Naboomspruit 400 preview

TITLE BATTLES WILL CONTINUE AT LONESTAR RACING PEP NABOOMSPRUIT 400 Except for the 125cc motorcycle class in the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road racing championship for motorcycles and quads, the rest of the titles are all up...

TITLE BATTLES WILL CONTINUE AT LONESTAR RACING PEP NABOOMSPRUIT 400

Except for the 125cc motorcycle class in the ATV Powersport ITP national off-road racing championship for motorcycles and quads, the rest of the titles are all up for grabs and fast and furious off-road racing action can be expected at the Lonestar Racing PEP Naboomspruit 400, the penultimate round of the championship that will take place at Naboomspruit in the Limpopo Province on 20 and 21 October 2005.

The leaders of the national motorcycle and national quad categories, Clayton Enslin (EPH Shimwells Yamaha) and Cornel de Villiers (Bombardier Speed Quad), will be chased by the rest of the riders who are hungry to take their positions.

Enslin, who won the opening round of the season and has been leading the overall championship as well as the 250cc Class since then, can expect serious pressure from Louwrens Mahoney (KTM SA Racing) who won three races so far this season. Mahoney moved into the second place in the overall championship and the 250cc Class and is trailing Enslin by 18 points while Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic Car Audio) slipped to the third position - a mere three points behind Mahoney. Dick, who is leading the Open Class, won this race last year and with a race victory behind his name this season, he would like to set a few records straight.

The only other race winner so far this season, is Geoffrey Wolhuter (Russell Campbell Sadiba Kawasaki) and he would aim for another victory while he would like to get onto the overall points' podium again. He is trailing Dick by seven points while he is leading the defending champion, Darryl Curtis (KTM SA Racing) by 11 points. Curtis is still in search of a victory this season and will add to the chase together with Spencer Kriel (Alfie Cox Adventures KTM); Riaan van Niekerk (KTM SA Racing) who is leading the 200cc Class; Gavin Louw (Shimwells Yamaha) who is second on the 200cc Class and Hylton Smith and Bernard Johnstone (Ramco Suzuki) who are in the Top Ten of the overall standings. Only 14 points separate Kriel (6th overall) from Smith (9th).

Kenneth Gilbert (EPH Shimwells Yamaha) has the 125cc Class title in the bag, but he will aim for his fifth class victory this season. He will, however, have to fight off Juan van Rooyen (Russell Campbell Sadiba Kawasaki) who won this class already twice this year. In the Senior Pro Championship, Brian Bontekoning (KTM SA Racing) has a 100% unbeaten record and is leading Grant May (Ramco Suzuki) by 31 points.

In the national quad category, De Villiers and the winner of four races this year, Brendan Badenhorst (ATV Powersport Lonestar Honda) have pulled away from the rest of the pack although almost any of the top ten riders can spring a surprise on them in the Limpopo Province and win the Lonestar Racing PEP Naboomspruit 400. The blistering fast Badenhorst is trailing De Villiers by 12 points and is still in reach of the overall title while another victory is very much on the cards for him. Bombardier Speed Quad's Carl Wichmann is fourth and 25 points behind Badenhorst while his team-mate, the defending champ, Hendrik Potgieter, is a further 11 points behind him and too far behind to defend his title successfully.

Last year, Tiaan Reynecke (EMD Racing Yamaha Raptor) won this event, but although he is eighth overall, he will not participate as his father past away recently. Riders to watch out for are Hennie Michau (ATV Powersport Lonestar Honda) who is fifth overall and second in the Senior Championship; Dallie Terblanche (Yamaha Banshee) who missed the last event and is three points behind Michau; the consistent Chris Jarvis (Wilrogate Yamaha YFZ450) who is within reach of Terblanche; the Senior Championship leader, Christo van der Merwe (Bombardier Speed Quad) who is ninth and one point behind Reynecke and Jacques Struwig (Southern ATV Laeger 350) who rounds off the Top Ten and is two points behind Van der Merwe. There are a few riders just outside the Top Ten who might just move back into the Top Ten - Kiri Oberholzer (Polaris SA Racing Predator) is one point behind Struwig while Zane Davidson and Ricky da Silva (Yamaha YFZ450) is sharing the 12th place and who are three points behind Oberholzer while Brian Baragwanath (Yamaha YFZ450) is 13th and a point behind the duo ahead of him. Stefan Coetzee (Quadworx VLS Husaberg) finished his first race last month and might also upset the applecart.

The Lonestar Racing PEP Naboomspruit 400 starts on Friday, 21 October at 09h00 with documentation and scrutineering. Competitors will tackle the 55km time-trail from 10h00 and this will determine the starting times and starting order for the main race on Saturday, 22 October. The main race consists of two loops and the fastest quad will start the 118km loop at 07h00 while the fastest motorcycle rider will tackle the 55km loop at the same time. They will change loops at the main service point at the Capensis Farm and will have to finish both loops twice. The leading competitors are expected at the Capensis Farm at the finish at 12h30. The Bushveld area where the race is taking place, is quite dry and dust might play a big role, but the race organisers promised a well-marked event with lots of prizes for the different championship as well as non- championship classes.

-www.ms2000.co.za

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About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Darryl Curtis