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Wade_Young_leads_E2championship_after_3_wins.jpgA wet and challenging KEI National Enduro produced new winners this past weekend and as the 2015 Liquorland National Enduro Championship reaches the halfway mark, a few new championship leaders emerged. This means that an exciting second half of the season can be expected with round four already taking place in two weeks in the Western Cape.

The popular KEI National Enduro has always been quite a testing race, but rain in the Spring Valley area where the race took place, resulted in the route becoming slippery with treacherous climbs and wet rocks  and the riders had to show real ‘vasbyt’ and determination to finish the event. Lady Luck also interfered and the updated championship standings after the East London event will see new class leaders and new chasers.

In E1 (200cc Class), Travis Teasdale (Brother Leader Tread KTM) lost lots of time in the sixth of the eight Special Stages when he got stuck in a mud hole. He posted the fastest time for the day in the 2.4km Extreme Special, but had to settle for the sixth place in E1 and lost his lead in this class championship to Brett Swanepoel (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) who took the victory at East London. The tight course and increasing difficult racing conditions resulted in many riders not finishing the regularity sections within the prescribed times and receiving penalty points. In E1, only Swanepoel did not get any penalty points.

Teasdale’s team-mate, Dwayne Kleynhans, finished second in E1 despite receiving penalties as did Kyle Flanagan (Ihobe International KTM) who rounded off the E1 podium despite a huge crash on the last lap. Brandon Warwick-Oliver (Team Liquorland Yamaha) was fourth with Henco Botha (KTM) fifth.  Ross Blackwell (Kargo Racing KTM) was seventh with another of Teasdale’s team-mates, Jarryd Coetzee, eighth. Blackwell’s team-mate, Tim Young (Yamaha) was ninth despite the pain from a fractured thumb while motocross expert, Richie van der Westhuizen (Yamaha) finished 10th after struggling on the last lap with a bent sprocket that was missing seven teeth.

The current E1 champion, Wade Young (Brother Leader Tread KTM) scored a hat trick of victories when he claimed his third consecutive E2 (Open Class) win of the season. Young, who was injured during a race two weeks ago, had a problem free race and was followed home by his team-mate, Scott Bouverie with Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) finishing third for the day. A bent front brake disk hassled Altus de Wet (Altus de Wet Racing Sherco), who finished fourth, during the 13km Enduro Special on the last lap. Bronson Louw (Husqvarna Factory Racing) was fifth while Louw’s team-mate, Blake Gutzeit, finished sixth. He is currently visiting South Africa to sort out his visa to continue his international racing.

The rest of the E1 top ten consisted of Nick Wade (Liquorland Husqvarna) who finished seventh; Louwrens Mahoney (Brother Leader Tread KTM) who was eighth; Nicholas Pienaar (Ridgeway Racing Husqvarna) finishing ninth and scholar William Oosthuizen (KTM) who was 10th.

The three rounds of the Liquorland National Enduro Championship produced its third winner in the Senior Class while the championship lead has also changed after the weekend. The defending Senior Class champion, William Gillitt (Team AgriSales Peak Yamaha) settled the score at the KEI National Enduro by claiming his first victory of the season. This will however not change his current standing (third) in the Senior Class championship, but it will move him closer to his team-mate, Bruce May, who is now leading the championship. May finished second in East London and Jody Engelbrecht (Yamaha), who won the season opener, is now lying second behind May after finishing third this weekend.

The Senior Class produced close racing with Engelbrecht, who started the race as the combined class leader with May, posting the fastest times in the class after two of the five stages. He finished only 61 points (seconds) behind May. Gillitt also took two victories with Graham Hedgcock (KTM Cape Town), who finished fifth after losing time with a damaged bike, also winning a stage. Local East London rider and former SA Trials Champion, Mark Fox (KTM) claimed fourth place.

The conditions took its toll on Senior Class competitors and four riders had to call it a day. There were however points for Thomas Eich (KTM) who was sixth; Stuart Harvey (Yamaha Support) who finished seventh; Gonubie rider, Steve Landman (Team Liquorland Yamaha) who was eighth (only 58 points behind Harvey); Steven Carr (Roost KTM EC Security) finished ninth and East London’s Chris Lindhorst (KTM) who rounded off the top ten.

Like Young, there was also a hat trick for Master Class championship leader, Hilton Hayward (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) who has moved from the Seniors to the Master Class at the beginning of the season. Hayward was followed by his team-mate and former champion, Denzil Torlage, while Garth Prost (Husqvarna Factory Racing)  kept his third place behind Hayward and Torlage in the championship by finishing third at ‘The Kei’. Steve Botha (Team AgriSales Peak Yamaha) was fourth with Shaun Kirk (Beta Liqui Moly Racing SA) fifth after a frustrating ‘nothing-went-right’ day in the saddle. Carl Rohrbeck (KTM) was sixth and the last Master Class finisher to receive the chequered flag.

The defending High School Class champion, Eduan Bester (NUTS Racing / KTM Centurion) continued his winning streak with yet another victory in this class where the young competitors between the ages of 14 and 16 had to show their mettle during this gruelling event. Daniel van Zyl (Yamaha) finished second after experiencing problems with a broken throttle casing while Keegan Eich (KTM) – the son of Senior Class rider, Thomas – posted his first podium result this season by finishing third. He beat Dean Lindsay (D&H Engineering Works Yamaha) by only one point (second), but Lindsay kept his third place in the High School Class Championship behind leader Bester and Van Zyl in second place.

Carl-Reinhardt Cronje (KTM) was fifth with Lindsay’s team-mate, Adriano Catalano, sixth – only one point separated Cronje from Catalano – while Joshua Thorburn (KTM) was seventh and Jeandry Radyn (Time Freight / KTM Cape Town) finished eighth.

The Silver Class Challenge received a healthy amount of entries from a variety of competitors – from experienced national riders to younger and more inexperienced riders. There was no stopping the Matatiele scholar, Lloyd Kirk (Pa Ma Racing Yamaha) who earned his third victory of the season while youngster Regardt van Nieuwenhuizen (KTM) finished as the runner-up. Former national rider, Stuart Gregory (FDBR Racing) was third with East London’s Simon Warne (KTM) fourth and lady rider, Kirsten Landman (Brother Leader Tread KTM) fifth.

Competitors will now only have less than two weeks to prepare themselves and their bikes for the fourth round of the 2015 season, the Ashton National Enduro, that takes place on May 2nd from the La Montagne Deli in the Asthon / Bonnievale / Montagu area.


Issued: 19.04.2015

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