Mo­toGP on course for elec­tric bike rac­ing


Fast and freez­ing 400 Mar­itzburg’s Wool­ridge and Huxtable emerge Class T vic­tors in chal­leng­ing race Husq­varna rider Brett Swanepoel on his way to win­ning the Dundee 400. CHAR­MAINE FOR­TUNE

Bergmann was hav­ing his first out­ing in a race car for years, and an im­pres­sive per­for­mance saw them come in ahead of broth­ers Jo­han and Werner Horn (Malalane Toy­ota Hilux), who won the sea­son opener in Licht­en­burg.

A misty wind­screen saw the broth­ers beach the Hilux on some rocks with the in­ci­dent cost­ing them two min­utes. Be­hind the Mpumalanga pair, Jo­han van Staden and Mike Lawren­son were de­lighted with the Re­nault Duster’s potential, and af­ter a tricky qualifying race they also made up places.

Gary Bertholdt and Philip Hersel­man (At­las Copco VW Amarok) also ran into prob­lems via a bro­ken rear dif­fer­en­tial and they nursed the car home over the last 100 kilo­me­tres.

They fin­ished eighth over­all and sev­enth in class with the top 10 rounded out by reign­ing Class T cham­pi­ons Ja­son Ven­ter and Vince van Alle­mann and Jac­ques van Ton­der and Le­an­der Pien­aar in a Ford Ranger.

Class S for cars up to four litres with solid axle rear sus­pen­sion pro­vided Richard Leeke ju­nior and Henry Kohne (Ford Ranger) with a maiden na­tional cham­pi­onship vic­tory.

The pair were ham­pered by fuel-pres­sure prob­lems but were com­fort­ably ahead of David Huddy and Ger­hard Schutte in a Nis­san Navara. DUNDEE — South African cham­pi­ons Leeroy Poul­ter and Rob Howie scored their sec­ond vic­tory of the sea­son with a com­fort­able win in the Bat­tle­fields 400, round two of the South African Cross Coun­try Auto Series (SACCS), which ended in Dundee on Sun­day.

The race was run in treach­er­ous con­di­tions with a wet route com­pounded by freez­ing tem­per­a­tures. A lone punc­ture was the only hic­cup for Poul­ter/Howie, who again dom­i­nated the premier FIA class for cars con­form­ing to FIA spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

“It was slip­pery, fast and hairy,” was Poul­ter’s la­conic com­ment at the fin­ish. But apart from the punc­ture the pair never put a foot wrong.

The fi­nal podium place and the win in Class T for cars above four litres with solid axle rear sus­pen­sion, went to Lance Wool­ridge and Ward Huxtable in the Ford NWM Puma Lu­bri­cants Ranger. The pair fin­ished around seven min­utes clear of Wool­ridge’s younger brother Gareth and Boyd Dreyer in a sec­ond Ford NWM Puma Lu­bri­cants Ranger.

In all like­li­hood, this was the first time broth­ers fin­ished in the top two po­si­tions in the premier Pro­duc­tion Ve­hi­cle cat­e­gory in a South African cross coun­try race, with Lance and Gareth ex­tend­ing the Wool­ridge fam­ily’s im­pres­sive legacy in the sport ini­ti­ated by fa­ther and NWM team prin­ci­pal Neil.

Un­for­tu­nately, the tricky con­di­tions SWANEPOEL NOW AIMS FOR LEADER­BOARD PEPSON Plas­tics Husq­varna rider Brett Swanepoel tight­ened his stran­gle­hold on the South African Cross Coun­try Moto OR2 Class Cham­pi­onship with a sec­ond win on the trot at a cold and wet Bat­tle­fields 450 In Dundee, KwaZulu-Na­tal, at the week­end.

Swanepoel took a com­fort­able class win in Fri­day’s pro­logue, where he ended up third over­all, be­fore pow­er­ing through to a three-and-a-half minute main event vic­tory to take over­all vic­tory by al­most six min­utes.

“We are en­joy­ing a great sea­son and Brett did us proud again to­day,” Husq­varna Mo­tor­cy­cles SA brand man­ager Fred Fen­sham said.

“Husq­varna Mo­tor­cy­cles are lead­ing cham­pi­onships in all three dis­ci­plines of Cross Coun­try, En­duro and Mo­tocross, and Brett’s per­for­mance just serves to un­der­line that.”

Swanepoel ad­mit­ted that he still needs to get on the cham­pi­onship board af­ter miss­ing the first round to in­jury and re­tir­ing from race two. This will be his aim at the next en­duro, in Robert­son to­mor­row. — WR. Lance Wool­ridge and Ward Huxtable in the Ford NWM Puma Lu­bri­cants Ranger. caught out Henk Late­gan and Barry White, who failed to fin­ish the race af­ter an end-ov­erend roll dur­ing the sec­ond loop. Although bat­tered and bruised, they were not hurt dur­ing the in­ci­dent thanks to the ex­cep­tional strength of the NWM-built Ford Ranger. Gareth Wool­ridge and Boyd Dreyer set the fastest time out­right for the ses­sion, even beat­ing the faster FIA-spec­i­fi­ca­tion ve­hi­cles, with Late­gan and White fol­low­ing close on their heels in sec­ond place.

How­ever, both crews were sub­se­quently pe­nalised, along with a cou­ple of other teams, for mis­judg­ing a road cross­ing, which didn’t have the oblig­a­tory warn­ing signs placed on the ap­proach to the cross­ing.

Due to the hefty 10-minute penalty ap­plied by the race of­fi­cials, they were rel­e­gated to 10th and 11th places in Class T re­spec­tively, with a mam­moth task await­ing them come race day in an at­tempt to sal­vage cru­cial cham­pi­onship points.

Fifth place over­all and third in Class T went to Hen­nie de Klerk and for­mer South African cham­pion Achim Bergmann in the Trea­sury One/At­las Copco VW Amarok. • The next event on the SACCS cal­en­dar is the Toy­ota Kala­hari Botswana 1 000 Desert Race from June 23 to 25.

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