Red Cherry 400 summary

. Darryl Curtis: winner of the National Motorcycle Category of the Red Cherry 400. . Shaun Gunther claimed victory in National Quad Category. CURTIS AND GUNTHER PUT CHERRY ON TOP OF OFF-ROAD RACE IN EASTERN CAPE Darryl Curtis (AGA LG...

. Darryl Curtis: winner of the National Motorcycle Category of the Red Cherry 400.

. Shaun Gunther claimed victory in National Quad Category.


Darryl Curtis (AGA LG Mekatrade Red Bull KTM) and Shaun Gunther (Duncan Racing Race Nation Honda) respectively won the national bike and quad categories of the Red Cherry 400 off-road race held this weekend in the Eastern Cape.

Curtis started the main race of the second round of the national off-road motorcycle championship in pole position after posting the fastest time during the 96 kilometre time-trail on Friday on his 250cc KTM. Weather conditions changed halfway through the race on Saturday and pouring rain turned some sections of the route into a mud bath This did not prevent Curtis from keeping his lead to the finish and he beat his team-mate, Spencer Kriel, by 5 minutes and 52 seconds. Kriel won the Open Class.

The technical type of terrain and difficult route suited the 16-year old Theo Potgieter on his 125cc Ramco Suzuki and he was the third fastest bike competitor after 446 kilometres in the Eastern Cape mountains. Jaco Vermaak (Loerie Yamaha George) claimed second place in the Open Class and scored his best position up to date when he finished fourth overall. Gavin Louw added the fourth manufacturer in the top five when he brought his 250cc The Roost Kawasaki home in fifth place.

Louw and Wynand Kleynhans fought a fierce battle in the 250cc Class and the Kawasaki rider beat the ORD Yamaha racer by a mere 14 seconds after two days' off-road racing. Craig Stone (ECS Alfie Cox KTM) was seventh and won the 200cc Class.

Wade Blaauw (Salley's Yamaha) finished eighth even though he crashed into Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic) during Friday's time-trail. Dick's small toe was dislocated and he chipped a bone in his foot and could not finish time-trail..

Like his KTM team-mates, Curtis and Kriel, Kyle Poppleton also experienced rear brake problems, but he finished ninth and was second in the 200cc Class. He was closely followed by another 200cc Class competitor, Markus Taljaard (ECS Alfie Cox KTM).

Seasoned rider, Wayne Farmer (Mean Machine Gas Gas) missed the top ten by 48 seconds, but reserved the third step on the Open Class podium. Shimwells Yamaha rider Wynand Delport was the second 125cc rider home and finished in 12th place although he beat Swaziland competitor, Laurence Murton (Ramco Suzuki) by a hair's-breadth - only 25 seconds.

Only seconds separated Delport, Murton, Casper Badenhorst (Shimwells Yamaha) and the current 125cc Class champ, Mathew Dean (ORD Yamaha) who fought for the last available points in the national overall championship. Murton was 26 seconds faster than Badenhorst who again beat Dean by 1 minute and 8 seconds.

Unfortunately, local hero, Juan "Bollie" van Rooyen (Sadiba Russell Campbell Kawasaki) skipped one of the race's four loops and was classified as a non-finisher. Clayton Enslin (Natro Freight Indy Oil Beta) started the race in third place, but a broken throttle cable forced him to withdraw.

The Senior Pro Championship was won by local rider, Leon Kempen (Yamaha) while another PE rider, Terry Ranger (KTM) won the Master Class.

National Quad Category Gunther, the 2003 off-road quad champion, took the lead at the halfway mark of the race to beat Vincent Loubser (Loerie Yamaha YFZ450) by 9 minutes and 2 seconds. The 17 year-old Kinross scholar, Juan Coetzee (Quad Revolution Yamaha YFZ450) completed his first national off-road race in third position after only experiencing some problems with a wheel hub.

Leonard dos Santos (Lonestar 440) was fourth and took the same position in the Pro 450 Class after a consistent race and was followed by the young local PE businessman, Dale Stock (Suzuki LTR450) who struggled with his quad's small tyres in the muddy conditions.

The first senior rider, Ockert Mans (M&M Racing Shift Suzuki LTR450) finished sixth overall after losing some time with a flat tyre. Jacques "Boesman" Struwig (Southern ATV Laeger) was the seventh quad rider home and won the Open Class after he wasted time getting lost while leading the race during the first half. Struwig was the last quad competitor who completed the full race distance - competitors were prevented from starting the last 45 kilometre loop in the rainy conditions. Unfortunately the last section was then scrapped from the final results which caused Struwig to loose a position.

The Can-Am SA Racing team experienced somewhat troubled weekend, but three of their riders walked away with points in the bag. Carl Wichmann was eighth (he lost time with electrical problems) and beat his team-mate, Cornel de Villirs, who gave the 800cc V-twin Renegade its first taste of racing, by only 45 seconds. Hendrik Potgieter was 11th after crashing into a pole at the designated service area and destroying the suspension on his DS650. Roof of Africa winner, Leander Pienaar, did not start the main race as engine problems kept him from completing time-trail.

The 17-year old Bloemfontein scholar, Juan Meyer (Suzuki LTR450) rounded off the top ten and scored valuable points after his first taste of the Red Cherry 400.

Rico Coetzee (Honda TRX450) scored points in 12th place as was the second Senior Class rider home; Gerrie Prinsloo (ATV Powersport Lonestar Can-Am) was 13th; Izak Mans (M&M Racing Shift Suzuki LTR450) was 14th after three flat tyre and Paulo Costa (Quad Revolution Yamaha YFZ450) was the last competitor to pick up a point in the overall national championship. Brian Baragwanath (ATV Powersport Lonestar Yamaha) won the time-trail, but took the wrong loop immediately after the start and lost more than an hour. He had to withdrew later due to mechanical problems as did his team-mate, Jacques Breedt, who was also between with the frontrunners.

Amanda Eardley (Can-Am Renegade) won the Ladies Quad Class while Gerrie Keesmaat (Bombardier DS650) was first in the Master Quad Class.

-credit: reofc

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