Super Series 98 Championship Report 98-11-09

New champions were crowned in all but three of the categories in Super Series 98 with the curtain coming down on the short course off-road series at Tarlton International Raceway on November 1. Elna Fox Kawasaki riders Gareth Swanepoel and...

New champions were crowned in all but three of the categories in Super Series 98 with the curtain coming down on the short course off-road series at Tarlton International Raceway on November 1.

Elna Fox Kawasaki riders Gareth Swanepoel and Freddie Fourie wrapped up back to back titles in the Junior Motorcycle and 200 Motorcycle classes, with Evan Hutchinson (Linex Royal Purple Yamaha Blaster) making sure of a second title in the Super Quad category. Fourie just missed out on a second championship, and in the closest finish in any Super Series 98 class was beaten by one point by Alan Jullien (Honda) in the Open Motorcycle category.

There was a terrific climax to the Open Motorcycle category with just six points separating Jullien, Fourie and former motocross star Ryan Hunt on the Fuchs Silkolene AGA Panasonic KTM. Hunt took the overall victory at Tarlton and, after dominating the class for most of the season, was unlucky to find himself ending up third in the championship.

After winning three rounds in a row Hunt's championship hopes were dashed when he missed round five at AA Kyalami because of an overseas campaign. Although Hunt grabbed the overall win he needed at Tarlton, the consistent Jullien and Fourie picked up enough points to relegate the KTM star to third place.

Swanepoel dominated the Junior Motorcycle category, as he did last year, with Fourie again bating Elna Fox Kawasaki team-mate Brett Gray in the 200 Motorcycle class. Of the other double champion Hutchinson also dominated the Super Quad category and took overall victories in all six rounds of Super Series 98.

The Pro Quad class saw Branden Martin (Five Star Motors Yamaha Blaster) edge out Jacques Struwig (JoJo Tanks Honda) and last year's champion Christo van der Merwe on the Johannesburg Yamaha Blaster. Martin owed his success to sheer consistency, while only 10 points separated Struwig and van der Merwe in the final standings.

In the car categories the Super Truck championship issue was settled after round five of Super Series 98. Craig Draper (Life Ford Courier) was declared the champion with the category dropped from the programme at the Tarlton finale.

The final round saw Henry Kirstein (Rocbit Chenowth) make sure of the Super Specials title with Frank de Greeff (F and D Racing) a runaway winner of the Production Vehicle category.

Final Super Series 98 championship standings:

Junior Motorcycles: 1 G Swanepoel (Kawasaki) 480; 2 M Kok (Suzuki) 449; 3 K Stegen (Yamaha) 446; 4 L Mahoney (Honda) 442; 5 J Hilton 9Suzuki) 436.

200 Motorcycles: 1 F Fourie (Kawasaki) 482; 2 B Gray (Kawasaki) 409; 3 L Petersen (Kawasaki) 336; 4 I Topliss (Suzuki) 332; 5 R van Niekerk (KTM) 332.

Open Motorcycles: 1 A Jullien (Honda) 426; 2 F Fourie (Kawasaki) 425; 3 R Hunt (KTM) 420; 4 G Lipchick (Honda) 398; 5 I Topliss (Suzuki) 294.

Clubman's Motorcycles: 1 C Duckworth (Honda) 449; 2 B van der Merwe (Honda); 421; 3 L Hall (Honda) 392; 4 M Furness (Honda) 375; 5 T Eckermans (Honda) 362.

Pro Quads: 1 B Martin (Yamaha) 480; 2 J Struwig (Honda) 465; 3 C van der Merwe (Yamaha) 455; 4 F Coetzee (Yamaha) 417; 5 D Parkinson (Yamaha) 292.

Super Quads: 1 E Hutchinson (Yamaha) 501; 2 C du Plessis (Yamaha) 473; 3 R Giannoccaro (Yamaha) 438; 4 G Giannoccaro (Yamaha) 410; 5 G Jullien (Yamaha) 390.

Super Trucks: 1 C Draper (Ford) 360; 2 C Piazza-Musso (Ford) 341; 4 P Piazza-Musso (Ford) 254; 4 S van der Merwe (Ford) 174; 5 K Coetzee (Toyota) 121.

Super Specials: 1 H Kirstein (Chenowth) 476; 2 M Mohr (WPP Wingfoot) 366; 3 J Joubert (VW Beetle Volvo) 343; 4 G Claassen (Toyota) 245; 5 C Matthews (VW) 163.

Production vehicles: 1 F de Greeff (Mazda) 546; 2 W Marx (Isuzu) 183; 3 W Prinsloo (Mazda) 173; 4 D Buys (Toyota) 144.

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Series General
Drivers Ryan Hunt