Dust, dust and some more dust – THAT is what Cargo-Tac Husqvarna Factory Racing’s ALTUS DE WET had to endure at the Windsorton 400, the second round of the SA National Off-road Motorcycle Championship held this past weekend in the Kimberley area in the Northern Cape. This did however not get him down as he clawed his way back to finish on the OR2 (250cc Class) podium and a second place in this competitive class championship was the reward for his patience and perseverance.

DE WET had to tackle the Windsorton 400 from the 12th row (motorcycle competitors started in pairs) as he did not complete the first round of the national championship. A good result at the Seeding Event at the beginning of the season resulted in him not starting even further back. The dusty conditions resulted in him not getting close enough to riders to pass easily and he applied a strategy of ‘racing when you can see and be safe when you can’t see in the dust’.

His patience and perseverance paid off as he worked his way through the field to not only finish eighth overall after the 360 kilometre race, but he scored a second place in the OR2 Class Championship behind the winner (Tyron Miller). The race was won by Louwrens Mahoney.

The former OR2 national off-road champion and defending National Enduro Open Class champion described the route as well marked and enjoyable even though the dry and dusty conditions hindered him for the best part of the race.

“I knew I had to be patient and race with my head,” De Wet said after the race. “There was nothing else I could do. The off-road and enduro seasons have just started and except for the local championships, I also want to compete in a few international events. I cannot risk getting injured and we need the points. That is why I’ve adopted a safe approach,” he explained.

His Husqvarna FE 350 performed without any hiccups and he was satisfied with his speed over the 360 kilometre race that took him just over five hours and nine minutes to complete (his time of 5 hours, 24 minutes 39 seconds includes a 15 minute de-control after the third lap and they had to complete six laps of about 60 kilometres each).

“A huge thank you has to go to my team who has again provided me with the best prepared bike and products. Thank you to all my sponsors for your support. These results will not be possible without your products and support,” he concluded.

“I would also like to welcome our new team-mate, Blake Gutzeit, on board. Mark Garland, Garth Prost and myself are looking forward to working with him and we are sure he will enjoy Husqvarna!” Prost won the Master Class at the Windsorton 400 while Garland finished eighth in OR1 (Open Class).

With the first points on the scoreboard, DE WET now has a month to prepare for the third round of the championship, the BELL 400 that takes place on 10 May at Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal. He will stay fit by competing in various local events and by spending time in the saddle of his Husqvarnas as well as his mountain bike.