Phakisa Freeway 2015 DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy
The race for the 2015 DEOD SuperGP Champions Trophy got underway nearly six months ago when the opening event took place at the Phakisa Freeway outside the Free State town of Welkom. Since then the series has criss-crossed the country in the build up to the finale which will take place at the Dezzi South Coast Raceway on Saturday, 19 September 2015.
At the opening event of the season defending SuperGP champion, Clint Seller, got his title defence off to the perfect start, claiming pole position and taking both race wins. The series then moved to Zwartkops for the second round where Brent Harran and Lance Isaacs shared the race wins. Seller, who was beaten for the first time ever in SuperPole, had to be content with a second and third in the two races but still retained the lead in the championship.
Killarney Raceway in Cape Town was the next stop for the riders and most of the attention was focussed on how the new Yamaha R1 machines would perform in the hands of Seller, Mathew Scholtz and Brandon Goode. Seller claimed pole position but electrical gremlins in the first race saw him finish down in fifth place. The Yamaha R1, however, showed it was going to be a force in the championship though with Scholtz piloting his example to its maiden SuperGP win, although the results of this race are still the subject of an appeal. Race two went the way of Harran with Seller and Scholtz completing the podium.
The series then moved back inland to the Red Star Raceway outside Delmas. There the Yamahas started showing their dominance, Scholtz taking both race wins from Seller and moving into second place in the championship. From Mpumalanga the riders made their way down to East London for the fifth round of the championship. Torrential rain caused the second race of the day to be abandoned before a wheel turn but Seller and Scholtz continued their battle in the only race of the day, finishing first and second respectively.
Round 6 saw a return to Red Star but run in the opposite direction to round 4. Seller continued his winning ways, taking both race wins from Scholtz with Brandon Goode making sure of an all Yamaha podium in both heats.
Going into the final round Clint Seller (NeoLife Africa Yamaha R1) needs 24 points to make sure of his second successive SuperGP title. Mathew Scholtz (EmTek Racing Nashua Yamaha R1) is assured of second place, he has a 51 point advantage over veteran Lance Isaacs (Black Swan Racing / BMW Motorrad S1000RR). Isaacs, however, is not comfortable in third place. Brent Harran (Metals Centre / Odin Powersport Kawasaki ZX10R) is just five points further back. The ever improving Brandon Goode (EmTek Racing Nashua Yamaha R1) and Nicholas Kershaw (Tsunami Beach Bar / BMW Motorrad S1000RR) round out the top six.
Apart from the second race in Cape Town, where he crashed, Steven Odendaal (NeoLife Africa Yamaha R6) has not finished off the podium in the 11 Super600 races held this year and on seven of those occasions he has occupied the top step. This has given the defending champion an almost unassailable lead in the title race – he needs just one point to retain his crown.
Odendaal got his season off to a great start with two wins at Phakisa Raceway. Adolf Boshoff (Toy Store / Indy Oil Kawasaki ZX6) led Michael White (Consortium Shipping Kawasaki ZX6) and the rest of the pack home in the opening race. A collision with AJ Venter (Triumph SA / AJ Venter Racing Triumph 675) in the second race put Boshoff on the side lines leaving White and Blaze Baker (Russell Wood Kawasaki ZX6) to complete the podium.
The opening race at round 2 saw Odendaal having to fight his way through the pack after a technical infringement during qualifying saw him relegated to the back of the grid. This didn’t stop the defending champion and he took another win with White in close attendance. Race 2 also went the way of Odendaal, this time from Boshoff and Baker.
In Cape Town Sheridan Morais made a rare South African appearance on the (EmTek Racing Nashua Yamaha R6) and took the first race win from Odendaal and White. Morais and Odendaal both crashed out of race 2 leaving White and Baker to fight for the win which went the way of White. Lady racer van Aswegen (Triumph SA / Women in Motorsport Triumph 675) had the best result of her Super600 career, taking the final podium position.
Anthony Shelley made a return to the Super600 class at Red Star Raceway piloting the EmTek Racing Nashua Yamaha R6 to a fourth and third in the day’s two races but the wins on the day were shared between Boshoff and Odendaal allowing Odendaal to further extend his championship lead over White who had to settle for a second and a fourth on the day.
With almost everyone sliding off the track at least once, the East London round was a fight for survival. Boshoff took the win from Odendaal with Darryn Upton, who was making a one-off appearance on the Turn-Skill Engineering / RSA Racing Kawasaki ZX6, in third.
Shelley showed he had got to grips with the Yamaha when the series returned to Red Star for round 6, pushing Odendaal all the way. Odendaal just had the better of him though and took both race wins to all but wrap up the title. White’s fourth and third places cemented his second position on the championship log.
With Odendaal and White almost certain to finish in the top two positions the fight for the bronze medal is the interesting one. Just 10 points separate Boshoff and Baker and, while Boshoff is quick, he often pushes a bit too hard. The top six in Super600 is rounded out by van Aswegen and Shelley.
William Friend took the lead in the SuperJunior championship at the opening round in Phakisa where he scored a second and a win. Mechanical troubles in the first race at Zwartkops forced him to retire but a second place behind Brandon Staffen in race 2 meant that he kept the championship lead.
Kewyn Synman showed the rest of the field a clean pair of heels in both Cape Town races. Staffen’s two second places combined with a below par performance from Friend was enough to give Staffen a slender lead in the championship.
At Red Star it was Staffen’s turn to have a below par performance. Friend took both wins and regained the championship lead. Behind him the fight was on with the next three, Luca Coccioni, Dominic Doyle and Brandon Staffen separated by just eight points.
The SuperJuniors managed to finish their only race in East London before the heavens opened and Friend continued his winning ways with Snyman and Staffen completing the podium. Another two wins at Red Star confirmed Friend as champion but the runners-up spot is far from decided. Doyle has the advantage but Staffen and Coccioni are not far behind. Tyreece Robert and Lance Marais are separated by just two points in the fight for fifth.
Despite missing a number of rounds, Beau Levey has a comfortable lead in the SuperM category and Neil van Loggerenberg will have to win both races at Dezzi Raceway to deny him the championship.
Tin Run Tour
At DEOD SuperGP events this year the organizers have harnessed the well-known generosity of motorcyclists to help charities in the area of each circuit. In return for a tin of food, motorcyclists arriving at the track on race day before 10h00 have been granted free admission. This initiative, known as the Tin Run Tour, has seen over 3000 tins of food being donated to various charities.
The final event of the 2015 season takes place on Saturday, 19 September. Tickets, which cost just R70.00, are available online at TicketPro or can be purchased at the gate.