Cape Town riders dominated at the seventh round of the 2019 Metzler supported SA Superbike Championship held at Killarney International Raceway on Saturday, 28 September. David McFadden (RPM Centre/Stunt SA Yamaha R1) just held off Brandon Haupt (Fueled Racing/TCF Investments Yamaha R1) to take the first heat but the roles were reversed in the second with Haupt just getting the better of McFadden.
In the SuperSport 600 category another pair of locals, Kewyn Snyman (Hillbilly Racing Team/CGR Yamaha R6) and Jared Schultz (ASAP World/FFC/Brown Property Yamaha R6), shared the wins.
Championship leader Clint Seller (King Price Xtreme Yamaha R1) topped the timesheets after Friday’s three qualifying sessions but it was tight at the top. Seller was just 0.004” ahead of Steven Odendaal (Petra Racing Yamaha R1) with Lance Isaacs (SuperBets Gaming Group BMW S1000RR) completing the front row of the grid just 0.030” further back. Haupt, in his first national race of the season, headed the second row ahead of McFadden with Byron Bester (Hi-Tech Racing Yamaha R1) rounding out the top six.
Odendaal was the early leader of a four-way battle that included Seller, McFadden and Haupt, but engine problems for both Odendaal and Seller left McFadden and Haupt to fight it out at the front. Odendaal was able to keep going, eventually nursing his ailing bike over the line in third, but Seller crashed out after pushing as hard as he could despite a lack of power from his Yamaha. McFadden and Haupt were never separated by more than a couple bike lengths but it was McFadden who was in front when it counted. Bester claimed fourth while Isaacs, who was still running at the flag despite crashing on the opening lap, was not classified after failing to complete enough laps.
Some sterling work by his pit crew enabled Seller to take his place at the front of the grid for the second race but Odendaal was not as fortunate. His motor was too badly damaged to be repaired in time and he was forced to watch from the sidelines. Seller led the way in the early stages, but his repaired bike just couldn’t give him enough to stay in front of the hard-charging pair of McFadden and Haupt. They swapped positions regularly through the 12 laps but it looked like McFadden had done enough to take his second win of the day but Haupt had other ideas. He managed to ride around the outside on McFadden in the final corner and hang on to take the win by less than half a bike length, his first victory in a national championship event. Isaacs, who had a prime view of the dice in front of him throughout the race, came home in third with Seller fourth. Bester had to settle for fifth.
McFadden claimed the silverware for the day’s overall win with Haupt and Bester in second and third.
Schultz was the quickest of the 600 riders in all three qualifying sessions, taking pole position from Snyman with Blaze Baker (JBR Racing/Performance Technic/Rossi Sports Bar Yamaha R6) in third place.
Things didn’t go as planned for Schultz in the first race. He ran wide in the final corner of the opening lap, dropping to the back of the field. While he was able to work his way back up through the regional riders that were competing in the same race, he had to settle for third. Snyman had a relatively untroubled run to victory with Baker having to settle for second.
In race 2, Schultz and Snyman produced a thriller, with the outcome not decided until the final lap when Schultz made his final move and hung on in the chase to the line to take victory by just over a tenth of a second. Baker’s motor cried enough just after half-distance, leaving him stranded on the side of the circuit.
Overall Snyman took the win from Schultz and Baker.
In the regional series, Ronald Slammet (PLM Motorsport Yamaha R1) won both heats in the 100cc class from Malcolm Rapson (Suzuki GSXR 1000) while Conner Hagen got the better of Gareth Gehlig (Kawasaki ZX6) in the two 600cc heats.
With just one round left in the championship, things are far from settled at the top. Seller has an 18-point lead over Isaacs at the top of the SuperBike standings while Snyman now holds a single point advantage of Baker in the SuperSport category.
The final round of the 2019 SA SuperBike series in association with Metzler will take place at Red Star Raceway, just outside Delmas on 25 and 26 October.