Bombardier Kalahari preview

3rd Round of the SA National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and Quads Bombardier Speed Quad Ready For Kalahari 1000 Without Dakar Hero The Bombardier Speed Quad team is ready to conquer the Kalahari for the third consecutive time...

3rd Round of the SA National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and Quads

Bombardier Speed Quad Ready For Kalahari 1000 Without Dakar Hero

The Bombardier Speed Quad team is ready to conquer the Kalahari for the third consecutive time even though the defending off-road quad champion, Shaun Gunther, Hendrik Potgieter and Christoph Kuhnl from France will have to race without their team-mate and Dakar hero, Cornel de Villiers.

De Villiers, who won the Kalahari 1000 in 2002 and 2003, is still suffering from a shoulder injury and will unfortunately not be able to score a hat trick. Khunl, a regular visitor from France who has also been participating in the Roof of Africa for the last couple of years, will try to better his result of finishing third overall in this event in 2002.

The Bombardier Speed Quad team has not won an event so far this season, but the reigning champion, Gunther, together with Potgieter are sharing the lead in the Overall National Quad Championship as well as in the Open Class Championship after scoring consistently at the first two events. Gunther made a good start to the season when he finished third overall at the opening round, the Skyoil Swazi 400 on the new Bombardier DS650 with Potgieter taking the fifth place overall. Potgieter then went on to score an excellent second place overall at the last event, the Noodsberg 400 with Gunther filling the fourth place overall.

The Kalahari 1000, a gruelling 1 000km race for off-road motorcycles and quads, moved from Botswana to the Vryburg area in 2002 and Bombardier won both events so far with De Villiers being the undisputed Kalahari King. But both Gunther and Potgieter would like to walk away the victor in the Northwest Province with their best results so far an 11th (Gunther) and 13th place (Potgieter). Last year the 27 year old champion from Cape Town could not finish the event due to mechanical problems while the young Potgieter (22) from Kinross in Mpumalanga was drenched in oil when he finished in the 13th position.

Their guest, Kuhnl, is known for finishing races consistently in South Africa and he might well be an unknown factor in the Kalahari sand.

With almost six weeks between the last national event and the Kalahari 1000, Potgieter also participated in two regional off-road races to test the big, powerful Bombardier DS650 and if his results are anything to go by, a victory is not too far out of his reach. He came second in the Vryburg 200 and won the recent Heilbron 200 that was quite a technical event.

Although the members of the Bombardier Speed Quad team are literally scattered all over the world with the inclusion of Kuhnl for this event, their racing machines are being prepared at the Speed Quad offices and workshop in Midrand. This professional outfit became well-known for their big and powerful yellow quads on which they won the SA National Quad Off- road Championship since 2001. Now racing the all new Desert Storm 650 in the red livery, the Bombardier Speed Quad team might be quite small in numbers, but they keep the trophies and the results flowing in and they will definitely be one of the teams to beat in the Kalahari desert.

The Kalahari 1000 starts on Thursday, 29 April with documentation and scrutineering whereafter the riders had to complete a 65km time trial which will determine the starting order for the first day of the main race. The main race starts on Friday when the first quad rider will leave the starting line at 07h30 and the first motorcycle rider will be off at 08h00. They will leave the starting line on Saturday, 1 May, at the same times.

-bsq-

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