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Moodley makes history


Arushen Moodley became the first black rider in the world to win a national Superbike championship

A little motor racing history was made at the final WesBank Super Series meeting of the year at Kyalami at the weekend, when Arushen Moodley became the first black rider worldwide to win a national Superbike championship.

Moodley, who hails from Port Elizabeth, clinched the CitiBike SA Superbike title when the first heat was abandoned when Clinton Seller, on a Nashua Mobile/Daikin Yamaha, was involved in a huge accident. The red flag to stop the race came out before the minimum distance for points to be awarded, leaving Moodley with an unassailable lead over outgoing champion Shaun Whyte on another Nashua Mobile/Daikin Yamaha.

A huge hailstorm and intermittent rain which wreaked havoc with the early stages of the meeting, saw the CitiBike SA Supersport title settled in similar fashion. Three riders went down on lap two, and after two laps behind the safety car the race was abandoned when the hailstorm lashed Kyalami.

Once again minimum distance to award points had not been completed. It left Chris Leeson (Team Suzuki) with a lead over arch rival Dane Hellyer on the Kyocera Kawasaki.

The South African championships were settled with some tight finishes in the Bridgestone Production Car Championship. Provisional scoring saw Shaun Watson-Smith (Xtreme Team Audi A4) clinch the overall and Class A titles by three points, with Iain Pepper (PG Autoglass/Plastomark VW Golf GTi) taking Class T by four points. Veteran Ben Morgenrood (Zoom Zoom Mazda RX8) took Class B by a single point and Robi Beninca (BTS VW Citi Life) took the Junior Production and Class C titles by just two points. The Class C classification is, however, subject to appeal.

One other title issue was settled when Lee Thompson (Xtreme Team VW Polo) put the finishing touches to winning the Engen VW Cup championship. Thompson failed to finish in race one via a blown engine but his closest rival, Graeme Donker (Mini/Maxi Panelbeaters VW Polo), finished down the field to drop out of the title race.

On the motorcycle front former SA champion Hudson Kennaugh (Rezist Yamaha) scored a unique double. The Durban rider, back from an overseas campaign, won both the Superbike and Supersport second races.

In the Superbike event Kennaugh came home ahead of Whyte who scored something of a consolation victory over Moodley who was third. Another former SA champion, Sheridan Morias, was fourth on the Ducati Cafe with Noel Haarhof completing the top five on the Imtek Toshiba/King Tony Kawasaki.

The overall Bridgestone Production Car Championship was won and lost in a dramatic first heat that was affected by rain. Johan Fourie (JFR Audi A4) went into the day two points ahead of Watson-Smith and 11 points ahead of reigning champion Leeroy Poulter in the Sasol Nissan 350Z.

Off road excursions in tricky conditions saw the safety car come out on lap two. When racing resumed on lap six Fourie, lying fourth, clashed with Seef Fourie (Medal Paints Subaru Impreza) at Goodyear Sweep.

It dropped Fourie way down the field. Watson-Smith took control of the title race when he won ahead of Tschops Sipuka (Sasol Nissan 350Z), Michael Stephen in the second Xtreme Team Audi and Poulter.

• For more on bikes, cars and other fast things, see today’s Motoring supplement in The Witness.