South African off road championship

After a break of almost three months, young off-road motorcycle and quad competitors participating in the 2013 Junior National Championship, will tackle the Winterberg Junior National in the Hankey area in the Eastern Cape on 17 August. This event forms the third round and the halfway mark of the national season and anything can still happen in the battles for the class titles.

Young competitors between the ages of seven and 17 will travel from the corners of the country – from Richard’s Bay and the rest of KwaZulu-Natal, Matatiele, Gauteng and Rustenburg, Ladybrand in the Free State and the Cape – to compete in the Winterberg Junior National that is being organised by the Rover Motorcycle Club.

In the Open Motorcycle Class, the class leader Damien Scott (Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade) is still recovering from an injury and he will not be competing. This means that the group of riders behind him on the points table stand a chance to catch up to him while the winner of the second event, Travis Teasdale (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing PS TLB Plant Hire) will aim for his second victory. Teasdale could not finish the season opener in Lesotho (Scott won this event) and would like to close the gap to the riders ahead of him.

These riders include newcomers Jason Jones (KTM) who is second behind Scott in the class and only one point ahead of Middelburg’s Mauritz Meiring (McGee Yamaha Lydenburg) as well as Tyler Robins (Yamaha) and the Cape’s Eamonn Sullivan (Yamaha) who are just behind Meiring and sharing the same amount of points.

Winterberg junior national

Scott’s team-mate, Kyle Flanagan, is just behind Robins and Sullivan and will hope for better luck than at the previous race while he will try to stay ahead of Matatiele’s Henco Botha (Pa Ma Racing Kawasaki). With a few names in this class missing on the entry list and only a handful of points separating the front runners, one can expect the top 10 to look totally different after the Hankey event.

The 125cc Motorcycle Class has again been very competitive this season and has also produced two different winners of which local Port Elizabeth rider, Angus Coetzee (Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade) won the most recent event. Coetzee will not only like to produce a good result at this race on his doorstep, but would like to pull away from his team-mate, Dylan Barker, who has won the season opener. They now share the same amount of points. The Cape’s Aeron Thompson (Kargo Racing KTM) is third (Kargo Racing’s Dylan McGovern will be racing in the Open Class while Ross Blackwell is eighth in this class) and he will be chasing the Yamaha riders.

Like in the Open Class where Scott, Jones, Teasdale, Robins and Flanagan are all from KwaZulu-Natal, the 125cc Class is also filled with KZN riders and they are also separated by only a few points after the first two rounds. Like Barker and McGovern, fourth-placed Cullim Symons (Waste / Flowe Pac Yamaha) is also from this province and he is just two points ahead of fellow KZN rider Alex O’Donnell (Criteriona Yamaha Portable Shade) with two more KZN competitors, Chayse Orsmond (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing) and Corbin Lamb (Husqvarna Racing) only one point apart and rounding off the top 10 in this class. Reghardt van Niewenhuizen (KTM) will travel all the way from Ladybrand in the Free State to try and better his seventh place.

All the main contenders in the Senior 85cc Class will be on the starting grid. Dean Lindsay (NUTS Racing / Century Civils Yamaha) leads after two victories, but behind him KZN’s Tristin Asher-Wood (KTM) and Daniel van Zyl (KTM), who have the same amount of points, as well as Lindsay’s team-mate, fourth-placed Eduan Bester (Kawasaki), have all been on the podium this season and will aim to do so again. Calvin Hume (Fast Power Sports Kawasaki) rounds off the top five.

The Junior 85cc Class has received a healthy number of entrants for the first two rounds of the national season and most of them will tackle the Winterberg Junior National. The leading 15 riders in the class have all competed in both events and have scored points resulting in them also being separated by small amounts of points. The leading four riders are all from KZN with Kayde Mante (KTM) and David Odendaal (Pa Ma Racing KTM) sharing the same amount of points after claiming a victory and second place each. Odendaal’s team-mate, Stefan van Deventer (Yamaha) is not too far behind in third place and leads Matthew Green (Kargo Racing KTM) by two points. Eric Mclean (Barnard Vervoer Racing KTM) is again only three points behind Green and currently rounds off the top five.

Only eight points separate the six riders behind Green with Ryan Pelser (RKM Waterjet Profiling KTM) in sixth place; Maarten van Jaarsveld (Yamaha) in seventh; Michael Glockle (Manhand Shimwells Yamaha) eighth; Troy Sullivan (Yamaha) ninth; Erik Merry (NUTS Racing / Century Civils KTM) tenth and Barend Pretorius (Pesty Racing KTM) a single point outside the top ten in 11th place. While the front runners will aim to keep their positions and improve it, the situation can easily change behind them and a change in the current standings are almost a certainty.

Five riders between the ages of seven and 11 have entered the Junior 65cc Class where the current leader, Noah Maartens (Pa Ma Racing KTM) – also from Matatiele – will aim for a hat trick. His team-mate, Shaun Wallis, will compete in his second national event while second-placed Gunter Foit (CFE Racing Husqvarna) and Matthew Wilson (KTM), both from Gauteng and the Cape rider, Max Ledgerwood (Yamaha) will all be competing.

The quad category did not receive many entries, but regular competitors – the girl, Jade Schutte (Perry Yamaha) all the way from Richard’s Bay and Eduan’s brother, Berné Bester (NUTS Racing / Century Civils Suzuki) from Pretoria – will again be in action.

The Winterberg Junior National will start on Saturday (17 August) from the PPC terrain in the Hankey area and will take riders on a scenic route in the area. Riders in the junior category will tackle their two-hour race at 08h30 while the senior riders will race for approximately three hours and will start at 11h30. Spectators are welcome to experience a day filled with racing action!