First enduro sees hot and dusty racing
KZN dirt bikers off to a healthy start with many new names to challenge the top riders
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.