Event: 2018 Extreme Festival at Zwartkops Raceway

The third weekend in August saw rising superbike star Savannah Woodward in action at the Zwartkops Raceway, Gauteng, as part of the Extreme Festivals series. With ACCELERATE Special Gasoline in the tank, Savannah powered to the podium. Read her report…

Savannah Woodward Races with ACCELERATE Special Gasoline at the 2018 Extreme Festival at Zwartkops

Extreme Festival, Saturday, 18 August 2018

“Friday practice was a very busy day, having to practice on three different motorcycles – the ZX6, the Motard 450cc and the Honda 250cc. First up Friday morning, the ZX6. Unfortunately, there was a persistent problem – it seemed to be a fuel starvation issue, and my team worked furiously to solve it between practice sessions. Alas, my lap times weren’t great. After the last session, though, the problem seemed to be resolved in time for Saturday’s races. During Saturday morning qualifying, however, the problem reared its head again! Nevertheless, I managed to qualify in 15th position. Some more tinkering, and a warm spline on the gear linkage was found and replaced, with the team hoping that the issue had been dealt with once and for all. No luck, though, as I discovered during the first heat! Deciding to ride around the problem, instead of coming back in to fix it, I had an excellent start but was muscled out in the second corner, before making up several places to finish tenth.

I was scheduled to run just before sunset in the second race – this brought its own challenges, the cold and slippery conditions! Still, I had a good start and made up two positions, before the race was shortened and I lost a couple of positions on restart. The result – 15th place, with an overall fourth place for the day in the Sub10A Class and first place in the Ladies Class.

In preparation for my next ride, technicians will be giving this bike a thorough going over to find and resolve the challenges I experienced at this race meeting. One issue we won’t be dealing with, however, a dirty engine – thanks to ACCELERATE Special Gasoline, the engine is running beautifully clean!

Superbike Magazine Short Circuit Series, 19 August 2018

On Sunday morning, it was time for me to take on the Zwartkops Go-Kart Circuit. With the cold weather, I struggled to get heat into my tyres prior to qualifying. I did, however, benefit from a smooth engine, which I put down to our fuel, and I managed to squeak into second position.

Next up, the Motard qualifying, which presented its own bit of drama! Just as I was getting up to speed, I had a nasty high side which sent me spinning head-first into the tyre wall. The crash left me winded and bruised, and with some pulled muscles in my neck and shoulder but, thankfully, no broken bones! The session was red-flagged, I was checked over by the medics and cleared to race on. I decided to put my entire focus for the rest of the day into the Cre8work Ladies Cup to gain championship points to defend my championship lead.

Race One saw me get a good start and catapult into the lead. I lead the race until a lack of grip forced me to make a mistake on the last corner, which sent me back to second position. Although I tried my utmost to close the gap on the race leader, I wasn’t able to regain first position and had to settle for second. But that wasn’t the end of the story, alas – I’d had a slight jump start at the beginning of the race and so was penalised and relegated to third place.

This motivated me to race harder during Race Two – I started in third place, worked my way into second place by the first corner, narrowly missing out on first position before the first corner. I tried passing the leader a couple of times but wasn’t able to make it stick. After an exciting battle, I was pipped to the post, finishing second – but I did record the fastest lap of the race!

The final dice of the day – Race Three, which kicked off with me going into the first corner side-by-side with the winner of the previous race. I exited the turn in second, and a three-way battle ensued which continued for the next four laps before being broken when the trio caught up to a back-marker. As the lead rider passed the back-marker, the rider cut off me and the other rider, separating us from the leader and causing us to fall back. I pushed to close the gap, in the process achieving the lap record but it was a bridge too far and I was beaten into second place. I can hold my head high, though, a podium finish in the all three races, a second place overall, a new lap record for the Crea8work Ladies Class and I maintain my championship lead…all despite the pain in my shoulder and neck from my earlier mishap!

ACCELERATE Special Gasoline for a Smoother Ride

I’m convinced that using a high-quality racing fuel like ACCELERATE Special Gasoline is giving me a smoother ride, which helps me in riding faster lap times. We’ve noticed an improvement in power, as well as basic fuel efficiency, the bikes are running a lot cleaner. ACCELERATE Special Gasoline – Powered by SA Oil is a fuel I highly recommend!”

About Savannah Woodward

Savannah Woodward is one of South Africa’s brightest motorsport stars, and an SA Oil ACCELERATE Special Gasoline brand ambassador. Starting in motorcross and off-road enduro biking at a young age, she made the switch to circuit racing in 2011 and hasn’t looked back. Today, she competes both in Southern Africa and abroad, including racing stints in Spain, Italy and Mexico. Her next short circuit round is at Polokwane on 29 September 2018 – a crucial race meeting as the win for the championship goes down to the wire!

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