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.