Limpopo 400 final notes

3rd Round of the National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and 2nd Round for Quads 20-21 April 2007 BARRY KRIEL AND JACQUES STRUWIG WINNERS OF LIMPOPO 400 OFF-ROAD RACE Barry Kriel (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM) and Jacques "Boesman"...

3rd Round of the National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and 2nd Round for Quads
20-21 April 2007

BARRY KRIEL AND JACQUES STRUWIG WINNERS OF LIMPOPO 400 OFF-ROAD RACE

Barry Kriel (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM) and Jacques "Boesman" Struwig (Southern ATV Laeger) were the respective winners of the overall motorcycle and quad categories of the Limpopo 400, a round of the national off-road championship that took place in the Polokwane area this past weekend.

Kriel did not participate in the second race of the season due to a shoulder injury from crashing at the opening race in February, but was back in form and started in pole position after the 150km time-trail on Friday. He won the 250cc Class and beat former champion, Clayton Enslin (Natro Freight Indy Oil Beta) who was the Open Class winner with his brother, Spencer Kriel, third overall and second in the Open Class.

It was a different story in the national quad category where Struwig started the race in ninth place almost seven minutes behind Hendrik Potgieter (Can-Am SA Racing) with Juan Coetzee (Quad Revolution Yamaha YFZ450) 21 seconds behind Potgieter. Struwig worked his way through the field and with about 30 kilometres to go before the finish, he was second behind 17-year old Jacques Breedt (ATV Powersport Lonestar Honda). "Boesman" then overtook the talented youngster from Brits to take his first victory since winning the 2005 Roof of Africa while Breedt scored his best result in a national event.

Potgieter was leading the race up to the halfway mark, but lost time when he went on the wrong part of the route. He finished 19th and seventh in the Pro Open Class, but his team-mates, Carl Wichmann and Cornel de Villiers kept the Can-Am SA Racing flag flying high when they finished in third and eighth places respectively.

Wichmann was followed by Vincent Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) and the Bloemfontein scholar, Juan Meyer on the Suzuki LTR450 who is scoring consistently in his first national off-road season. Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing Honda Race Nation TRX450) had to settle for sixth place after he lost about 20 minutes removing wires from his axle 15 kilometres after the start of the main race. Another scholar, Stefan Swanepoel from Louis Trichardt, claimed seventh position with his Honda TRX450 and was only a minute behind former champion, Gunther, with the four-time champion, De Villiers, 50 seconds slower than Swanepoel.

Simon Thesen (Quad Worx Yamaha YFZ450) and Glen Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) finished in ninth and 10th places respectively.

In the motorcycle category Salley's Yamaha rider from Bloemfontein, Wade Blaauw, finished in fourth place and second in the 250cc class followed by Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) in fifth place and third in this competitive class. The privateer, John Webb (La Grange Vervoer Yamaha) finished sixth with Markus Taljaard (KTM) only seven seconds behind him after two days of racing in the Limpopo Province bushveld. Taljaard also took the 200cc Class victory.

And after almost 400 kilometres of off-road racing, Kobus Jonck (ORD Racing Honda) was only nine seconds slower than Taljaard to finish eighth with Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) 36 slower than Jonck. Dick was penalised for missing a marshall point on the time-trail (he missed the refuel point as well) due to confusion with the route markings. He then ran out of fuel and lost a lot of time that saw him starting the main race in 59th place.

Wayne Farmer (Mean Machine Gas Gas) rounded off the top ten with another consistent result - he was only 36 seconds slower than Dick. Five more riders scored points towards the overall championship. Kyle Poppleton (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM) finished 11th and second in the 200cc Class after he experienced problems with contaminated fuel during time-trail and started in 24th place.

Hot on his heals was Wynand Delport (Shimwells Yamaha) who claimed his first 125cc Class victory for the season while Carel le Roux, now on a Honda and part of the ORD Racing Team, finished 13th - a mere 20 seconds behind Delport. Jaco Vermaak (Loerie Yamaha) was 14th and Craig Stone (ECS Alfie Cox KTM) 15th.

It was a close battle in the Senior Pro Championship where Shaun Kirk (Ramco Suzuki) beat Dudley Smith (Husqvarna SA) by only three seconds. Vincent Jordaan (Honda) was third.

In the national quad category Karel Groenewald (Laeger YFZ450) was 11th followed 21 seconds later by Dale Stock (Suzuki LTR450). Dirk Schwenke (Bike Choice Suzuki) was 13th; Naldo Pieterse (Quad Worx Can-Am) 14th and Mark Harrison picked up the last point with his Honda in 15th position.

The first quad rider in the Senior Class was CJ Smith (Can-Am DS650X) with Robert Wagner second also on a DS. Ockert Mans (M&M Racing Shift Suzuki) was third. Amanda Eardly (Can-Am Renegade) won the Ladies Class while Milton Thesen (Quad Worx Yamaha) won the Master Quad Class. Pat Jansen (KTM) was the first Master Class rider home on two wheels.

The next round on the national off-road calendar, is the Vryburg 500 on 8 and 9 June 2007.

-credit: etk

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Series Other rally
Drivers Alfie Cox