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Off-road Nationals: It's seeding time!

2014-01-30 14:07


2013 CHAMPIONS: Jurie Meyer (quads) and Kenny Gilbert (bikes) will be under pressure from riders who will aim for the championships.. Image: ELZA THIART-BOTES

Seeding Event to determine starting order for Round 1 of the 2014 SA National Off-road Motorcycle & Quad Championship
1 February 2014 (Bronkhorstspruit, Gauteng)

The 2014 National Off-Road championship for motorcycles and quads will kick off on February 1 with a seeding event for the start of the first race of the season.

This fun event will return to Bronkhorstspruit for the second consecutive year and riders will have more than one chance to post a qualifying time.


As in 2013, the start order for each race will be determined by seeding - as in tennis but based on results. This system replaced the time-trial on the Friday before the main race and was one of the major changes made to the traditional National off-road series to make racing less costly for competitors.

Off-road motorcycle and quad competitors will travel from all over SA to compete, organised by the Gauteng Off-road Club (GOC). Quad competitors will have first bite at the 35km loop with entrants in the National series who will open the road from 7am on Saturday.

The event will also determine the start order for the opening round of the Northern Regions championship as well as for the first race of the GOC Series. This means competitors in all three series must post a result and those who are not able to attend will start behind the qualifiers at the first events.

After the qualifying period for the quad riders has expired (10am) it will be the turn of the National Motorcycle competitors who will start at 10.30am. Like the quaddies, they can also try to complete the loop two or even three times before the ‘club’ riders (non-National competitors) start at 12.30pm.

All riders must finish by 5pm.


This promises to be an action-packed day as the organisers expect more than 300 entries. National competitors from as far as Cape Town and Montagu; Port Elizabeth; Kimberley; Bethlehem, Bloemfontein and Ladybrand in the Free State as well as Musina and Hoedspruit in the northern parts of Limpopo Province; kwaZulu-Natal and areas closer to Bronkhorstspruit have already entered and the quiet little town will be a hive of activity over the weekend.

In the motorcycle category, all eyes will be on the former multiple champion Louwrens Mahoney KTM) who will be in action again after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in the first half of the 2013 season. He will be up against the overall winner of the 2013 season and the OR1 champion, Kenny Gilbert (Yamaha) who was involved in a battle for the title with Ruan Roberts (Yamaha) while Altus de Wet (Husqvarna), who finished the season third behind Gilbert and Roberts, will also be back in action.

And while these and other more experienced riders will fancy their chances, they will have to keep an eye on a bursting bunch of young and upcoming riders who cannot be left out of the picture.

Although the quad category receives fewer entrants than the motorcycle category, the competition is as fierce and the championship battle went down to the wire in 2013. Defending title holder, Jurie Meyer (Yamaha) will aim for a hat trick while former champion Brian Baragwanath (Yamaha) would like to change his L2 number to L1, especially as he plans to enter the 2015 Dakar Rally.

John Aylward (Yamaha) finished on the podium after various races but had to settle for third in 2013. He'll be back with a vengeance.


The reliability of the race quads together with the commitment and experience of competitors play a major role in the quad results and combined with the bravery of the younger competitors and the fitness levels, an unpredictable championship is on the cards.

Both the motorcycle and quad categories now boast a High School Class championship for riders aged 14-16 while the ladies competing on two and four wheels can now also aim for a championship title as they will be scored in a Combined Ladies Class championship.

After seeding competitors will travel to Wolmaransstad for the first round of the 2014 championship on March 8. They then have just over a month to prepare for the second round of the series and they will tackle an all new event at Windsorton in the Kimberley area on April 12. Just before the winter kicks in Round 3 will take riders back to Vryheid in KZN for the Bell 400 on May 10. Like the Wolmaransstad race, the Kalahari 400 is also back after an absence of a year or two, but this time competitors will have to tackle this event outside Vryburg in the winter – on June 14.

From the Kalahari in winter to the Free State in spring and from the four longer 360km races to the last two shorter Sprint events to round off the season. National competitors will visit the Frankfort/Tweeling area on August 23 for the first time and will round off their season with the Rysmierbult event near Ventersdorp in North-West September 27.


Spectators are welcome to join in the action and rub shoulders with South Africa’s best off-road bike and quad riders. Enthusiasts will be able to get close to the racing action while food and refreshments will be sold at the GOC Village during the day.

Follow these GPS co-ordinates (S25° 44’ 56.93” E28° 41’ 26.57”) to Schietpoort farm or follow the N4 East from Pretoria and take the Ekandustria / Bronkhorstspruit (West) exit about 14km after the Cullinan toll plaza. Turn left towards Ekandustria and follow the R513 for approximately 2.4km – the race venue and pits will be on the right.
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