The special two-leg series of the International Trophy were run this year at the Day of Champions at Zwartkops Raceway and a week later at Killarney in the Western Cape. Former Superbike contender, Noel Harroff won in convincing style in the first three races on an ultra quick Suzuki GSX 1100 to give the South African team a big points advantage agains the top Scots racers of Ian Simpson, Howard Selby and Gordon Grigor.
Harroff was head and shoulders above the rest on his Black Suzuki having spent a small fortune to tune-up and develop the race bike. His hard-riding style simply blitzed the competition in his wake in the days action-packed race programme at Zwartkops.
One week later, Harroff, was again on pole position at Killarney ahead of Simpson and Ian Macpherson when the checquered flag fell on race one. It was game on for Harroff and Simpson – a former TT winner and UK champion – as they swopped places for the first three laps, but by half distance, Harroff had put space between himself and the flying Scotsman by two seconds. John Kosterman from Cape Town took the other South African place home in fifth spot.
A huge drama played out in race 2 as the pack turned into the first corner. Simpson hit Harroff hard as he took evasive action from another front runner. Harroff had an off-track excursion and worse still, as he recovered, a huge hole in the engine casing meant early retirement and the loss of the series was an inevitable result of the racing accident. Even though he had caught and passed nine riders, his day was done only to see oil covering his boot as his campaign to win ground to a halt.
Simpson meanwhile, had lost only a few places in the altercation, and was back up to second by the end of lap one. He passed Macpherson for the lead on the next lap and never looked back, romping away to win by almost half a minute.
Scottish rider Gordon Grigor (Suzuki GSX 1100), had missed the first race but made up for it by getting the best of a race-long three way dice with Kosterman and Selby that saw them finish in that order within three seconds. McAdam and Nelspruit rider Gary Edwards (Suzuki Katana) finished just a second apart in their battle for seventh, while Leon van den Berg (Yoshimura Suzuki 1100) beat Etienne Louw (Yamaha FZR1000) for ninth spot by 0.367s.