Team Shimwells Yamaha Skyoil Swazi preview

1st Round of the SA National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and Quads Off-Road Champion joins Shimwells Yamaha and Ready for More Victories jade Gutzeit, 2003 SA National Off-road and Enduro Champion, joins Team Shimwells Yamaha Team...

1st Round of the SA National Off-road Championship for Motorcycles and Quads

Off-Road Champion joins Shimwells Yamaha and Ready for More Victories
jade Gutzeit, 2003 SA National Off-road and Enduro Champion, joins Team Shimwells Yamaha
Team Shimwells Yamaha's four member team ready to face 2004 SA National Off-road season

The Shimwells Yamaha off-road racing team for 2004 consists of a current champion, a former champion and some possible champions and although the team is smaller than last season, the four riders are ready and prepared to tackle the season head-on at the opening round, the Skyoil Swazi 400 (February 20, 21) in Swaziland.

At the end of 2002, Gray Dick won the National Off-road Championship as well as the Open Class and he finished the 2003 season in the fourth position overall. Dick won the gruelling Kalahari 1000 after he started and finished every day of the three day and 1 000km race in the first position. He was also victorious in the Free State at the Caledon 400, but had to settle for the fourth place at the end of the season.

But for Dick it was no lazy December holiday and he trained hard to be prepared for the 2004 season. He will once again be competing in the Open Class on the powerful Shimwells Yamaha/Panasonic Car Audio YZ450F four- stroke two-wheeler.

And at the end of an extremely competitive 2003 season, it was Jade Gutzeit who walked away with the championship titles for both the SA National Off- road Championship as well as the SA National Enduro Championship. Gutzeit, who spent the 2002 season participating overseas, decided to move to Yamaha and will be competing in the 250cc Class on the Shimwells Yamaha YZ250 two- stroke. Last season, riders in this class dominated the overall championship although they did not win that many races overall and Gutzeit might cause a stir with this smaller motorcycle.

Gutzeit won the opening round of the 2003 off-road season in Swaziland while he was also the motorcycle victor in Hluhluwe and at the end of the season, he took his first Roof of Africa victory in Lesotho. And he started the 2004 season exactly the way he ended off the 2003 season - with a victory. Gutzeit won the first round of the SA National Enduro Championship at Robertson in the Cape.

In 2003 the newcomer to the team, Gavin Louw, showed his potential when he was either leading the 125cc Class or chasing the leader with only one or two points separating them. He eventually finished second in this class. Louw will move up to the 200cc Class where he will participate on a 250cc four-stroke Shimwells Yamaha motorcycle.

And although he entered and finished a few races in the 2003 season, Zac Botha just finished school and schoolwork can not keep him from off-road racing anymore. Botha will be on the seat of the YZ125.

The 2002 Senior Champion, Johnny Lochner, broke his arm at the penultimate race of the 2003 season and will participate in some of the events on the national off-road calendar. He will not be racing in Swaziland.

Team Shimwells Yamaha will be represented in all the classes and will once again, like in the past, show that they can bag the points, the trophies and the championships - even though they are one of the smaller off-road racing teams.

The Skyoil Swazi 400 will start on Friday, February 20, at 09h00 with documentation and scrutineering at Mhlambanyatsi and the first riders can tackle the 65km time trial, which will determine the starting order for the main race, at 10h00.

On Saturday, February 21, the first quad rider will start one of the 350km loops of the main race at 08h00 while the first motorcycle rider will be off at the same time on the other 350km loop.

-www.shimwellsyamaha.co.za

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