Peter Lindén – South African Classic TT Champion.!

Peter Lindén scored four straight wins in the SA Classic TT series held over the last two weekends at Zwartkops and Killarney. Linden fought off challenges from Graeme Van Breda and Rod Gray at both events to come out on top of the 33 bike field. This was Peter Lindén’s first visit to South Africa, and riding the same Sweatshop Phase One Suzuki GSX1230 on which he finished the ECS Aragon 4 hrs race, he mastered the conditions quickly and matched the pace of the locals at both circuits.

In each of the races there were two classes; the pre-1983 and the pre-1989. The series champion was determined by the rider achieving most points, irrespective of which class he competed in.

Races one and two which were at Zwartkops, on the outskirts of Pretoria and were not easy affairs, with local star Rod Gray making forceful challenges, finishing within a couple of seconds behind Lindén in each.  They finished one and two in both pre-1983 races. Bill Simpson scored creditable thirds.

In the pre 1989 races, circuit specialist Noel Haarhoff and Graeme Van Breda made it a one-two in each leg , with Gavin Ramsey holding off Ian Simpson, on John Wheatman’s XR69, for a pair of thirds. Ian finished fourth with Ian MacPherson in fifth.

At Killarney the battles resumed, this time with Linden being pushed all he way by Rod Gray, who finished just two second down in race one.  In race two the challenge was weaker after Gray crashed on the slowing down lap of the first race.

In the second pair of pre-1989 races Ian Simpson and Graeme Van Breda scrapped tooth and nail right to the line, with Van Breda taking the honours on both occasions.

Peter Linden received his trophy from outgoing champion ( and Phase One team mate ) Ian Simpson at the post race prize giving, which coincidentally was on Lindén’s Birthday … a great present after a faultless performance.

Final Championship positions

Peter Lindén             P&M Suzuki    GSX1230             56 points
Graeme Van Breda   Suzuki              GSXR                  52
Rodney Gray            Suzuki Katana  GSX1100             48
Ian Simpson             Suzuki XR69    Bandit 1100         42
Noel Haarhoff          Suzuki               GSXR750            36
Gavin Ramsey          Suzuki              GSXR                  36
Bill Simpson             Suzuki              GSX EFE 1100   30
Alan Duffus             Yamaha             TZ750                  27
Fergal McAdam       Suzuki Katana  GSX 1100            26
Ian Mac Pherson      Suzki                 GSXR                  22

Snippets –

Oil – anyone who imagines that classic bikes are bad for oiling circuits really should have seen some of the many classic car races held over each weekend. With no sump catchtanks and hard racing it really was bad.

Austin Healey- Anyone interested in 3-litre Healeys would be interested to know that there were at least four of the Chatham family at Killarney, including old man John, of DD300 fame. Those who remember John Chatham cars on Pigsty Hill in Bristol will probably be aware of DD300, the Healey that John Chatham campaigned for decades from the early 1960s until it was sold just five years ago. It was THE most famous racing 3000.

Temperature – both races were held during the current South African drought and heatwave, which saw race day temperatures in the low to mid 30 degree Cs.

Marchant Engineering – Ray Marchant performed excellent mechanic duties alongside Russell at both meetings

Meercats – running across the circuit at Zwartkops – a genuine hazard

Continental –  Big thanks to Graeme Matcham for the supply of the tyres which astounded the local racers who had not seen grip like this before

Next – Valencia test 28/29th March

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