Despite riding with a hip injury sustained in a big practice crash the previous week, the 14-year-old grade eight Voortrekker High School pupil dominated all three races and was one of the star attractions at the meeting, which attracted the season’s biggest event entry of 256 riders and was held over two days.
On Friday he qualified first, 2,5 seconds ahead of Cape Town’s Dylan Stokes (KTM) and three seconds faster than Gauteng’s Nicholas Phelps. He was first into the first corner and went on to win by a comfortable 10 seconds.
Race two on Saturday morning saw the KwaZulu-Natalian recover from third at the start to overtake both Phelps and Stokes in the first two laps and go on to win by 10 seconds. He overcame a poor start in the afternoon’s race three, where he was fifth into the first corner, to head the field at the end of the first lap and once again take the chequered flag first with a 10-second advantage.
He also rode in one of the MX2 races for riders 15 years and older on 250 cc four-stroke and 125 cc two-stroke machines (compared to the High School class for riders aged 13 to 17 on 125 cc two-stroke machines) and finished an impressive ninth out of 28 riders.
“I’m very happy with the weekend’s results,” he said. “I hurt my hip quite badly and we only decided on the Wednesday before the long weekend to compete in Bloemfontein. I entered the MX2 race, which is open to any rider aged 15 or older, to get some experience against the older and more experienced riders on the faster bikes.”
Van der Westhuizen will next be in action in the fourth round of the MSA national championship in his home town of Pietermaritzburg on September 22.