|What||Day of the Champion Report|
|Where||Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria|
|When||Sunday 28 January 2018|
Classic motorcycles thrill Zwartkops fans
The Day of the Champion, Sunday’s second day of Zwartkops’ 17th Passion for Speed festival of historic racing weekend thrilled motorcycle fans with international classic superbike action, historic racing motorcycles on track and an action-packed supporting act of local two wheeler races. Unlike Saturday’s slippery car races, Sunday dawned a perfect Highveld morning to greet bike fans and racers from across the country and around the world, but it was a South African lad who emerged the Champion of the Day.
Hard as the visitors tried, it was local lad Noel ‘Hitman’ Haarhoff who rode his Suzuki GSXR to victory in the first of two Britain versus South Africa International Classic TT Superbike races ahead of Scotsmen Ian Simpson (Team Classic Suzuki GSXR) and Iain MacPherson (IVID Suzuki GSX), while the impressive Allan Jon Venter took Class F2 honours in spite of an off earlier in the day and switching to an older Suzuki Katana.
Another Scot, Gordon Grigor was next up on an IVID Suzuki GS1200 ahead of Suzuki Katana duo Gary Edwards and Fergal McAdam, another Scottish visitor Howard Selby’s IVID Suzuki, Leon vd Berg’s Yoshimura Suzuki and Cape rider John Kosterman’s Suzuki GSXR. The top five ended the second race in the same order, with van der Berg improving to sixth ahead of Edwards, McAdam, Kosterman and Scot Robert Burns’ Suzuki XR 69. Peter Herbert rode his Rickman Honda to the F3 Class win both times ahead of Scottish visitor Fergal MacAdam’s Yamaha TZ750.
The Classic Motorcycle Group demo runs were another highlight as Dave Petersen showed off the ex-Kenny Roberts Proton KR3, Dave Marriner rode a significant Honda CB racer and Phillip Solomon was out on his Solo Creative Aprisaki Aprillia. The field included a stunning line-up including Yamaha TZ and TZR racers, a Ducati Pantah and several exotic Suzukis, Hondas and Kawasakis, while Manx Nortons, Matchless and other delectable machines were on display as the likes of Paddy Driver and Mick Grant recalled the glory days in the pits.
A full day of regional motorcycle support races included the opening round of the Red Square Kawasaki ZX10R Masters, where Sven Grune picked up where he left off last year to beat Graeme van Breda (Steffanutti Stocks), Pieter de Vos (Jongingozi), Jaco Gous, former dirt riders Brian Bontekoning and Gareth Bezuidenhout and Michael Smit. Overall, Grune beat van Breda again in Race 2 with Bontekoning next up from de Vos Gous and Bezuidenhout. Gous beat Bezuidenhout to Class A honours, Grune took Class B over van Breda and de Vos won Class C from Bontekoning.
The Bridgestone Thunderbikes and Sub-10 Superbikes’ first race was restarted after an early incident and it was Thunderbikes’ Shaun Vermaak who led the way home aboard his Adrenalin PowerSport/ BST Yamaha R1 ahead of Matthew Herbert (Vyfster Kawasaki ZX10) Hendrik de Bruin (RSA Racing/Paramount) and Damian Purificati on a BMW S1000RR. Morne Potgieter (Ultimate Kawasaki ZX10) took Class B, Jordan Agliotti (Westside Honda CBR) Class C and Ferdinand Frederick was first Master home on his WestLeigh BMW S1000RR. Vermaak did three double over Herbert and Purificati, Frederick took Class B and Pierre Grobler (Kawasaki ZX10) Class C honours in Race 2.
Class C Masters rider Harry Potgieter took the double-header first Sun-10 race on his T Squared Kawasaki ZX10 ahead of Class A man Karl Schultz’ ASAP/FFC/Cape Insurance Kawasaki ZXR and Class B rider Byron Rothquel (Turn Skill BMW S1000RR), while Landi Sinden took ladies honours on her Milwaukee Yamaha R6. It was all change in race 2 however, as another Masters rider, Class B man Hendrik Erasmus rode his E Engineering BMW S1000RR to the win over Class A lads Dirk Stols (Road Spec Kawasaki ZX10) and Rothquel as Wayne Spicer took his Wellness Group Kawasaki ZX10 to Class B honours, Sinden won the ladies and Potgieter took Class C.
There was an Italian touch to the Bridgestone Challenge races when Masters man Joe Herbig rode his Meghaal Markle MV Augusta Brutale to heat 1 victory over Dale Ingram’s Guptas Yamaha YZF R1, Masters duo Ian Thomas’ SA Compressor Hire Kawasaki ZX6 and Deon Smith on a MecLec BMW S1000RR with Jacques Ackermann sixth on his Kawasaki ZX10. Warren Els took Class B on his Honda CBR, Michael Dixon (Westside Honda CBR) Class C and Edwin Smith Class D on his Kawasaki while Lafras Fritz was first lady home on her Kawasaki ZX10.
Race 2 once again produced a very different result as Adan Barnard rode to the win on his GB/KE Auto Kawasaki ZX10 ahead of Naasief Wadvalla (Fastbike Kawasaki ZX10), Ruan Oberholzer (BMW S1000RR) and Masters rider Coen Erasmus (Auto Investments Honda CBR, while Hennie Swanepoel took Class B on his Kawasaki ZX10, Harry van As (Wellness Honda CBR) Class C, Nienke Ferguson took ladies honours on her Places and Prices Yamaha R6 EMR. Lafras Fritz took Class D on a Kawasaki ZX10 and Lize de Beer Class E on her No Rules Truimph 675R.
Everyone was a winner at the end of the day however, as the Day of the Champion delivered great racing amid a splendid day of Zwartkops motorcycle racing. Many of the classic racers and machines now head to Cape Town to thrill Province fans at the second round of the Passion for Speed races at the Killarney International Raceway this Saturday 3 February.