LYDENBURG, Mpumalanga - Former multiple National Enduro champion Louwrens Mahoney (KTM) won the weekend’s Liquorland National Enduro, Round 4 of the National Enduro championship.
LOURENS MAHONEY: The former multiple National Enduro champion, aboard a KTM, won the weekend’s Liquorland National Enduro, Round 4 of the South African National Enduro championship. Image: Elza Thiart-Botes
E1 and E2 competitors had to post their fastest times overr 11 dry and dusty special stages that varied from a short, grassy stage to a quite rocky Extreme Special and a longer Enduro Special that took riders into the surrounding hills and mountains.
A broken ankle prevented Mahoney from racing for most of the previous season but he came back to win his first overall and E2 (Open Class) races in 2014 with his 500cc KTM and won two of the 11 Special Stages. Mahoney was followed by team mate Wade Young who won the E1 (200cc Class) for the fourth consecutive time this season.
Young, back from scoring third in the Red Bull Romaniacs event in Romania, crashed on the penultimate stage and lost time but was happy with scoring good points to keep his overall and E1 championship lead.
Altus de Wet (Husqvarna), who also completed the extreme enduro event in Romania, was nine points (seconds) behind Young and took third in Lydenburg. His second in E2 kept his lead in this class. Seven points separated Travis Teasdale (KTM), who was second in E1 and fourth overall, from Blake Gutzeit, racing for the first time in the 2014 National Enduro championship with his new team, Cargo-Tac.
Each of the top five riders claimed at least one Special Stage but Young posted the fastest times after four stages.
Brett Swanepoel was happy to bring home some silverware for his new team, Bidvest Yamaha. He rounded-off the E1 podium and was sixth overall. It was, however, a close call as Dwayne Kleynhans (KTM), who also competed in the gruelling Red Bull Romaniacs, was only five points behind. Kleynhans was fourth in E2.
ERZBERG RODEO INJURY
Swanepoel’s team mate Marc Torlage was back in action after recovering from injuries. He was fourth in E1 (eighth overall) with his team mate Kenny Gilbert rounding off the overall top 10 (he was sixth in E2) after losing time when his Yamaha’s chain came off in the final Extreme Special.
KTM rider Scott Bouverie, still recovering from an injury inflicted during the Erzberg Rodeo in Austria in June 2014, was sandwiched between them but happy to bag some points.
Hento Botha (KTM) posted his best result in his first season in the Senior Enduro series to finish just outside the overall top 10. He was only eight points behind Gilbert to finish 11th and rounded off the top five in the E1 championship.
Brandon Warwick-Oliver (Honda) was 12th overall (sixth in E1); Kyle Flanagan (KTM) was 13th (seventh in E1); James Hodson (Yamaha) 14th (eighth in E1) and Charan Moore (Yamaha) rounded off the overall top 15 (he finished seventh in E2) while his team mate Tim Young scooped the last overall points with 20th (he was ninth in E2).
Kyle Erasmus (Yamaha); Damien Scott (Yamaha) who won a Special; Mauritz Meiring (KTM) and Louw Schmidt (KTM) finished in the 16th-19th overall positions respectively.
There were more victories for the leaders in both the Senior and Master Class championships. Defending Senior Class champion William ‘Wild Will’ Gillitt (Yamaha) extended his lead in this championship with a third victory while Alfie Cox (KTM) claimed his fourth consecutive victory in the Master Class.
In the Senior Class championship Hilton Hayward (Yamaha) strengthened his second place by claiming his fourth runner-up result this season even though only a mere three points ahead of third-placed Bruce May (Yamaha). Franz Czepeck (KTM) finished fourth with Gillitt’s team mate Stephen Landman rounding off the top five.
The battle between Cox, who leads the Master Class championship after three previous victories and defending champion, Denzil Torlage (Yamaha) continued with Cox beating Torlage with 55 points. Garth Prost (Husqvarna) was third with Shaun Kirk (Beta Racing SA) fourth and Richard Cunniffe (Yamaha) rounding off the top five.
It seems the new High School championship will go down to the wire as the battle between Eduan Bester (KTM), who tackled the race as the class leader, and second-placed Chayse Orsmond (KTM) continued at Lydenburg. Orsmond took the championship lead from Bester after claiming his second victory this season.
Bester experienced some bad luck as his KTM rolled down a mountain resulting in him losing a lot of time and having to settle for fourth place. Dean Lindsay (Yamaha) finished second – his best result so in 2014 – with Orsmond’s team mate Daniël van Zyl completing the podium.
Bester eventually finished four points behind Van Zyl with Dalton de Bruin (KTM) rounding out the top five of this championship for riders aged 14-16 who had to tackle eight Special Stages.
Dylan Barker (Yamaha) tackled the Silver Class Challenge on a mission to win the class and that's exactly what he's doing. Two crashes didn't stop Barker from winning this class for the fourth time this season. (At the end of the season, the ‘prize’ for the Silver Class Challenge winner is a free entry for each round of the following season’s National events.)
ENOUGH FOR PLACE
Barker was followed by two Free State riders, Behan Boshoff (KTM) and Christiaan Greeff (KTM). Sage McGregor (KTM) had to settle for ninth place after his chain came off in the Extreme Special but he's scored enough points for him to keep his second place in the Silver Class Challenge while Boshoff has now moved into third.
The fifth and penultimate round of the 2014 National Enduro championship will take place in the Patensie area in the Eastern Cape on September 6 2014.