Podium fin­ish for SA quad

The Witness - Wheels - - RACING -

ROSARIO — Mul­ti­ple South African cham­pion Brian Barag­wanath gave South Africa its se­cond podium fin­ish with third place in the quad cat­e­gory on the Dakar Rally.

Barag­wanath, on the Team Rhide SA Yamaha, won the 13th and fi­nal spe­cial stage to ce­ment his podium place.

It was a race where ex­treme high and low tem­per­a­tures, along with heavy rains, pro­vided com­peti­tors in the quad and mo­tor­cy­cle cat­e­gories with a stern test of stay­ing power. The South African fin­ished be­hind Ar­gen­tinian brothers Mar­cos and Ale­jan­dro Pa­tronelli, with Rus­sian Sergei Karyakin and Ar­gen­tinian Gon­za­lez Fe­ri­oli fourth and fifth.

The top five were all rid­ing Yama­has, with Barag­wanath mak­ing a fast start that in­cluded se­cond place on stage two, and a win on spe­cial stage three.

Barag­wanath then ran into prob­lems with punc­tures and me­chan­i­cal is­sues drop­ping him down to 10th place at the end of the first leg.

The four-time South African cham­pion soon started to rapidly haul in the rid­ers ahead of him. The Pa­tronelli brothers were se­cure at the front of the field, but Barag­wanath’s se­cond leg charge sealed his podium place.

At the half­way stage two other Team Rhide SA com­peti­tors, Ge­orge Twigge (13) and Ted Bar­bier (30) were also in the top 30. Twigge was an early ca­su­alty on leg two of the race and dropped out with me­chan­i­cal prob­lems on stage nine, with Bar­bier hang­ing in to fi­nally fin­ish 21st out of 23 clas­si­fied fin­ish­ers.

The bike cat­e­gory was won at the se­cond at­tempt by Aus­tralian Toby Price, on a KTM, ahead of Slovakian Ste­fano Svitko (KTM) and Chilean Pablo Quin­tanilla on a Husq­varna. Kobus Pot­gi­eter, on a KTM, was the lone South African bike sur­vivor. Pot­gi­eter, who will turn 50 in June, stuck gamely to the task and was clas­si­fied 80th.

Le­sotho rider Wes­sel Bosman was forced to re­tire be­fore that half­way mark af­ter a crash on stage six.

PHOTO: MATT SMITH

Team Rhide SA Yamaha’s Brian Barag­wanath.

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