TOUGH BATTLE IN ASHTON: KTM rider Sage McGregor posted his best result so far in 2015 by finishing fifth in E2 (Open Class). Image: DirtRacing
KTM's Graham Hedgcock raced to victory in the Senior Class of the Ashton National Enduro, Round 4 of the 2015 South African National Enduro Motorcycle championship.
The event saw riders take on a gruelling route through the scenic Ashton/Bonnievale area in the Western Cape in what was described by organisers as "one of the toughest events on the calendar".
Hedgcock narrowly beat defending champion William Gillitt (Yamaha) after eight special stages to take his first victory in 2015. Gillitt’s team mate, Bruce May, finished third, followed by Jody Engelbrecht (Yamaha).
May won the class during the Round 2 and is still leading the Senior Class championship with Gillitt two points behind. Engelbrecht is now two points behind Gillitt while Hedgcock remains fourth in the standings.
Thomas Eich (KTM) was fifth, Steven Carr (KTM) sixth, Jason Krause (Husqvarna) seventh, Steve Landman (Yamaha) eighth and Andrew Bowen (KTM) completed the top 10 finishers in the class.
E2 OPEN CLASS
E2 (Open) Class leader Wade Young (KTM) earned his fourth consecutive victory by winning all 11 E2 stages. The Ashston Enduro was his last race before his returns to Germany to continue his international season.
Young’s team mate Scott Bouverie, continued his consistent form with fourth. Despite having bronchitis, Kenny Gilbert (Yamaha) managed a podium finish and Altus de Wet finished 56 points behind Gilbert after crashing during the first Enduro Special, injuring his a leg and his back.
Sage McGregor (KTM) posted his best result so far in 2015 with fifth, followed by Riaan van der Walt (KTM); neither finished the previous round in East London. David Ellis (Husqvarna) was seventh, Mike Wilkinson (KTM) eighth, Stefan Kleyn ninth.
Getting stuck in mud and finishing sixth in E1 in East London was far from KTM's Travis Teasdale’s mind as he steamed ahead this time around to take his third E1 (200cc) victory of 2015. Like Young, Teasdale, won all 11 stages in E1.
The Cross Special, a grass track where spectators were entertained by lots of action, suited multiple motocross champion Richie van der Westhuizen (Yamaha) and he finished ninth in E1.
Teasdale's battle with E1 rival Brett Swanepoel (Yamaha) continued at Ashton with Swanepoel second but keeping his lead in the E1 championship, albeit by a single point. Teasdale’s team mate Dwayne Kleynhans claimed his second podium of 2015 by finishing third, followed by Chayse Orsmond (KTM) and Henco Botha (KTM).
Also in the top 10 were Brandon Warwick-Oliver (Yamaha) (sixth), Dylan Barker (Yamaha) (eighth) with Botha, Warwick-Oliver, Flanagan and Barker close on points during the race.
Ross Blackwell (KTM) rounded off the top 10.
Competitors in the Master Class had to work hard to earn points. In the end it was a fourth victory for newcomer Hilton Hayward (Yamaha) who moved from the Senior Class at the start of the 2015 season. Garth Prost (Husqvarna) posted his fourth podium and moved to second in class with only two races left.
Gideon Malherbe (KTM) competed on a National level for the first time and was third.
Multiple Master Class champion Denzil Torlage (Yamaha) and Shaun Kirk settled for fourth and fifth respectively. Kirk finished eight points behind Torlage after being hit by a rider in the Extreme Special. Steve Botha (Yamaha) was sixth, Carl Rohrbeck (KTM) seventh.
HIGH SCHOOL CLASS
Only one rider in the High School Class championship (14 to 16 years) didn't finish: Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) had mechanical problems and retired. Eduan Bester (KTM) continued his winning streak (his fourth win) with William Oosthuizen (KTM) second.
Daniel van Zyl (Yamaha) was 37 points behind Oosthuizen with Keegan Eich (KTM) fourth and Carl-Reinhardt Cronje (KTM) rounding off the top five.
Calvin Wiltshire (Yamaha) was sixth, Joshua Thorburn (KTM) seventh and Adriano Catalano (Yamaha) eighth. Jeandre Radyn (KTM) added points to his National tally in ninth.
Lloyd Kirk (Yamaha) is unbeaten in the Silver Class Challenge (riders had to complete eight stages) after clinching yet another victory – his fourth in the season. Regardt van Nieuwenhuizen (Husqvarna) is also having a consistent season and posted his fourth runner-up result while Matthew van Niekerk (KTM) was third. Kirsten Landman (KTM) was fourth and Thabang Katees (KTM) fifth.
Competitors will enjoy a two-month break before the penultimate round of the SA National Enduro championship in Estcourt, kwaZulu-Natal, on on July 4 2015.