Su­per scenic but rough race

Four new class win­ners from third round of dirt rac­ing

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - ELZA THIART-BOTES

THE route set out by the Natal Off-road Mo­tor Club for last week­end’s third round in the na­tional off-road cham­pi­onship pro­duced nail-bit­ing bike and quad rac­ing. Four new class win­ners emerged from the dust.

Old dogs, same tricks

In the mo­tor­cy­cle cat­e­gory this sea­son, KZN’s Kenny Gil­bert (Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha) claimed his first OR1 (Open Class) victory for 2015, while his team­mate and mul­ti­ple Na­tional En­duro Mas­ter Class Cham­pion, Den­zil Tor­lage, won in the Mas­ter Class.

This de­spite the fact that Tor­lage had not com­peted in off-road rac­ing for many year.

An­other En­duro spe­cial­ist, Bruce May, who, like Tor­lage is from KZN and de­cided to make an ap­pear­ance at the “lo­cal” na­tional event, up­set the ap­ple cart in the Se­nior Class Cham­pi­onship when he walked away with the lau­rels.

Gil­bert was in a battle with the de­fend­ing OR1 cham­pion, Louwrens Ma­honey (Brother Leader Tread KTM), who sur­vived a crash and fin­ished sec­ond. Jonathan Web­ster (Yamaha) claimed his sec­ond podium re­sult for the sea­son by fin­ish­ing third

Like com­peti­tors in OR1, OR2 (250 cc Class) and OR3 (200 cc Class), Se­nior Class com­peti­tors also had to com­plete the full 360 kilo­me­tre race that in­cluded a 60 kilo­me­tre time-trial which determined the start­ing or­der.

A victory for Himeville’s May was ap­pre­ci­ated by his home crowd, while Wayne Farmer (Roost KTM / EC Se­cu­rity) claimed his third run­ner-up re­sult, fin­ish­ing just over a minute and a half be­hind the En­duro rider.

The class leader, Juan “Bol­lie” van Rooyen (Brother Leader Tread KTM), re­cov­ered from a huge crash dur­ing the time-trial to round off the Se­nior Class podium. Jody En­gel­brecht (Yamaha), who had also not com­peted in the na­tional off-road cham­pi­onship be­fore, fin­ished fourth with Justin Broughton (Kawasaki) fifth and Guy Hen­ley (Yamaha) sixth.

In the Mas­ter Class, off-road racer Wade Miller (KTM) fin­ished be­hind the ex­pe­ri­enced Tor­lage de­spite an in­jured rib, with Ian Ven­ter (KTM Cen­tu­rion/Liqui Moly Rac­ing) not too far be­hind in third place.

High school class battle

In the High School Class, Dean Lind­say (D&H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha) also caused a change for the books with his first win for the year.

De­fend­ing cham­pion Ed­uan Bester (KTM Cen­tu­rion / Liqui Moly Rac­ing) fin­ished a mere 50 sec­onds be­hind him af­ter the 240 kilo­me­tre race that saw them spend­ing a to­tal of just over four hours and 18 min­utes in the sad­dle. Bren­don Fourie (Kawasaki) fin­ished third.

In the OR2 class, Louw Sch­midt (Brother Leader Tread KTM) had his sec­ond win, fol­lowed closely by Jaycee Nien­aber (D&H En­gi­neer­ing Works Yamaha), with Cameron Becker (Vans Rac­ing Di­vi­sion KTM) putting his first points for the sea­son on the score­board by fin­ish­ing third de­spite a crash. Brett Cum­mings (KTM) was fourth. The back shock on Shaun Mostert’s KTM col­lapsed dur­ing the last lap and he had to call it a day, while Ni­cholas Pien­aar (Ridge­way Rac­ing Husq­varna) crashed and Nien­aber’s team-mate, Roan Lind­say, broke his wrist.

Brett Swanepoel claimed Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha’s third victory for the day when he scored his third OR3 victory of the sea­son, while Pi­eter­mar­itzburg rider Bran­don War­wick-Oliver (Team Liquor­land Yamaha) made up for not fin­ish­ing in Swazi­land by claim­ing sec­ond place in this ex­tremely com­pet­i­tive class. Jar­ryd Coet­zee (Brother Leader Tread KTM) was third.

Taye Perry (Barnard Ver­voer KTM) won the Ladies Class while Ger­hard Grove (Yamaha) won the Sil­ver Class Chal­lenge. He was fol­lowed by Ni­cholas Mauer­berger (Barnard Ver­voer Yamaha) and Ruan Merry (KTM).

Rough­ing it on four wheels

In the quad cat­e­gory, a flat tyre did not keep Brian Barag­wanath (Proudly Bid­vest Yamaha) from claim­ing his sec­ond 2015 victory in the Q1 Class. He de­scribed the race as a “se­ri­ous adventure that was su­per rough, but with spec­tac­u­lar scenery”. He was fol­lowed by Ste­fan Swanepoel (Yamaha) and Dakar Rally fin­isher Hannes Saai­j­man (Suzuki) who was third.

Moller’s lit­tle sis­ter, Wil­mari (Honda), got stuck in the mud like many other com­peti­tors, but pushed through to fin­ish sec­ond in the Ladies Quad Class be­hind Liezel Barnard, who also took a tum­ble with her big Barnard Ver­voer Can-Am. Jade Schutte (Yamaha) over­came var­i­ous me­chan­i­cal is­sues to com­plete the 300 kilo­me­tre race.

Keenan Ham­mon (KTM) won the High School Class, his sec­ond win for the year, with Ryno Trichardt (Yamaha) fin­ish­ing sec­ond.

In the Se­nior Class Cham­pi­onship, team-mates Stu­art Free­man (PS Di­a­mond Trail­ers Yamaha) and Rus­sell Fer­reira (Hon­das) claimed the first two steps on the podium. It was Free­man’s third victory this year, with both Paul dos San­tos (Suzuki) and Rick van Ton­der (Yamaha) hav­ing to call it a day.

The Mas­ter Class re­ceived a healthy num­ber of en­tries and af­ter be­ing halted by me­chan­i­cal prob­lems in Swazi­land, the de­fend­ing cham­pion, Ge­orge Twigge (Yamaha), took his sec­ond victory of the year. He was fol­lowed by Roxy dos San­tos (Suzuki). Roxy’s older brother Tony did not fin­ish, while Peter Wal­ter (PS Di­a­mond Trail­ers Yamaha) rounded off the podium. Org Gelden­huys (Aba­cus Di­vi­sions Rac­ing CanAm) fin­ished fourth with Ge­orge Michaelides (Yamaha) the last fin­isher de­spite be­ing stuck in a mud hole for some time.

•The fourth round of the Tot­pak Na­tional Off-road Cham­pi­onship will take place at Stella in the Vry­burg area on June 6.


Dar­ren Mcleod clinched a hard-fought fourth place in Mooi River.

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