South Africa’s bravest circuit racers will go to war on the country’s mostintimidating circuit next Saturday (May 24). The occasions will be Rounds 7 and 8 of the 2003 South African Superbike Championship, to be held on the historical East London Grand Prix circuit.-

- A field of 25 riders will take to the venue’s tarmac - which includes the two fastest corners in local motorsport - to do battle for South Africa’s most prestigious two-wheeler title. -

- Following six of the season’s 20 races, First Technology Yamaha rider Shaun Whyte tops the title standings on 91 points. Second, a mere three points adrift, is current South African Superbike Champion and Autopage Cellular Yamaha team leader Russell Wood. Third and fourth, respectively on 67 and 64 points, are Hudson Kennaugh (Cell C Suzuki) and Arushen Moodley (First Technology Yamaha). -

- With a total of 40 points to be fought for, any of the above four riders could leave East London as the overall Championship leader. Various other racers will be able and more than determined to interfere with the title leaders’ plans. Their numbers will include Cell C Suzuki, Trevor Crookes and Stewart MacLeod, First Technology Yamaha’s Alex Lenearts and Cell C Suzuki’s Noel Haarhoff. Finally, multiple former national Champion Greg Dreyer (Autopage Cellular Yamaha) will rejoin the fray in race-fit condition, after suffering severe leg injuries in a series of early-season crashes. -

- With very little to choose between the Yamaha and Suzuki brigades in terms of straight-forward performance, experts foresee ultra-close slipstreaming battles in both of next Saturday’s races. Close enough to benefit from any mistakes by the top nine will be Inala Kawasaki riders Greame van Breda and Garth Norris, plus Kreepy Krauly Yamaha veteran Gavin Ramsay. -

- In the Privateer Challenge, the men to watch should be current points leader Robert Cragg (Suzuki), Robert Portman (DeWalt Ducati), Charles Grassie (Autopage Cellular Yamaha) and Teazers Kawasaki rider Sheridan Morias. Without any prior testing opportunities at the East London circuit this year, the venue’s unique challenges should test the skills of both riders and technicians to the full. -

- The circuit boasts the country’s two fastest corners, with top riders taking the infamous Potters Pass Bend at over 220 km/h, followed by the Rifle Range Sweep at a spine-chilling 260 km/h. Adding to riders’ difficulties is a tight and twisty infield, which demands various compromises in terms of suspension set-up and gearing. -

- "Achieving podium placings at the East London circuit demands a finely-tuned balance between balls-out bravery and centimetre-perfect precision from riders. With tyre conservation, team tactics and slipstreaming technique thrown into the mix, the venue arguably presents riders with the season’s toughest challenge," said Mr Barry Scholtz, Chairman of the South African Motorcycle Racing Association. -

- "In the end, the day’s biggest winners will be the ever-enthusiastic East London crowd, who will witness the best spectacle on offer in South African circuit racing," he added.

Original article from Car