Cam­den McLellan won the 85 cc Pro Mini class in round five of the South African Na­tional Mo­tocross Cham­pi­onship near near Mar­itzburg last week­end.

Na­tional cross coun­try bike and quad riders head to the or­chards of Ceres af­ter a long break in rac­ing

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - CHAR­MAINE FOR­TUNE

AF­TER a nine-week break in the 2016 SA Na­tional Cross Coun­try Mo­tor­cy­cle and Quad Cham­pi­onship, riders head next to the Koue Bokkeveld 400 in the Ceres area for the fifth, penul­ti­mate round in the cham­pi­onship.

Many com­peti­tors wel­comed the long break af­ter a tough Toy­ota Kala­hari Botswana Desert Race where they com­pleted the best part of 1 000 km over three days un­der gru­elling con­di­tions, and not com­pet­ing at na­tional level for just over two months, would see them pre­par­ing for the fi­nal on­slaught.

Only mo­tor­cy­cle and quads will com­pete in round five of the SACC KB400, which will be com­bined with the Western Cape Re­gional Cham­pi­onship.

The sixth and fi­nal round, the At­las Copco race in We­stonaria on Oc­to­ber 28 and 29, will again be com­bined with the Don­ald­son Cross Coun­try Mo­tor Rac­ing Cham­pi­onship for pro­duc­tion and spe­cial ve­hi­cles.

To get to the fifth round, com­peti­tors had to take on a va­ri­ety of ter­rain, in­clud­ing the dusty and rocky Kala­hari at Vry­burg, the Bat­tle­fields in a cold KwaZulu-Natal and the iconic three-day marathon event in Botswana’s desert.

At this stage of the cham­pi­onship, the ti­tle con­tenders will know how im­por­tant it is to play it safe while aim­ing for a rich haul of points.

They will also be fully aware of the fact that it is of vi­tal im­por­tance to keep an eye on the num­ber of en­trants as a min­i­mum of 10 starters per class is re­quired at each event for the cham­pi­onship to be valid at the end of the sea­son.

Strong lo­cal com­pe­ti­tion

Re­gional off-road rac­ing is alive and well in the Western Cape and the na­tional events are nor­mally well sup­ported by “lo­cal” com­peti­tors.

This year, quite a num­ber of Cape riders com­peted in the na­tional se­ries. The KB400 also counts to­wards their re­gional cham­pi­onship and al­lows them the op­por­tu­nity to shine in front of their home crowd, while more valu­able points can push them closer to a cov­eted South African na­tional ti­tle.

Cale­don rider Wil­helm Schön­feldt (BCR Ar­row Yamaha Rac­ing) is cur­rently se­cond in the OR3 (200cc) mo­tor­cy­cle cham­pi­onship (only one point be­hind the leader) while an­other Cape rider, Calvin Wilt­shire (Droomers Yamaha), is fifth in this class. Schön­feldt’s team-mate, Al­tus de Wet, who is from Mon­tagu, won this event in 2010 and an­other vic­tory would not only look good, but the points would im­prove his cur­rent third po­si­tion in the OR1 (Open Class) Cham­pi­onship.

Riki Mans (Droomers Yamaha) is lead­ing the Ladies’ Class in the mo­tor­cy­cle cat­e­gory while hus­band and team-mate Izak is third in the 125cc Class D Chal­lenge — a mere eight points be­hind the leader.

Dur­banville young­ster Troy Sul­li­van (KTM) has also moved up af­ter the two Botswana events and is now fourth in the High School Class Cham­pi­onship.

On the quads

In the quad cat­e­gory, Brack­en­fell’s De­wald Theron, who led the stand­ings ear­lier this year, has dropped to fifth in the Open Quad Cham­pi­onship af­ter not com­pet­ing in Botswana.

The par­tic­i­pa­tion of lo­cal quad com­peti­tors, who have not com­peted at na­tional level this year, could see some in­ter­est­ing re­sults in this cham­pi­onship.

Rac­ing in their “back­yard” will also con­trib­ute to the con­fi­dence of the lo­cal riders and the “North vs South Chal­lenge” will add to the ex­cite­ment of the event as will a con­tin­gent of Namib­ian com­peti­tors.

The race head­quar­ters, the start/fin­ish and the des­ig­nated ser­vice point for the SACC KB 400 will be lo­cated at a cen­tral point from where a time-trial will take place on Au­gust 26 to de­ter­mine the start­ing or­der for the next day’s rac­ing.

PHOTO: ESTELLE NIEN­ABER

Cale­don rider Wil­helm Schön­feldt (BCR Ar­row Yamaha Rac­ing) is hop­ing to win one point to lead in the 200cc cham­pi­onship.

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