First en­duro sees hot and dusty rac­ing

KZN dirt bik­ers off to a healthy start with many new names to chal­lenge the top rid­ers

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - ELZA THIART-BOTES

MY­D­DLE­TON Dam area out­side Creighton in KZN last week­end hosted SA’s top rid­ers in the first two rounds of the Liquor­land Creighton WFO Na­tional En­duro.

Hosted in sunny, but dusty con­di­tions, the WFO Club sent the com­peti­tors around dif­fer­ent Spe­cial Stages over the two days, keep­ing all the rid­ers guess­ing. KTM’s Travis Teas­dale won the E1 for 200 cc bikes against 23 tal­ented rid­ers.

Be­hind Teas­dale came Brett Swanepoel (Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha) with two run­ner-up re­sults, while Bran­don War­wick-Oliver (Liquor­land Rac­ing Yamaha) and Kyle Flana­gan (Ihobe In­ter­na­tional KTM) both claimed a third place

Flana­gan fin­ished fourth dur­ing round one (Satur­day, March 7), but War­wick Oliver suf­fered from cramps re­sult­ing in him fall­ing back to sixth place on the sec­ond day.

In the E2 Class, the de­fend­ing champ, Wade Young (Brother Leader Tread KTM), won af­ter what he de­scribed on Twit­ter as “a great week­end’s rac­ing up in Creighton”.

Young, who has been com­pet­ing in Europe since De­cem­ber, was vis­it­ing his home town in Pad­dock af­ter he couldn’t get a visa for the UK in time to com­pete in the Tough One Ex­treme En­duro that also took place this past week­end.

Young’s team-mate, Scott Bouverie, also made a wel­come come­back af­ter be­ing in­jured since the mid­dle of the 2014 sea­son.

Al­tus de Wet (Al­tus de Wet Rac­ing Sherco) fin­ished 20 points be­hind Bouverie on day one and only 14 points be­hind him on day two. Af­ter the race, De Wet tweeted to thank his crew­man, Shaun Duck­ham, for keep­ing his bike run­ning.

In the Se­nior Class cham­pi­onship chase, the same three rid­ers fin­ished on the podium — they just swopped places af­ter two days of close rac­ing.

Jody En­gel­brecht (Yamaha) cel­e­brated his re­turn to the na­tional se­ries with a victory on the first day and a sec­ond place on the sec­ond, while Bruce May (AgriSales Peak Yamaha Rac­ing) fol­lowed his run­ner-up re­sult up with a victory on the sec­ond day.

De­fend­ing champ Wil­liam “Wild Will” Gil­litt, now also rac­ing un­der the AgriSales Peak Yamaha Rac­ing ban­ner, rounded off the podium on each day — he was only 14 points be­hind En­gel­brecht on day two and 43 points be­hind his team-mate on the first day.

The top 10 saw many new names this sea­son, which set the scene for some ex­cit­ing rac­ing in the Se­nior Class cham­pi­onship for the rest of the year.

Both the Mas­ter Class and High School Class saw dou­ble win­ners at the end of the week­end’s rac­ing. Mas­ter Class new­comer Hil­ton Hay­ward (Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha) scored a dou­ble victory, as did the de­fend­ing High School Class cham­pion En­d­uan Bester (KTM Cen­tu­rion Liqui Moly Rac­ing).

Be­hind Hay­ward, his team­mate, Den­zil Tor­lage, and Garth Prost (Husq­varna Fac­tory Rac­ing) both claimed a sec­ond and third place re­sult.

Bester opened his de­fence of his ti­tle with two wins, but he will have to keep an eye on his fel­low pupils as less than a minute (60 points) sep­a­rated those on the podium. Daniel van Zyl (Yamaha) claimed a sec­ond and a third, while Dean Lind­say (D&H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha) was the run­ner-up on the first day and fourth on the sec­ond day. The Sil­ver Class Chal­lenge podium looked the same af­ter both days with the young Matatiele pupil Lloyd Kirk (Pa Ma Rac­ing Yamaha) claim­ing two vic­to­ries fol­lowed by Reghardt van Nieuwen­huizen (KTM) and Oliver San­toro (KTM).

With two of the six rounds of the 2015 Liquor­land Na­tional En­duro Cham­pi­onship now some­thing of the past and the first valu­able points in the bag, com­peti­tors will have to plan care­fully for the next two rounds that will take place in the space of two weeks — the tra­di­tional KEI En­duro is back and will take place on April 18 in the East Lon­don area in the Eastern Cape, while the La Mont Na­tional En­duro is hap­pen­ing on May 2 at Ash­ton in the West­ern Cape.


Just slide it in so: Un­der­berg’s Bruce May (Team AgriSales Peak Yamaha) is now tied for the Se­nior Class lead af­ter a victory and a sec­ond place at in last week­end’s Liquor­land Creighton WFO Na­tional En­duro.


Wade Young en­joys the hot weather in SA.

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