Motorcycle circuit racing enters a new and exciting era in 2014 with the formation of a standalone national championship tour, with a planned eight rounds in five provinces.
The motorcycle only SuperGP Champions Trophy will be promoted and managed by GAS Sports and the race meeting format will be similar to the FIM World Superbike Championship.
The headline category will be called SuperGP with support categories including SuperTwins, Super600, Super600M, SuperMasters and Superbikes.
SuperGP is a unique South African category for 1 000 cc entry level evo rules machines (limited modifications) that has been introduced to meet the need for a more affordable premier racing category. Super600 is a new evo rules category for 600cc bikes, while Super600M is equivalent to the current Supersport category for modified machines.
Superbikes is the existing national championship category for modified 1 000 cc machines.
SuperMasters will cater for SuperGP riders aged over 35 on 1 000cc bikes, complying with both the Superbikes and SuperGP technical regulations.
It is intended that the above five championship categories will all hold national championship status.
SuperTwins will cater for 1 000 to 1 200 cc twin-cylinder modified machines and will be a national challenge series.
The six categories are expected to attract between 90 to 120 competitors per race meeting.
GAS Sports executive director Anthony Lauter said the new championship and categories have been 10 months in the making, with lengthy discussions with Motorsport South Africa and the motorcycle importers and distributors with cost containment being a key priority. A briefing session with all current competitors took place yesterday (February 28) and the new plans were met with a positive response.
Lachlan Harris, the national director of the Association of Motorcycle Importers and Distributors (AMID) said the planned SuperGP Championship Trophy was a significant step in the right direction, with the potential to provide a strong sports marketing platform for the motorcycle brands to leverage, while ensuring the barrier to entry and cost to compete were more favourable for the manufacturers and competitors.
The opening round of the SuperGP Champions Trophy will take place in March with rounds being run monthly thereafter, culminating in October with the championship finals for the premier categories being run as support races in the planned SA round of the FIM World Superbike Championship.
The full calendar, which is subject to MSA approval and inscription requirements, will be announced in February.
MSA’s CEO of Operations, Adrian Scholtz, said MSA’s management and board of directors were delighted with the envisaged partnership with GAS Sports and that the plans shared to date bode well for an exciting future for national motorcycle circuit racing.