Nicolas Grobler, BMW S1000RR, Unlimited Superbikes

Nicolas Grobler punched another hole in Red Star

For some it is still very early. Although it is not yet breakfast-time, the race stands are already filling up with enthusiastic motorcycle spectators. The first race class readies itself for early morning close competition. The Honda NSF 100 Junior Trophy will make you stand in awe, these tenacious characters are worth every penny. Great future riders in the making. In the meantime I hastily try to make my way across the racetrack to the infield when I unexpectedly stepped into one of those strange looking holes—covering the infield—nearly spraying an ankle. This is not your typical golf course green hole, oh no, still it looks man made to me. Inside a racetrack? Who could have done this? Strange indeed.
Spectators will stand in disbelieve, but there are so many holes out there that a blindfolded amateur golfer can hit a hole-in-one with every swing of the club. With that behind me I move on. Great motorsport photographs await.

Unlimited Superbikes is what we are here for: Nicolas Grobler, Jason Wessels, Stephen Steenkamp and Robert Portman, with the rest of the other Superbike contenders to fill up the starting grid. Let the war begin. At the start of heat one the Joker (my favourite scoot jockey for 2012) finds himself in fifth place (if I can remember correctly, between the hot sun, dust and arid grass) in the motorcycle train, and again in third place in heat two. At first I was very disappointed, totally wrong for me to even mention it. But I kept my faith, reminding myself that this is Nicolas' home turf. Needless to say the boy on his Jo()Way (yes, you read correctly) BMW S1000RR motorcycle, with its blue fuel tank came back with the speed of lightening, leaving the rest almost five seconds in his wake, in both heats.

The Joker (#22) made no farce of it and produced very impressive numbers on this 4km racetrack: Heat one, 01:55.629 and in heat two, 01:55.548, which leaves him with an impressive 125km/h average speed. If you think there are 13 turns and only five straights, then this is very impressive. Nicolas glides through the Red Star turns as if he is guided by some invisible force. Almost every turn and straight are calculated very carefully; his impressive riding style proves to be working. I for one hopes he will also delivers his best at Zwartkops, Kyalami and Phakisa, actually, wherever his superbike is taking him.

Now you will ask me, what does this have to do with the holes? Be patient. Here goes my hole theory: Every time Nicolas Grobler (I would like to call him The Hammer) celebrates his winnings (maybe on practice days as well), he flips his trusted BMW Superbike on its hind wheel on almost every straight—this is his signature style—entertaining the crowd and photographers. And every time that front wheel hits the tarmac after his boastful display, Nicolas punches another hole in Red Star... Awesome! •

Words & Photos: Adriaan & Martine Venter - (Northern Regions Racing, Red Star Raceway, 2012/02/04, 105 images) Main Image: Nicolas Grobler #22, the Joker, BMW S1000RR.