GRAY DICK AND SHAUN GUNTHER WON TOYOTA 1000 DESERT RACE Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) and Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing Race Nation Honda) won the motorcycle and quad categories of the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000...
GRAY DICK AND SHAUN GUNTHER WON TOYOTA 1000 DESERT RACE
Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) and Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing Race Nation Honda) won the motorcycle and quad categories of the Toyota Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert Race that took place in Botswana this past weekend.
For Dick, who has won the Vryburg Kalahari Desert Race for three consecutive years and the Mafikeng Desert Race last year, it was a first victory in Botswana and he has confirmed his title as The King of the Desert. He was followed home by Spencer Kriel (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) who was the first rider to tackle the first racing section, but lost time when he got lost. Dick overtook him 40 kilometres before the finish and won the threeway battle in which Kriel's team-mate and 2000 winner of the Toyota 1000 Desert Race, Darryl Curtis, finished third overall as well as third in the Open Class.
In the national quad category, the smaller 450cc powered quads ruled again when Gunther won his second race of the season and his debut Toyota 1000 Desert Race. He was lying second behind Leander Pienaar (Can-Am SA Racing DS650) who led the race after posting the fastest time after the first day's 330 kilometres. Pienaar was leading the race up to about 10 kilometres before the finish when he experienced engine problems and could not finish the race.
Gunther was followed by Vincent Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) who got lost during the first day, but had an uneventful race after that. His younger brother, Glen, posted his best result by finishing fourth overall as well as fourth in the Pro 450 Class. He was only one minute 18 seconds slower over 660 kilometres than Karel Groenewald (ATV Powersport Lonestar Yamaha).
Dirk Schwenke (Suzuki LTR450) was fifth followed by 17-year old Rudolph de Wet (Yamaha 660 Raptor) from Gaborone who crashed a few times, but was unscathed and won the Pro Open Class. Sampie Ungerer (ATV Powersport Lonestar Honda) was the first Senior Class rider home and finished in an excellent seventh place overall.
The top ten was rounded off by Ockert Mans (Suzuki LTR450) who also finished second in the Senior Class. He was closely followed by Carl Wichmann (Can-Am SA Racing) who recovered from a "get-together" in the dust with his team-mate, Hendrik Potgieter. Potgieter bumped into Wichmann and damaged his (Potgieter's) oil tank resulting him in losing a lot of time causing him to finish 14th overall. Izak Mans (Suzuki LTR450) finished 10th overall and third in the Senior Class.
In the motorcycle category, Clayton Enslin (Natro Freight Indy Oil Motorite Beta) finished fourth overall after losing time putting back the radiator covers ripped off by branches. Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) raced without rear brakes for a day and overcome a crash which bent his handlebars to finish fifth overall and winning the 250cc Class.
Second in this class, was another Kawasaki rider, Gavin Louw (The Roost) who finished sixth overall after racing for the best part of the race on day two with a badly injured ankle after hitting a tree stump. Wynand Kleynhans (ORD Linex Yamaha) was seventh, only 45 seconds behind Louw, while Kyle Poppleton (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) was eighth and one minute and 22 seconds slower than Kleynhans. He won the 200cc Class.
The top ten was rounded off by ORD Honda team-mates, Corrie van den Burgh (ORD Honda) with Carel le Roux 14 seconds behind him.
Five more riders scored points towards the overall championship - Laurence Murton (Ramco Suzuki) finished 11th with Kobus Jonck (ORD Honda) 12th and a mere 29 seconds slower than Murton. John Webb (La Grange Vervoer-Yamaha) was 13th and was only six seconds faster than Mark Garland (Team Roberts Racing TMSA) with Casper Badenhorst (Shimwells Yamaha) the 15th rider home.
Andrew Perry (Yamaha) won the 125cc Class for the first time this year while Brian Bader (The Roost Kawasaki) won the Senior Pro Class with Shaun Kirk (Ramco Suzuki) second and Dudley Smith (Bike Find.co.za Husqvarna) third. The Master Class was won by Ian van der Walt (Kawasaki).
National quad competitors scored more points towards the overall and class championships as the 660 kilometres they complete at the Toyota 1000 Desert Race classify it as a marathon event. In the overall championship, Sarel van Biljon (Can-Am) was 11th overall while Stuart Holder (Loerie Yamaha) was 12th and Dale Stock (Suzuki LTR450) 13th. Potgieter was 40 seconds slower than Stock and was followed by his team-mate and former Toyota 1000 Desert Race winner, Cornel de Villiers on the 800cc V-twin Can-Am Renegade who picked up the last point after he lost time due to puncutred tyres.
In the Ladies Class, Karen Wentworth (Auto Motorcycles Suzuki LTR450) beat Amanda Eardly (Can-Am SA Racing Renegade) by a mere three seconds with Tarryn Steyn third on the new Kawasaki KFZ450. Milton Thesen (Quadworx Lonestar) won the Master Class - he beat Speed Quad owner, Kobus Visser (Can-Am SA Racing Renegade) who was second and Roger Barnes (Yamaha).
The next event is the Irvine Bell Off-road Challenge on July, 7 and 8.