Bike/Quad Irvine Bell summary

FIRST VICTORIES THIS SEASON FOR SPENCER KRIEL AND LEANDER PIENAAR Victories for Spencer Kriel (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) and Leander Pienaar (Can-Am SA Racing) were on the cards the whole season and it happened at last at...


Victories for Spencer Kriel (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) and Leander Pienaar (Can-Am SA Racing) were on the cards the whole season and it happened at last at the Irvine Bell Off-road Challenge in the Empangeni area in KwaZulu-Natal this past weekend.

Kriel, who is still leading the overall motorcycle category, led the race from the start to the finish to claim his first ever national off-road victory while he also won the Open Class. He was followed home by the local Richards Bay youngster, Theo Potgieter (Ramco Suzuki) who also won the 125cc Class in front of his home crowd. Potgieter beat third placed Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) by a mere 12 seconds over 330 kilometres.

The cards fell right for the winner of the 2006 Roof of Africa, Leander Pienaar, who broke down with the chequered flag almost in sight at the recent desert race in Botswana. He won the national quad category and was followed by his three team-mates, Hendrik Potgieter, Cornel de Villiers and Carl Wichmann. Like Potgieter, Wichmann was also leading the race at one stage, but he lost time with a broken sub-frame that caused damaged the rear shock canister.

The overall championship and Pro 450 Class leader, Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing RN Honda TRX450) finished fifth overall after not feeling too well for the best part of the race. He won the class and was followed by Simon Thesen (Quadworx Yamaha YFZ450) and Bloemfontein youngster, Juan Meyer (Suzuki LTR450) who raced with a damaged exhaust pipe for the best part of the race. Yamaha YFZ450 riders completed the top ten with Stefan Swanepoel; Karel Groenewald (ATV Powersport) and Glen Loubser (Loerie Yamaha).

In the overall motorcycle category, the competition was fierce with Darryl Curtis (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) finishing only one minute and eight seconds behind Dick. He won the 250cc Class and was followed by Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) also ensured that four manufacturers (KTM, Suzuki, Yamaha and Kawasaki) finished in the top five.

Only nine seconds separated Van Rooyen from 200cc Class winner, Kyle Poppleton (Mekatrade AGA LG Red Bull KTM) who beat another local Richards Bay rider, Marcus Taljaard (ECS Alfie Cox KTM) who was seventh and second in the 200cc Class. Taljaard's team-mate, Craig Stone, was eighth and beat ninth placed Wynand Kleynhans (ORD Racing Yamaha) by just 26 seconds after 330 muddy kilometres mostly between sugarcane. Swaziland rider, Laurence Murton (Ramco Suzuki) rounded off the top ten.

Three more Team ORD Racing riders scored points towards the overall championship - nine seconds separated Corrie van den Burgh (Honda) and Wade Blaauw (Yamaha) in 11th and 12th places respectively with Carel le Roux (Honda) 15th overall. Casper Badenhorst (Shimwells Yamaha) scored his best result for the season by finishing 13th overall while Gavin Louw (The Roost Kawasaki) was 14th.

Just outside the top ten, two youngsters proved a point on their 125cc Yamaha's - Nicholas Pienaar and Andrew Perry (Yamaha) finished 16th and 17th respectively.

The Senior Pro Championship was won by Brian Bader (The Roost Kawasaki) followed by Shaun Kirk (Ramco Suzuki) and Kingsley Nurden (ECS Alfie Cox KTM). Heine van der Walt (KTM) won the Master Class.

In the quad category four riders scored points towards the overall championship on their Suzuki LTR450's - Kyle-James Holburn (Suzuki SA LTR450) scored his best this season by finishing 11th overall while the consistent Dale Stock was 12th; Dirk Schwenke finished 13th overall and Ockert Mans was 15th and won the Senior Class ahead of his brother, Izak, who was 16th.

Jacques Breedt (ATV Powersport Lonestar Honda) fought his way back to 14th place after loose bolt on the steering column caused him to loose valuable time and positions. Lady Luck turned against Vincent Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) who could not score points towards the overall championship due to electrical problems. Yamaha YFZ450 rider, Brian Baragwanath, who experienced clutch problems, towed Loubser home.

The Ladies Class was won by Vryheid rider, Amanda Eardly (Can-Am SA Racing) followed by Tarryn Steyn (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) and Karen Wentworth (Auto Motorcycles Suzuki LTR450). Milton Thesen (Quadworx Yamaha YFZ450) beat Speed Quad owner, Kobus Visser (Can-Am SA Racing) to claim the Master Class.

And after a relative short national event (330 kilometres) professionally organised by Tuskers Motorsport, riders are now getting ready for the Mafikeng Desert Challenge that will take place from 9 to 11 August over three days and almost a thousand kilometres.


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