Vettel, Alonso: Why F1 pilots scorn risk

Formula 1 drivers, ahead of the first Russian GP, have answered as a consequence to the crash-marred Japanese GP questions about race safety.

Bianchi crash casts pall over Sochi

The paddock at the Sochi Autodrom is not a happy place. Drivers' thoughts, reports ALAN BALDWIN, are more on fellow driver Jules Bianchi's condition than Friday's practice sessions.

Girls get rough in Desert race

2013-07-04 12:31

TOUGH COOKIES: Adi du Plessis, Liezel Barnard (centre) and Chardri Monk at the Uis event in Namibia.Image: Supplied

ELZA THIART

BOTSWANA - Two races, two days, two different winners doesn’t sound like much but could you ride 250km a day, battling extreme terrain, on a quad?
 
The competitors pulled out all the stops as they battled it out in the Ladies' Quad Class Challenge at the Mantshwabisi desert race in Botswana. The National series visited that country over June 20/21 for the third and fourth rounds of the 2013 National Off-Road Quad championship season.

TOUGH TERRAIN

The competitors had to cover about 250km a day it wasn't easy. The route consisted of sandy tracks between thorny bushes and some rocky sections while dry and dusty conditions forced them to be even more cautious.

Businesswoman and mother from Carletonville, Liezel Barnard, 36 (Can-Am), strengthened her lead in the Ladies Quad class after adding 45 points to her tally. She won the class in the third round on Day 1 and finished third in the fourth round after ending up in a donga and having to manoeuvre her heavy 1000cc four-wheeler out.

A consistent victory and second place gave 22-year-old Adi du Plessis of Polokwane second in class. Landing second during the previous day’s race gave her 47 points.

CHALLENGING RACE


A cracked engine casing resulted in East London student Chardri Monk (22) not finishing her first day in the desert. She put up a brave fight on Day 2 – surviving  a tumble and a wrist injury – to bring her KTM home second home in the second place, just behind Plessis after racing for almost five-and-a-half hours. She is now 20 points behind the Polokwane rider.

Only six of the seven events will count towards the title at the end of the season. At this stage Barnard has finished all the races and will have to get rid of a handful of points whereas both Plessis and Monk could not finish a race and can therefore ‘drop’ those results.

Three weeks before the ‘marathon’ event in Botswana, all three girls also competed in the FIM Africa Continental championship in Uis, Namibia. Team South Africa won the B9 Team Championship (Ladies Quads) after Plessis finished second and Barnard third in the class after an extremely tough event.

‘The Mantshwabisi’ also counted as a round of the Southern African Off-road Challenge and again the three ladies came out tops by finishing in the same positions as in the South African National series.

These girls have proved that no race is too tough for them and that they never give up – even with engine problems, crashing or ending up in a ditch.

The next round of the 2013 series takes place July 20 in the Vryheid area in KwaZulu-Natal.

NEXT ON WHEELS24X
Read more on:    botswana

Read Wheels24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside Wheels24

THE FALL COLUMN

'Hey! Where did all my petrol go?'

Are automakers taking car owners for a ride? And are fuel consumption figures just for laughs? DAVE FALL finds out if we're all just being misled?

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.