Eastern Cape 400 summary

MAHONEY AND BADENHORST WON RED CHERRY 400 OFF-ROAD The Eastern Cape saw two Gauteng riders winning the national motorcycle and quad categories of an exciting Red Cherry 400, the second round of the national off-road ...


The Eastern Cape saw two Gauteng riders winning the national motorcycle and quad categories of an exciting Red Cherry 400, the second round of the national off-road championship that took place in the Port Elizabeth and Hankey areas this past weekend.

Louwrens Mahoney (AGA LG/Tyrolit/Mekatrade KTM) and Brendan Badenhorst (ATV Powersport Lonestar) were the fastest two- and four wheeler respectively after a sandy and tiring 78km time-trail on Friday. They kept their lead during the 320km main race in the Hankey area on Saturday and Mahoney won his first race of the season - he also won the 250cc Class - while Badenhorst made it two in a row for 2006 on his Honda while he also claimed the Pro 500 laurels.

Behind them numerous battles took place while a number of bikes and quads had to be recovered and even hoisted from the plantations tens of metres below the route. But it was the local PE rider, Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) who finished in second place in the motorcycle category. He was followed home by the 2004 champ, Darryl Curtis, who struggled with the wrong gearing on his AGA LG/Tyrolit/Mekatrade KTM as he expected a more technical race. Curtis also won the Open Class.

The ATV Powersport Lonestar team-mates, Badenhorst and Brian Baragwanath, walked away with the first two places in the quad category as well as in the Pro 500 Class although Badenhorst suffered two flat tyres while the young Baragwanath had to recover from starting 14th after he crashed during time-trail. They were followed by Hendrik Potgieter (Bombardier SA) who also started the race in third place and won the Pro Open Class.

Johan van Lill (Quadworx VLS) had a consistent race and finished fourth while Ricky da Silva (Lonestar 439) overcome three flat tyres and a broken throttle-cable to score points in fifth place. ATV Powersport Lonestar also walked away with the laurels in the Senior Class as Hennie Michau scored his second class-victory for the season and finished sixth. He was followed by an injured Jacques "Boesman" Struwig (Southern ATV Laeger) who crashed during time-trail and again in the main race.

The rest of the top ten was made up by Danie Coetzer (Polaris SA Racing) who finished in a deserving eighth place; Vincent Loubser (Yamaha YFZ450) who started 26th and Cornel de Villiers (Bombardier SA) who lost time when he went over the edge of the plantation road with his big 800cc Outlander.

In the motorcycle category, Riaan van Niekerk (AGA LG/Tyrolit/Mekatrade KTM) made a welcome - and surprising - come-back after an elbow operation when he finished fourth on his new 250cc bike. The winner of this event last year, Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic), was leading Van Niekerk up to five kilometres before the finish when he made a wrong turn which allowed Van Niekerk to pass him. Dick, who expereinced tyre problems during the event, had to settle for fifth place and second in the Open Class.

There was a fast and furios battle for sixth place and a mere four seconds over almost 400km saw Kyle Poppleton (AGA LG/Tyrolit/Mekatrade KTM) beating another local rider, Richard Blandford (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki). Poppleton was the winner of the 200cc Class.

This race suited the nimble, but powerfull 250cc bikes and competitors in this class filled the rest of the top ten. Gary Barton kept the Ramco Suzuki flag flying when he finished eighth and Gavin Louw was the second Shimwells Yamaha rider home in ninth place although he too was injured after crashing during time-trail. And to top it, he had to fight off Laurence Murton (Ramco Suzuki) who finished only 30 seconds behind him.

And with the KTM, Kawasaki, Yamaha and Suzuki riders home, David Thomas saw to it that Husqvarna finished in the top 15 when he made it home in 11th place. Jaco Vermaak (Yamaha) was 12th; Kenneth Gilbert (Shimwells Yamaha) finished 13th and Wynand Kleynhans brought his Recopane Landscapes Gas Gas home in 14th place. The 125cc Class was won by Wynand Delport (Shimwells Yamaha) who finished 15th. The Senior Pro Class was won by Wayne Smith (ATV Powersport Belcherbuilt).

On four wheels, Carl Wichmann (Bombardier SA) had to fight his way open from 58th to 11th place after he lost valuable time during time-trail with a collapsed rear-shockabsorber. And it was another excellent result for the off-road newcomer, Kabelo Ledwaba (ATV Powersport Lonestar) who won the Sportsman Class for the second time this season on his Honda when he finished 12th. Senior Class riders, Carl Ludeke (ATV Powersport Lonestar) finished his first national off-road race and was followed by another Senior competitor, Rico Coetzee (Honda TRX450). Gerald Malan (Quad Revolution Yamaha Raptor 700) was 15th.


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Series Other rally
Drivers Wayne Smith