in the Class from Goulding.
It was quite hectic in the Modified Saloon category across the two heats with Hank Lombard (PSA VW Scirocco) taking line honours and the win in the Super Modified sub-class in the first heat but forced to concede to the Panel & Paint VW Golf of Dane Thompson in the second encounter.
Still, on the count for overall honours for the day, Lombard triumphed with Thompson second and Elton Fuchs (Mtrac VW Golf) having a bit of an off day and only managing third.
In Class A Keegan Sansom (R&M Plant Hire VW Golf) ran another faultless performance to win the class from Gary Commins (Mobile Auto Repairs VW Golf) with George Purchase (VW Golf) in third place. In Class B it was Damien John Parker (Roadmaster Exhausts (VW Golf) who stood on the top step with Bilaal Dawood (VW Golf) second ahead of Shaun Erasmus (VW Golf).
Class C honours was claimed by Greg Bennet (Dubcorp Opel Kadett) from Willem Bleeker (VW Polo) and Keegan Chetty (JK Training Opel Kadett).
The Super GT, Sports Cars and Historics again ran as a combined field but that hardly impacted on the race action that often centred around a tussle between Mike McLoughlin in the Backdraft Slingshot and Rob Prece behind the wheel of the Power King VW Golf.
McLoughlin did take overall honours from Prece with Denver Branders (Cobra 4000) finishing up third for the day. In the Super GT ‘B’ class the Lotus 7 of Leo Branders was top dog on the day, winning overall from Garry Commins and Nicole Lombard (PSA VW Scirocco).
The Sports Car laurels went the way of Jonathan Edwards (Formula M 1600) ahead of Barry Glanz (Formula M 1300) and Phil Clark (Megapile Lotus 7).
Even though he was not there at the weekend, it seems Shaun Joffe has the Super Motard title firmly in his grasp with not enough points on offer at the final round on November 5 for Cameron van der Nest to overhaul him – unless the KZN Road Racing Club decides to make that round a double points affair.
On the day, however, Liaan Smit (Dafco Yamaha 450) took overall honours after some fine racing with second-placed Drew Gates (Husqvarna 450) and Brent Goulding (Husqvarna 45o). In the Motard Masters category Kyle Robertson (Husqvarna 450) emerged as overall winner from Justin Mathie (Fine Metals Husqvarna 450) and Philip Niewouldt (Husqvarna 450).
The Powersports category was won by Llewelyn Puren (Honda NSR) from arch-rival Duncan Day (Yamaha 450) and Sandile Mthembu (Honda VFR 400).
One of the top battles of the day came from the Historic racers in Class E, where Meredith Willis (Hopgood Ford Escort) had a huge battle with the rapid Ford Anglia of Cecil Manson-Bishop with the red Escort doing enough to earn the honours from the yellow Anglia. Stuart Armstrong (Ford Escort) finished third.
Class F of the Historics was won by Craig Hamilton (Mercedes-Benz 280) from Dave Armstrong (Ford Escort).
The 150 motorcycles always provide close racing and Zane Davidson (Husqvarna 85) had a fine day out to win the Super Production class from championship leader Jesse Conci (Helluvafast Motorcycles Honda CBR 150) and Murray Smith (KTM SX85). In the 150A class it was Cayden Potgieter (RMC Auto Repairs Honda) who came out on top from Felix Kroeber (Honda) and Sven Christensen (Paarl Breweries Honda).
Class B went to Florian Kroeber (Honda) from Hannah Puren (Honda) and Joshua Ganachaud (Honda).
The final round on November will like see competitors throwing everything plus the kitchen sink at it in an effort to secure their class titles.