Limpopo 400 preview

LIMPOPO 400 National Off-road Race for Motorcycles and Quads 20-21 April 2007, Polokwane, Limpopo Province . Curtis (bikes) & Gunter (quads) would like to stay in front . Exciting off-road racing action expected . Lots of spectator view ...

LIMPOPO 400
National Off-road Race for Motorcycles and Quads
20-21 April 2007, Polokwane, Limpopo Province

. Curtis (bikes) & Gunter (quads) would like to stay in front
. Exciting off-road racing action expected
. Lots of spectator view points

THRILLING OFF-ROAD RACING ACTION EXPECTED AT LIMPOPO 400 THIS WEEKEND

Thrilling racing action presented by South Africa's top off-road motorcycle and quad racers at a brand new racing venue close to Polokwane in the Limpopo Province with valuable championship points up for grabs - this will add to an exciting Limpopo 400, the third round of the championship for motorcycles and the second for quads that will take place this weekend.

After his victory at the last race, Darryl Curtis (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM) is leading the overall motorcycle category and Open Class and is five points ahead of his team-mate, Spencer Kriel, who is again five points ahead of the 16 year-old leader of the 125cc Class, Theo Potgieter (Ramco Suzuki).

The winner of the opening round of the season, Riaan van Niekerk (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM), has broken his shoulder and has not been racing since, but is currently fourth overall and shares this position with Loerie Yamaha's Jaco Vermaak who has been scoring consistently.

Two former champions who had their share of bad luck this season, Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) and Clayton Enslin (Natro Freight Indy Oil Beta), would hope that the new venue will bring about a change of fortune. Dick was involved in a crash with another competitor during the previous event and a foot injury prevented him from completing the event. A broken throttle cable on Enslin's Beta prevented him from scoring at the previous event and although they are currently lying in fifth and seventh places respectively overall, they would like to move up the leader board.

Gavin Louw (The Roost Kawasaki), Wayne Farmer (Mean Machine Gas Gas), Craig Stone (ECS Alfie Cox KTM) and Wynand Kleynhans (ORD Yamaha) will all travel to the Limpopo Province knowing that they are in the top ten while Stone and Louw are the leaders of the 200cc and 250cc Classes respectively.

There are, however, a few riders whose names are normally between the frontrunners and who are currently not there and they will do everything in their power to change the situation. Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) and Kyle Poppleton (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM) will be between those who would invite Lady Luck to tackle the Limpopo 400 with them.

Competitors in the national quad category have only raced once this season with former champion, Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing Race Nation Honda) who made a welcome comeback to off-road racing by winning the opening event on their calendar.

The battle between the smaller 450cc powered quads in the Pro 450 Class and the more powerful quads in the Pro Open Class will continue in the Limpopo Province. Riders in the Pro 450 Class are currently filling the top five places with Ockert Mans (M&M Racing Shift Suzuki LTR450) in sixth place and leading the Senior Class.

Vincent Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) is second overall while the 17 year- old Juan Coetzee (Quad Revolution Yamaha YFZ450) is third and five points behind Gunther. Leonard dos Santos (Yamaha YFZ450) and Dale Stock (Suzuki LTR450) is fourth and fifth respectively.

Jacques "Boesman" Struwig (Southern ATV Laeger 350) is leading the Open Class and is seventh overall followed by two more Open Class riders - Carl Wichmann and Cornel de Villiers, both racing for Team Can-Am Racing SA on the DS650 and Renegade 800. Juan Meyer (Suzuki LTR450) is filling 10th place with former champion, Hendrik Potgieter (Can-Am Racing SA) in 11th.

Like in the motorcycle category, a few names are missing in the top order including Potgieter, who finished second after the 2006 season and his team- mate, Leander Pienaar, who won the 2006 Roof of Africa, but who could not finish the first race of the year due to engine problems. Local Polokwane rider, Brian Baragwanath (ATV Powersport Lonestar YFZ450) finished third in 2006, but could also not score points at the first event. He would not only like to impress his supporters, but also to bag some valuable points in both the Pro 450 Class and the overall championship.

The brothers from Brits, Pieter and Jacques Breedt, will be outsiders to watch out for while Yamaha YFZ450 riders, Glen Loubser (Loerie Yamaha) and Simon Thesen have also scored consistently in the top ten in the past.

The new event has levelled the playing field and the off-road motorcycle and quad racers are eager and very capable to tackle this new race in the Limpopo Province which means that the crowds will be entertained by quality racing action.

The Limpopo 400 will start with a time-trail (100 kilometres for quad racers and 135 kilometres for off-road bikers) on Friday, 20 April, that will start and finish at the Meropa Sun about five kilometres outside Polokwane.

The main race will start at 8h00 on Saturday morning (21 April) at the Meropa Casino and will finish there during the afternoon. Bikers and quad competitors will compete separately on two loops and will cross over after completing their first loop twice to complete the second loop also twice.

-credit: etkomm

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Series Other rally
Drivers Alfie Cox