Former Suzuki 500cc GP rider Sean Emmet is to ride the 2013 three-round South African Class TT series aboard a 1976 Suzuki RG500 Mk6.
Emmet, who partnered former World Champion Kevin Schwantz in the Lucky Strike-backed Suzuki 500 GP team, will be part of the Team Classic Suzuki squad run by British businessman and Grand Prix enthusiast Steve Wheatman - and managed by former Suzuki factory technician Paul Boulton - in the series that runs throughout January and February.
The current British 500GP CRMC champion will pilot Suzuki's iconic 70's classic that dates back to the days when Suzuki dominated the 500 GP's and an era that saw factory rider Barry Sheene lift two world titles before the end of that decade.
The "SA Classic TT Racing Series" has now been running for five years and recreates a golden era of South African motorcycle racing when the likes of Sheene, Grant, Agostini, Read, John Cooper, Ray Pickerel, Chas Mortimer and many more GP stars travelled to South Africa over the Christmas period to race in the sunshine. Although the current version of the SA TT has been running longer than the 1970's series, the trophy for the ultimate SA TT Champion dates back to 1922, when a racing series - also called the SA TT - took place on public roads in the Eastern Cape.
The series is divided into three classes; up to 1975, up to 1984; and up to 1988. It is open to any racing machine qualifying in those categories. There are six races over three circuits, with two races each at the Aldo Scribante circuit in Port Elizabeth, Zwartkops Raceway near Pretoria; and the final two races at the famous Kyalami GP circuit in Johannesburg.
Emmet's entry into the current SA Classic TT Series isn't the first time a Suzuki RG 500 has entered the series. Last year, Mick Grant (pictured) won the overall title on the same 1984 factory RG 500 he used to win his final appearance at the Macau GP, and is also the same machine that Sheene raced at the end of his last-ever GP season. Grant's South African TT win came 39 years after his first win in the 1973 "SA TT" held on the old Roy Hesketh circuit near Durban.
The races take place on January 26th (Port Elizabeth), February 3rd (Zwartkops) and February 9th (Kyalami).