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KTM Duke SA's fuel-sipping champ

2011-09-01 10:46

NAKED AMBITION: Johannesburg resident Reg Gurnell managed a fourth Bike Econorun on KTM’s 690 Duke R.

Peter Burroughes

Reg Gurnell wins RFS Bike Econorun for seventh time

The 30th national motorcycle economy run, organised by the Pretoria Motor Club, has been won for the second successive year by Johannesburg IT specialist and motorcycle racer Reg Gurnell. It was his seventh victory in the event. 
 
Riding a KTM 690 Duke R, Gurnell, who also won class F (single cylinder bikes, any engine size), completed the 1 070km two-day event from Pretoria to Hazyview in Mpumalanga with a fuel consumption figure of 3.31-litres/100km. 

Second overall and first in class A (road bikes up to 800cc, two or more cylinders) was previous winner Peter de la Rey on a BMW F800ST (3.46-litres/100km) with another former winner Denver Biggs on a BMW G650GS (3.61-litres/100km) third overall and first in class D (dual purpose adventure bikes up to 1 000cc).

BMW WELL REPRESENTED...
 
Making up the top 10 were Maans Grobler on a class A BMW F800S (fourth overall), Andre Schoeman (fifth overall on a class F BMW G650GS), Mike Peel (sixth overall on a class A BMW F800ST), former Formula Ford and stock car racer Bobby Scott (seventh overall on a class F BMW X-Moto), Andre du Preez (eighth overall on a class D BMW GS 650), Arnold Olivier on a Triumph Spirit GT (ninth overall and winner of class C for road bikes over 1 000cc).

The first placed female rider Glynese de Villiers, a Kyalami motorcycle riding instructor, was on a Ducati ST45. She finished 10th overall and winner of class B for road bikes 801cc to 1 000cc).
 
Other class winners were:

Class E (dual purpose adventure bikes above 1 000cc): Darryl Berman, BMW R1150GS, 21st overall, 4.87-litresl/100km;
Class H (Cruisers above 1 000cc): Gerhard Schutte, Triumph Thunderbird, 30th overall, 5.23-litres/100km;
Class J (touring bikes with panniers, over 1 000cc): Johan Nelson, BMW R1200RT, 17th overall, 4.52-litres/100km;
Class K (pillion 700cc to 1 200cc): Jerry Paice and Bonita Blankenberg, Gilera GP800, 35th overall, 5.37-litres/100km;
Class L (pillion over 1 200cc): Hennie and Rita ter Stege, BMW 1600GT, 24th overall, 5-litres/100km;
Class M (open class): Jan Glaser, BMW K1200GT, 32nd overall, 5.31-litres/100km.
 
Hennie ter Stege is a top co-driver in the Absa South African Off Road Car Championship and team-mate of former off road champion Hannes Grobler. Together they campaign a BMW X3, and managed to win the punishing Botswana desert race in 2010.
 
Jerry Paice is a regular driver in the Total Blind Navigators Rally Championship and pillion passenger Bonita Blankenberg is his blind navigator.
 
A feature of this year’s event was the awarding of cash prizes to the overall winner and the second and third runners-up in a draw from a hat containing all of the various class winners.  First prize went to Denver Biggs, second prize to Hennie and Rita ter Stege’s son Roelof (who finished second in class C on a BMW K1300S) and third prize to Bobby Scott.

DIFFICULT CONDITIONS REWARDED RIDING SKILL
 
Clerk of the course and former champion off road co-driver Francois Jordaan declared the event a great success: "The weather was good on Friday, but deteriorated on Saturday, with mist and rain in mountain passes along the route making the event very challenging.
 
"It’s a tribute to the skill and responsible riding of the competitors that there were no accidents or injuries and they are to be congratulated on this achievement," Jordaan added.
 
Only three riders failed to complete the event, as a result of bending wheel rims on potholes.
 
Jordaan also thanked the event sponsors, RFS, for their continued enthusiastic support and praised Willie and Edna Fick of Numbi Hotel, who have hosted the competitors for the past seven years, for their generous hospitality. 
 
A raffle conducted by the organisers at the prize-giving at the Numbi Hotel in Hazyview raised over R10 000 for charity.


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