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RideFast Jan 2020

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THE TOUGHEST, MOST REWARDING RACE OF THE YEAR! Saturday the 30th of November marked an historic moment for two-wheeled road racing here in SA - it was the first ever IUM 9 Hour Honda 150 Endurance race and it attracted some of the biggest names in SA racing trying to take home the biggest prize money on offer! Words by Rob Portman / Pics by Beam Productions The biggest motorcycle race of the 2019 season was not that of big expensive machines racing around a big circuit, but rather small Honda 150cc bikes duking it out for 9 hours around the Vereeniging Kart circuit. The IUM 9 Hour has officially been born with the inaugural event taking place on Saturday the 30th of November 2019. Pictured on the bottom left is Antonio Iozzo, his picture has been put in as without him and his company, IUM (Insurance Underwriting Managers) this event would not be possible. IUM contributed R70,000 towards the event, which ultimately went towards the biggest prize purse in two-wheeled motorcycle racing that I have ever seen in my over 20 years in the sport. Adding to the R70k put in by IUM was Aramando Lourerio from Family Fitness Gym, who contributed R50,000 and was the main force behind this amazing event. Fire It Up! came in with R30,000 while Chris Wright Racing put down R10 large. The prize money would be split up between the top 4 teams with first place walking away with a mammoth R100k, while 2nd took home R30k, 3rd R20k and 4th place R10k. The prizes didn’t end there with MotoMate, the massive motorcycle accessory dealership out in Sandton, contributing gift vouchers to their incredible store to the 5th, 6th and 7th place finishes. There was massive hype heading into the first running of what is now going to become an annual event. Sadly, due to other motorcycle races happening over the same weekend, only 11 teams made it to the starting line for the first running of the IUM 9 Hour race, but it was very much a case of quality over quantity, as a combined total of 12 SA titles were scattered over the 11 teams taking part. Six times SA champ and recently crowned 2019 1000cc SA SBK champion, Clint Seller, lined up for team Massive, while 3x SA champ Greg Gildenhuys joined 2017 SA SBK champ Michael White and top Cape Town rider Trevor Westman in the Mad Macs squad. Two times SA Supersport champion, Blaze Baker, was part of the Lads on Tour/RideFast team which featured some international flavour in the form of former Red Bull Rookies Cup rider James Flitcroft and Moto3 team-mates Darryn Binder and Tom Booth Amos, who had flown over from the UK to take part in this event. The rules for the race were simple; pretty much stock standard Honda CBR150cc machines with some slight mods allowed with a minimum of 3 riders per team and a maximum of 4. Each rider was not allowed more than 45 minutes on track and Motul refueling jugs were supplied for all teams to use in a specially marked off area. The first bit of track action on the day was that of the qualifying session, which saw team Fire it Up! come out on pole ahead of Team Lads on Tour/RideFast magazine and team Mad Macs rounding out the top 3. At exactly 9am the race got underway with a classic Endurance styled start with riders having to run to their machines before jumping on and heading off. It was Darryn Binder who took the early lead, but he was closely followed by another international SA Star in the form of Dorren Lourerio. It was a frantic start to the race with both stars going at it sprint race style for the opening 30minutes before Dorren pulled into the pits to hand over to Chris Wright. Doz was not feeling 100% on the day and with the searing heat (temps up in the 32-degree range for most of the day) the team, with only 3 riders, decided to go with shorter stints to help try keep the riders as fresh as possible. After the first hour of racing, with plenty of action out on track, it was team Lads on Tour who held a slender lead over team Fire it Up!. Clint Seller on the team Massive bike (88) held down a solid 3rd place ahead of Team Master Class (14). Positions chopped and changed over the course of the first 3 hours with teams opting for different strategies. The battle out front was most certainly between Lads on Tour/ RideFast and Fire it Up!, who were both setting lap record pace on every lap. Tom Booth Amos was particular fast and managed to open up a bit of a margin over the hard charging Chris Wright, who at the tender age of 14 was just about matching the Moto3 star and proving just what a talent he really is. Both riders swapped fastest times with every passing lap and at the half way stage of the race only 1 lap was separating the two teams. Behind them, team Massive suffered some problems, which dropped them down the field promoting team Air Systems Racing (69) up into 3rd. Team Master Class was right on their tales and the battle for the podium spot was just as exciting as the one for top spot. Endurance racing like this is all about consistency and heading into the 6th hour the first big mistake was made. Team Lads on Tour/RideFast had managed to pull out a healthy 4 lap lead over Fire it Up! before disaster struck. James Flitcroft, who was out on track for his 2nd stint in the saddle, tucked the front-end heading into one of the tight left handers crashing out. Luckily for him he was not injured but the same could not be said for the bike, which was brought back into the pits and needed some attention. The left footpeg had broken off and after almost 10min spent in the pits fixing the bike they finally head back out on track. That put a huge dent in their efforts to win as when they rejoined they found themselves 11-laps behind team Fire it Up!, who were just churning our consistent, fast times and not making any mistakes. That was until Jesse Boshoff, their 3rd rider had a coming together with a rider from team Kamikaze Pilots (15) heading into turn one. A big collision between the two saw Jesse Boshoff just manage to hold onto to his machine, while the other rider was not so lucky. The safety bike was deployed while the ambulance attended to the rider who took a big knock to the head. Thankfully not serious and after a good 10-min behind the safety bike racing resumed with team Fire it Up! still holding a commanding lead out front ahead of the now hard charging team Lads on Tour/RideFast with riders Darryn Binder and Tom Booth Amos putting in long, hard, fast 45min stints at just about lap record pace even after close on 7 hours of racing. Dunlop Moto3 slicks were pretty much the tyre choice for all and they impressed with the amount of grip available even after hours of abuse. Only 1 set being used by all the teams for the entire 9-hour race, proving what good quality they are. Team Lads on Tour / RideFast Magazine - Tom Booth Amos, Darryn Binder, Blaze Baker & James Flitcroft. 74 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 RIDEFAST MAGAZINE JANUARY 2020 75