OFF-ROAD RACING: FINAL TITLE BATTLES FOR YOUNG COMPETITORS AT WORCESTER
The deciding race for young off-road motorcycle and quad competitors who have been participating in the 2015 Raslouw Academy Junior National Off-road Championship this year, will take place from Brandvlei Cellars outside Worcester in the Western Cape on Friday, 25 September. With four rounds of the season now something of the past and only one of the four class championships already settled, the riders will have to give it their all if they would like to finish the season on a high note.
The BC Juniors will be somewhat different to the four previous races as the juniors will have race day all to themselves. They will not share the day or the pits with the ‘senior’ competitors who will race on Thursday (24 September) and again on Saturday (26 September) with the juniors competing at the same venue on the Friday of this National Braai Day long weekend. The national race will also be combined with a round of the Western Cape Junior Regional Championship and quite a few of the Cape riders will compete in the national series as well.
Looking at the championship standings, it is quite clear that both the Junior 85cc Class for riders between eight and 12 years, as well as the Senior 85cc Class for riders between 13 and 15 years, is still up for grabs and the front runners will feel the pressure.
Matthew Wilson (KTM) has already won twice in the Junior 85cc Class, but the gap to runner-up Armand Fourie (RAD Junior Racing KTM) is not big enough for him to relax at all. The ‘dark horse’ in this championship, seems to be Willie Botes (Barnard Vervoer KTM) who missed one event, but worked himself into the third place after winning the last two races. He has an outside chance to take the title and can do so if he wins the race and Wilson do not complete it at. Wilson has however been very consistent (he has finished on the podium at each race) and the battle between himself, Fourie and Botes will be an interesting one to watch.
Heinrich Aust (KTM) is fourth in the standings and can keep his position or better it if Botes has a mishap. Riders are still allowed to enter, but Cape riders like Kyle Wiltshire (Yamaha), who is leading the regional championship, and Chelsea-Rose (Yamaha) who is second in the regional championship as well as Etienne Zybrands (KTM) have also entered and will be the unknown factors as they have not competed in the national series this year.
The SA National Senior 85cc Class championship title can also go to any of three riders. Stefan van Deventer (Pa Ma Racing KTM) has won three of the four races so far and took the lead halfway through the season. He is however not far enough ahead of second-placed Ryan Pelser (RAD Junior Racing KTM) who can catch him if he makes a mistake. Three podium positions saw Barend Pretorius (KTM) currently in fourth place, but he can overtake Maarten van Jaarsveld who is third, but will not be racing due to an injury. Pretorius is also not too far behind both Van Deventer and Pelser and all three riders will give their best for the title.
Behind them the standings can change as some riders have not entered the Worcester event while a few Cape riders can score good points at their home event. Luke Davis (KTM) and Liam Krause (Kawasaki) will make the trip from Gauteng to the Cape to better their current standings while the Cape’s Dean Gouws (KTM) and Troy Sullivan (KTM), who competed in the national series earlier this year, will also be racing again.
The Junior 65cc Class Championship has already been won by Hayden Tully (KTM) who will unfortunately not be able to compete due to an injury. The rest of the podium positions are still wide open – Kyle Branson (RAD Junior Racing KTM) will aim to keep his runner-up position while Banie Barnard Jnr (Barnard Vervoer Racing Husqvarna), who is third, will also aim for the second place. He can however keep his third place.
So far three local riders have entered the BC Junior race in the national category – Tristan Hedgcock (KTM) who is the class leader of the regional championship series; Stefan Zybrands (KTM) and Matthew Nel Jackson (KTM) will tackle the national series for the first time this year and will all aim for some good results to please the home crowd. They are all also competing in their regional championship.
The organisers of the BC Juniors and the two BC 400 races for the ‘senior’ riders, hope to see more quad entries in the Junior Quad Class where Lindie Barnard (Barnard Vervoer Racing Suzuki) from Carltonville is currently leading the young lady rider from Stella, Megan Stander (Suzuki). Barnard has already won twice and all the pressure will be on her as Stander is just too close for comfort.
The BC Junior race starts on Friday at 8:00 when the national, regional and club motorcycle riders will tackle their 20 kilometre route. They race for two hours. The two-hour race for the young quad competitors starts at 11:00. Kids on 50cc bikes will also be in action and they will race on their own short route for an hour from 8:00 (this does not part of the national race).
Spectators are welcome to view the action that will take place from Brandvlei Cellars just off the R43 outside Worcester (GPS points: S33° 48’ 14” / E19° 28’ 16”).
More info: firstname.lastname@example.org / 082 4588 517 (Elza Thiart-Botes)