Altus de Wet (Husqvarna Racing) became the third winner in the 2013 Liquorland National Enduro Motorcycle Championship when he won a wet, slippery and cold ‘KEI National Enduro’, the third round of the championship that took place on Saturday (11 May) at the Spring Valley Farms outside East London in the Eastern Cape. De Wet (28) won all three of the longer special timed stages during a well organised event where only a handful of points (seconds) separated the competitors.
It was De Wet’s second consecutive E1 (Open Class) victory and a first overall win for Husqvarna Racing in South Africa. The Montagu rider beat Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) who had a solid race and also claimed the second place in E1 after completing a race where the route turned into quite a slippery affair due to overnight rain in the area. The overall podium was rounded off by Wade Young (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing) who won E2 (200cc Class) after almost running out of fuel and receiving penalty points. He won two of the short 2.5km motocross-type special timed stages in front of an appreciating crowd.
Penalty points pushed Marc Torlage (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) off the overall podium to ninth place overall (fourth in E2) after he also survived the slippery, but enjoyable route. Two more riders, Kargo Racing Yamaha team-mates Timmy Young and Michael Pentecost, had to settle for positions out of the overall top ten after also receiving penalties and were eventually placed 16th and 20th on the overall standings. Young was ninth in E1 while Pentecost finished eighth in E2.
Brother Broadlink KTM’s Scott Bouverie claimed the second place in E2 and was fourth overall, 65 points (seconds) ahead of Louwrens Mahoney who rounded off the E1 podium. Mahoney, who also claimed a special stage win, lost time during the final regularity section when the mousse and the tyre got off the rim. He eventually accepted the offer of a fellow competitor (Reinhardt van der Merwe) who gave him his own bike’s wheel in the field and enabled Mahoney to finish the stage. Torn ligaments in his thumb hindered Nicholas Pienaar (C3 Roost KTM Expert Sol), but he managed to still finish sixth (fourth in E1), just ahead of James Hodson (Team Liquorland Yamaha) who posted his best result so far this season and rounded off the E2 podium.
Privateer Dwayne Kleynhans (KTM) finished eighth (fifth in E1); Torlage had to settle for ninth with youngster Brett Swanepoel (Team JOAT ccGallery KTM) claiming his third top ten result this season with a 10th place overall (fifth in E2).
Hodson’s team-mate, Nick Wade, posted another solid result and finished just outside the top 10 in 11th place beating Scott Scheepers (Pinetown Gas Gas) by a mere four points (seconds). Michael Creevy (Husqvarna Racing) finished 13th; Kyle Erasmus (Enduroworld Yamaha) was 14th and Brandon Warwick-Oliver (Yamaha) rounded off the top 15. The rest of the top 20 was made up by Wesley Redinger (Husaberg) who had to battle in the back of the field to finish 18th and Dylan Donald (Gas Gas SA Eddy2Race) who was 19th.
Riaan van Niekerk (Brother Broadlink KTM) returned for the first time this season to the Liquorland Enduro Championship, but had some bad luck. He lost time due to a problematic throttle and had to settle for 17th place while Mark Garland (Kargo Racing Yamaha) managed to finish (23rd), but lost time when he drowned his bike. Blake Gutzeit (Sherco Racing) injured his knee again and had to call it a day.
Mahoney’s ‘Samaritan’ was the only Senior Class rider who did not complete the race with the competition at the front as tough as it has been for the last two seasons. The same three competitors finished on the podium for the third consecutive race with defending champion, William Gillit (Team Liquorland Yamaha) claiming his second victory of the season. He had to fight off a determined Bruce May (Yamaha) who was faster after three of the five special timed stages (they posted the same time for one of the stages), but two crashes cost May some valuable time.
The consistent Jody Engelbrecht (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing) rounded off the podium by finishing only 79 points ahead of Matthew Barker (FDBR Racing Yamaha) while local East London rider, Steven Landman (Liquorland Racing Yamaha) rounded off the top five.
Master Class competitors would have liked another go at more special timed stages as their race consisted of two of the shorter motocross-type stages and one long stage. Graydon Ilderton (Nomadik Tents KTM) posted the fastest times at both the short track stages with defending champion, Denzil Torlage (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) winning the longer stage comfortably and claimed his second class victory of the season. Ilderton finished in a respectable second place with regular Iron Man competitor, Richard Cunniffe (Yamaha), competing in his first national enduro and finishing third. Carl Rohrbeck (KTM) was fourth with Greg Blackwell (Kargo Racing KTM) fifth.
The Silver Class Challenge was tightly contested and saw a few local riders competing on national level. It was however Kokstad’s Junior National Championship competitor, Damien Scott (Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade) who claimed his third consecutive victory with his closest rival in the series, local East London rider Sage McGregor (Peri Wildcoast KTM UMSO Ribco) having to settle for fifth place. Chad Hill (KTM) finished second; Wayne Janssen (KTM) was third and Simon Warne (KTM) fourth.
Kirsten Landman (Brother Broadlink KTM) was the only female competitor and finished sixth despite still recovering from a broken toe.
Travis Teasdale (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing Portable Shade) won the National Junior Class Challenge.
The fourth round of the 2013 Liquorland SA National Enduro Motorcycle Championship will take place on 27 July in the Pilgrim’s Rest area in Mpumalanga.