Roof of Africa season finale preview

LAST ROUND OF THE NATIONAL OFF-ROAD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR BIKES AND QUADS 24 - 26 November 2005 Lesotho . Overall victory can go to any bike or quad rider . Various titles still up for grabs . Traditionally the Roof of Africa brings rain to ...

24 - 26 November 2005

. Overall victory can go to any bike or quad rider
. Various titles still up for grabs
. Traditionally the Roof of Africa brings rain to Lesotho.


The Vodacom Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa, the last round of the national off- road championship for bikes and quads that will take place in Lesotho from 24 to 26 November, is any bookie's nightmare as any of the top bike and quad riders are capable of an overall victory.

Two riders who do not even have to finish as they have already won the overall national bike and quad categories respectively - Clayton Enslin (EPH Shimwells Yamaha) and Cornel de Villiers (Bombardier Speed Quad) - will however also aim for a victory. A victory in Lesotho is however something special and there are various riders who are very capable to do just that at the 38th Vodacom Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa event.

In the national bike category, both the second and third places on the overall podium can still change. Louwrens Mahoney (KTM SA Racing), who is currently second overall, has been the most successful biker this year as he has won three races overall, but he is only seven points ahead of Gray Dick (Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic Car Audio) who would like to score his first victory in the Lesotho mountains.

Geoffrey Wolhuter (Russell Campbell Sadiba Kawasaki) is fourth in the overall championship and also stands a chance to move onto the overall podium while he has also not won this gruelling race before. But the defending champion, Darryl Curtis (KTM SA Racing) who won this race twice in the past including last year when he led from start to finish, is the "mountain goat" to watch out for. Although he has not won an event so far this year, he loves this technical race and would like to end the season on a high note.

The 1999 and 2002 Roof of Africa winner, Elmer Symons, who is currently residing in the USA where he races for KTM, will also be participating although he has just recovered from an injury. Other riders who might cause a stir, is Spencer Kriel (Alfie Cox Adventures KTM); Riaan van Niekerk (KTM SA Racing) who is leading the 200cc Class from Gavin Louw (Shimwells Yamaha) and Hylton Smith (Ramco Suzuki).

If De Villiers manages to win the Vodacom Lesotho Sun Roof of Africa, he will not only add another victory to his three victories this year, but he will become the only quad rider with more than two Roof of Africa victories. His overall title this year also made him the most successful SA national off-road quad rider with four titles (1998, 2001, 2002 and 2005) as well as a Dakar quad victory (2004).

But he will have to fend off a gaggle of riders who have won here before as well as very capable quad riders who would love to win this event for the first time. And as only three riders managed overall victories this year, this will be the last last chance for the rest to clinch a victory in 2005. De Villiers' team-mates, Carl Wichmann and the defending champion, Hendrik Potgieter, who are currently third and fourth respectively in the overall championship, would not only like to win here, but will also defend their positions in the championship. Jacques "Boesman" Struwig (Southern ATV Laeger 350) won this race in 2003 and after his recent victory at Naboomspruit, he would like to better his sixth position in the overall championship and he will have Hennie Michau (Lone Star Honda 500), who is only seven points ahead of him, in his sight.

Michau will however be aiming for his fifth victory in the Senior Class Championship and with some luck, he will be able to keep his title - he is 13 points behind Christo van der Merwe (Bombardier Speed Quad Nelspruit) in the Senior Class battle and Lady Luck will have to choose sides in the mountains.

Veteran rider, Dallie Terblanche (Yamaha Banshee), will again be out there to have fun while it will be a first Roof of Africa experience for the Polokwane scholar, Brian Baragwanath (Yamaha YFZ450) who is eighth in the overall championship as well as for Chris Jarvis (Wilrogate Yamaha YFZ450) who is laying 10th overall.

Kiri Oberholzer (Polaris SA Racing), who dropped to 11th place overall after the Naboomspruit event, will try to get back into the top ten by finishing his first Roof of Africa while Simon Thesen (Lone Star YFZ450) has also been performing consistently in his first national off-road racing season.

The event organisers, the Lesotho Off-road Association, received more than 350 entries that include a handful international riders. And according to the organisers, the possibility of rain during the weekend might make for an even more interesting closure to an exciting 2005 season.


Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Other rally
Drivers Alfie Cox , Darryl Curtis