A win apiece for Shaun Whyte and Hudson Kennaugh in Rounds 11 and 12 of the SA Superbike championship at Zwartkops have ensured that Russell Wood will have a tough task to defend his title this year.

A win apiece for Shaun Whyte and Hudson Kennaugh in Rounds 11 and 12 of the SA Superbike championship at Zwartkops have ensured that Russell Wood will have a tough task to defend his title this year.


A formbook change was evident as early as the official qualifying session on Saturday, when pre-event favourite Wood (Autopage Cellular Yamaha) crashed after just six laps. The defending champion had to be content with seventh place on the grid, with his closest title challengers, Shaun Whyte (First Technology Yamaha) and Hudson Kennaugh (Cell C Suzuki), filling the front row.


There was high drama seconds after the start of the opening race, when Sheridan Morias (Teazers Kawasaki), Robert Cragg (Suzuki) plus Cell C Suzuki riders Noel Haarhoff and Trevor Crookes tangled and crashed in the first corner.


The race was stopped, with Morias and Cragg unable to make the restart. But when hostilities resumed, Whyte and Kennaugh embarked on a battle for the lead, chased by First Technology Yamaha’s Alex Lenearts and Arushen Moodley, Wood on his Yamaha and Trevor Crookes (Cell C Suzuki).


Whyte and Kennaugh gradually pulled away from the rest of the field, while the Autopage Cellular Yamaha team’s woes continued when Greg Dreyer crashed at the hairpin.


Whyte eventually won from Kennaugh by three-tenths of a second, with Moodley third, another second adrift. Alex Lenearts took fourth place, narrowly ahead of Wood.

Crookes, Garth Norris (Inala Kawasaki) and Stewart MacLeod (Cell C Suzuki) took the sixth, seventh and eighth places respectively.


In the next race, Kennaugh beat Whyte to the chequered flag by six-tenths of a second, with Moodley taking another third place. This time, Wood edged past Lenearts on the final lap to snatch fourth place. Lenearts hung on to the fifth spot, again followed by Crookes, Norris and MacLeod.


The next two rounds of the 2003 South African Superbike Championship will be

held at the AA Kyalami circuit on Saturday, August 30.

Original article from Car