First round of the Liquorland National Enduro Motorcycle Championship (10 March: Qolora Mouth, Eastern Cape)


Liquorland National Enduro Championship

“Photographer Elza Thiart Copyright 2012 – Preview Red Cherry Riverbed Rodeo Enduro”

A brand new event on the 2012 Liquorland National Enduro Championship calendar, the Red Cherry Riverbed Rodeo that takes place in the Qolora Mouth area at the edge of the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, will open the season on 10 March when motorcycle competitors will test their riding skills against nature at the southern edge of the Transkei.

Running in conjunction with Red Cherry, their charity Touch Africa and the Rover Motorcycle Club, this event promises to deliver all the racing action the Liquorland National Enduro Championship became known for with all the regulars and some new names ready to tackle the 2012 season.

The Kiwi, Chris Birch (Comsol Bell KTM), is back in South Africa for another season of racing and will defend his title while he will also head up the rest of the team consisting of defending Senior Class champion, William Gillit (Yamaha) and youngsters Scott Bouverie and Dom Mantle who will compete in E2 (200cc).

They will come head to head with the Proudly Bidvest Yamaha factory team where the former enduro champion, Jade Gutzeit and defending E2 champ, Marc Torlage would like to come out tops while Denzil Torlage will be defending his Master Class title from under this banner. Kyle Erasmus has also joined the team.
The Yamaha satellite team, Kargo Racing, will again be out in full force where Mark Garland and Timothy Young will compete with Birch in E1 (Open Class) while Bradley van Aswegen will stand his man in E2.

The Brother Broadlink KTM factory team will push quite a big team into the field. Here Dakar hero and enduro specialist, Darryl Curtis will compete in E1 together with Louwrens Mahoney and Gray Dick who would both hope for a better season while Altus de Wet, Riaan van Niekerk and Michael Creevy will aim for the title in E2.

Also in the mix in the extremely competitive E1 Class will be Brian Capper (Red Bull KTM) who has shifted his focus entirely to enduro racing and will be competing against riders like Shannon Frost (FDBR Racing); Stefan Oosthuysen and Wynand Badenhorst (Nomadik Tents KTM); Cape Town riders Graham Hedgcock (Alter Ego KTM Cape Town) and Brett Lewis (Rockgarden Eddy 2 Race); veteran competitor Mark Fox (Wildcoast KTM Umso Ribco) and Kenneth Gilbert (KTM) who has recently returned to South Africa after competing in the USA.

Three of the 2011 junior national off-road competitors, Wade Young (Fever Criterion Yamaha), Blake Gutzeit (Yamaha) and Michael Pentecost (Perry Yamaha) have all moved to the senior series and will compete in E2 where there will be no shortage of talent.
Team Liquorland Racing’s James Hodson; Nick Wade; Chase Bennetts and Robert Hutton will represent the series sponsor in E1 and E2 while Ryan Struckman and Steve Landman will compete in the Senior Class and Spot Martin in the Master Class.

Gillit will again lock horns in the Senior Class with rivals like Landman; the 2011 Silver Class Challenge winner, Dricky Morkel (Nomadik Tents KTM); Bruce Gargan (Fever Criterion Yamaha) and Peter Jung to name but a few. They will all be up against a few less familiar names on the national scene that can upset the applecart.

The battle between Torlage Sr and Mark du Plessis (KTM Cape Town) will continue in the Master Class while Gary Sox Smith will be joining the fray and can add some spice to this fight. Regular entrants, Greg Blackwell (Kargo Racing KTM); Graydon Ilderton (Nomadik Tents); Barries Barnard; Carl Rohrbeck and Roger Clark would all like a piece of the pie and will be in action in this class for competitors older than 46 years of age.

Consistency has proven to be the key in the Silver Class Challenge where a healthy amount of entries has been received. At the end of the season, the winner of this class can move into the national championship the following season and have his/her entry fees paid for.

The race will consist of two loops. Loop A will be 25km long and will include a gnarly special stage while Loop B will be 36km long and will include an mx test. E1 and E2 competitors will have to complete Loop A four times in total and Loop B twice while entrants in the other classes will do the amount of loops according to the requirements of their class.

The race will start at 09h00 on Saturday (10 March) at Qolora Mouth where the service park and finish will also be situated.

The six rounds of the Liquorland National Enduro Motorcycle Championship have been included into Liquorland’s Community Social Responsibility Programme as they would like to give back to those people whose tribal land is being used for the racing as well as to the needy and the under privileged. They will donate food and drinks to the local churches and schools after the events.

(The Red Cherry Riverbed Rodeo National Enduro is a Motorsport SA-sanctioned event.)