Mafikeng Desert 1000 summary

5th Round of the SA National Off-road Quad Championship 6th Round of the SA National Off-road Motorcycle Championship 9 - 11 August 2007 OUTSIDERS VICTORIOUS AT MAFIKENG DESERT 1000 OFF-ROAD RACE Louwrens Mahoney is back! The 2006...

5th Round of the SA National Off-road Quad Championship
6th Round of the SA National Off-road Motorcycle Championship
9 - 11 August 2007

OUTSIDERS VICTORIOUS AT MAFIKENG DESERT 1000 OFF-ROAD RACE

Louwrens Mahoney is back! The 2006 off-road motorcycle champion returned from the USA where he competed in various motorcycle races to win the Mafikeng Desert 1000 on the Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM. The 2004 champ, Hendrik Potgieter (Can-Am SA Racing) won the quad category of this gruelling 1000 kilometre race in the North-West province this weekend.

The battle between Mahoney and multiple desert race winner, Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha) lasted until the third day when the KTM rider overtook Dick who had to settle for second place. Mahoney's team-mate, Darryl Curtis, lost time with a collapsed wheel bearing, but he managed to finish third on an almost standard 250cc KTM.

In the quad category, Potgieter started the first day of the main race in first place, but lost this position and valuable time when he ran out of fuel. Fellow competitor, Jacques Struwig, took the lead on his Polaris Outlaw 525 and gave Potgieter a lift to the fuel stop. Unfortunately, Struwig experienced teething problems with his new Outlaw and Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing RN Honda TRX450) took the lead.

Gunther started the last day as the leader, but a broken gearbox about 50 kilometres into the race saw the end of his race and Potgieter took the lead again and walked away with the laurels after almost a thousand kilometres. He was followed home by Vincent Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) who recovered from crashing into a tree and experienced electrical problems earlier in the race. Privateer rider, Dirk Schwenke (Suzuki LTR450) had a fairly clean race to score the best result of his off-road racing career when he finished third overall.

Another privateer rider, Dale Stock, kept Suzuki's name high when he finished fourth. He was followed by Pieter Breedt (ATV Powersport Bombardier) who made a welcome comeback after injuries kept him from racing this season. It was a race for privateer riders and Francois Jacobs overcome problems with his fuel to finish sixth with his Yamaha Banshee while Stuart Holder (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) was seventh after three flat tyres. Carl Benecke (Bombardier) was eighth and Izak Mans (Suzuki LTR450) won the Senior Class and scored points towards the overall championship in ninth place. Glen Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) finished 10th after crashing on the last day.

In the motorcycle category, three Team ORD Racing riders finished in the top ten - Wynand Kleynhans (Linex Yamaha) scored the best result of his career when he finished fourth overall; Carel le Roux (Honda) was sixth after a trouble free event; Wade Blaauw (Salley's Yamaha) was seventh and Kobus Jonck (Honda) tenth. Championship leader, Spencer Kriel (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) crashed and injured his knee, but still finished fifth overall. Wynand Delport (Shimwells Yamaha) won the 125cc Class and finished in an excellent eighth place overall while Craig Stone (Alfie Cox Adventure Sports KTM) won the 200cc Class and was the ninth rider home.

Kyle Poppleton (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) and Markus Taljaard (Alfie Cox Adventure Sports KTM) had a race long battle with only seconds separating these two 200cc riders. Poppleton was leading until a kilometre before the finish when the KTM engine had enough. Taljaard towed Poppleton to the finish for him to score third place in this class and 12th place overall - Taljaard was 11th and only 13 seconds separated them after almost a thousand kilometres.

A mere 48 seconds also separated 13th placed Theo Potgieter (Ramco Suzuki) and 14th placed Ruan Roberts (Arrow Racing TM) who battled it out on their 125cc powered motorcycles. Another TM rider, Mark Garland (Roberts Racing TM) finished 18 seconds behind Roberts to score the last point in the overall championship.

It was also a matter of seconds for the last few points in the quad championship - Sarel van Biljon (Bombardier) was 11th and 57 seconds behind Glen Loubser while Ockert Mans (Suzuki LTR450) finished second in the Senior Class and 12th overall after a battle with his brother, Izak. Robert Wager (Can-Am SA Racing) was third in the Senior Class and 13th overall while Karel Groenewald (ATV Powersport Yamaha YFZ450) was 14th and Christiaan Liebenberg (Honda) 15th.

Milton Thesen (Quadworx Yamaha YFZ450) and Henk Leenstra (Alfie Cox Adventure Sports KTM) won the Master Class for quads and bikes respectively while Shaun Kirk (Ramco Suzuki) was the first senior motorcycle rider home. Amanda Eardley (Can-Am SA Racing) won the Ladies Quad class.

In the quad category, Can-Am SA racers Leander Pienaar (engine), Cornel de Villiers (crashed) and Carl Wichmann (radiator) as well as ATV Powersport's Juan Meyer (Suzuki LTR450) and Jacques Breedt (Honda TRX450) and Boesman Struwig (Polaris Outlaw 525) did not complete the event. Clayton Enslin (Natro Freight Indy Oil Motorite Beta - engine); Wayne Farmer (Mean Machine Gas Gas - crashed) and Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki - flat tyre) did also not complete the motorcycle section of the race.

The penultimate round of the national off-road motorcycle and quad championship, is the popular Caledon 400 that will take place on 21 and 22 September in the Dewetsdorp area in the Free State.

-credit: www.nwmotorsport.co.za

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Alfie Cox , Craig Stone , Sarel van Biljon