ANOTHER WIN: Brian Baragwanath claimed his fifth consecutive victory in the quad category. This means that he will tackle the 2015 Dakar Rally as the 2014 SA National Quad Winner and Q1 champion. Image: DirtRacing
Review: GOC National Off-road
When: 24 August 2014
Where: Frankfort / Reitz area, Free State
FRANKFORT, Free State - A challenging, but scenic route in the Free State tested competitors at the GOC National Off-road, the fifth and penultimate round of the 2014 SA National Off-road Motorcycle and Quad Championship that took place on Sunday (August 24).
While quad competitor, Brian Baragwanath (Yamaha), claimed his fifth consecutive victory, there was disappointment for Ross Branch (KTM) who lost the overall lead in the motorcycle category after he crashed early during the race.
The GOC National Off-road differed from the previous four national events this season in that it was the first 180km Sprint Event whereas the first four races were standard consisting of a total of 360km each. This proved to be a different ball game and the standings after the Free State race predict a nail biting final event in September.
Louwrens Mahoney (KTM) claimed his third victory for the season while his team mate (Branch) had to settle for 11th in the OR1 Championship. Consistency resulted in the defending title holder and OR1 champion, Kenny Gilbert (Yamaha) to move into the overall lead after he finished second, 1min37 behind Mahoney. It was a tight battle at the top with a blanket of only 2min05 covering Gilbert and the three finishers behind him.
Tim Young (Yamaha) had a problem free race to finish third overall and in OR1 with Tyron Miller (KTM) claiming his fourth OR2 victory and finishing fourth overall. It was a tough battle for the OR2 laurels with Jaycee Nienaber (Yamaha) finishing only 29 seconds behind Miller and having to settle for second. Miller’s team mate, Jono van Wyk, posted his best result for the season and rounded off the OR2 podium while he claimed the sixth overall.
They were followed by another two team mates, Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen who raked in yet another Senior Class victory (he finished only seven seconds behind Van Wyk and claimed his fourth win) while Louw Schmidt secured the OR3 title by claiming his fifth OR3 win. He slotted in four seconds behind Van Rooyen resulting in only 11 seconds separating the three Brother KTM riders. The overall top ten was rounded off by Charan Moore (Yamaha) who was ninth with Roan Lindsay (Yamaha) finishing 13 seconds behind him.
On four wheels Baragwanath led the race from start to finish to beat Enrico da Silva (Suzuki) who competed for the first time this season on national level. Andre du Plessis (Yamaha) experienced electrical problems during the river crossings, but rounded off the overall podium and the Q1 championship.
He was followed by Bethlehem rider, David Hollis (Yamaha) who survived a tumble during the race to claim fourth. The Q2 victory and fifth overall was a bonus for Hannes Saaijman (Yamaha) who struggled for kilometres with a broken nerf-bar and no foot peg after he hit a rock. A broken exhaust pipe added to his eventful race.
Like his brother (Enrico), Mikhial da Silva (Suzuki), also mixed up the points after finishing sixth overall at his first national outing this year. Consistency paid off for Senior Class leader, Russell Ferreira (Honda), who claimed his first victory this season (seventh overall) to strengthen his lead in the championship.
He was followed by his team mate, Stuart Freeman (Yamaha) who lost time in a river crossing and finished second in the Senior Class with Ted Barbier (SA) rounding off this podium and finishing 11th overall.
The rest of the top ten consisted of Justin Robert (Suzuki) who was second in Q2 (ninth overall) – his team mate, Chris Pieters (Honda) rounded off the Q2 podium after a crash while Hannes Annandale (Suzuki) finished fourth in this class – with Jaco Moller (Yamaha) a mere 10 seconds behind him after he experienced electrical problems.
Karl Rost (Honda) can be certain of his Silver Class Challenge title after a fourth victory.
In OR1 Travis Gehlig (KTM) rounded off the top five ahead of Kawasaki rider, Dillon Inggs while Hein Jnr van Niekerk (KTM) finished fifth in OR2. In OR3, Bernard McGee (Yamaha) finished second while a split second separated Taki Bogiages (KTM) in third from Wilhelm Schoonfeldt (Yamaha) in fourth. Ian Rall (KTM) rounded off the top five.
In the Senior Class championship, defending champion Pieter Holl (KTM) chased Van Rooyen while Justin Broughton (Kawasaki) rounded off the podium after his first national appearance this year when he beat former champion, Wayne Farmer (KTM) by 47 seconds. Another former Senior Class champ, Guy Henley (KTM) was fifth, 21 seconds ahead of Ian Venter (KTM).
Only three Master Class riders completed the GOC National Off-road with class leader, Adrian Storm (KTM) claiming a hat trick of victories. He was followed by Willem Swiegers (Yamaha) and Jan Berning (KTM). There were four finishers in this class in the quad category where a tight battle and only seconds separated the podium finishers.
Tony dos Santos (Suzuki) scored his first victory of the season when he beat his brother and team mate, Roxy. Peter Schenk (Honda) was leading the class when he had a flat tyre and he had to settle for third. Class leader George Twigge (Yamaha) rolled his quad in the river and was glad to pick up points in fifth.
While there were no finishers in the High School Class championship in the quad category, the battle between the young motorcycle riders continued. Eduan Bester (Yamaha) took the overall class lead when he scored his second victory of the season while there was bad luck for class leader, Brendon Fourie (Kawasaki) who had to withdraw during the first lap due to mechanical problems.
Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) scooped up second with Alastair Drennan (KTM) third; Gerhard Grove (KTM) was fourth and Nicholas Mauerberger (Yamaha) rounded off the top five. Dion Oosthuizen (KTM) finished sixth and Gregory van Mastrigt (Honda) was seventh.
Toni Jardine (Yamaha) won the new Combined Ladies Class championship with the Ladies Quad Class winner (and only finisher), Liezel Barnard (Can-Am) second and Taye Perry (KTM) third.
There was a new Silver Class Challenge winner in the motorcycle category with Johan Lubbe (Yamaha) taking his first victory ahead of class leader, Craig Wishart (Husqvarna). Craig Gregory (Yamaha) was third; Bradley Nortje (Yamaha) finished fourth while Shaun Mostert (KTM) kept his runner-up positions in this class by scoring valuable points with fifth.
The sixth and final round of the championship will take place on September 27 in the Rysmierbult area outside Ventersdorp in the North West Province.