FNB-Trophy goes to Botswana again
Seven races, seven wins! This goes for our guest from Botswana, the pro Ross Branch
. Ross already rode in Germany for renowned racing teams such as Kawasaki Elf Team Pfeil, Bodo Schmidt-KTM and Sturm Racing Team. His ever success in Namibia is therefore predictable. He likes the Namibian racing tracks and the professionally organised events. Of course he is keen on the popular after-parties as well! Therefore he takes on the burden of travelling to and fro in order to participate in every single Namibian MX-race. His latest victory wasn't unexpected, but apart from that, the racing day held a couple of surprises in store. And all that in front of the eyes of the representatives of First National Bank, the generous sponsor!
It all started with the 50cc Class when for the first time the winner of the day was not Michael Barlow
. He had to accept William Smith's superiority in two heats! Michael fought like a lions, his dad spurred him on, ran alongside his son's bike, sweared, demanded… Michael gave all he had… it wasn't enough on that day! Esranel Becker
, the only "girly" in that category made a sensational 3rd place.
But there were even more surprises: In the 85cc Class KTM-rider Mark Sternagel continues to call the shots but Jaco Loots
is picking up pretty quickly. Mark isn't able to shake him off as easily as in the past and Jaco just stays put. When Mark crashed in the second heat, Jaco grabbed his chance and was gone before Mark realised what happened. In the FNB-King of the Dirt however, the 11year old Mark showed his true spirit when he raced against the best riders Namibia has to offer and came 5th. This is a most remarkable achievement! Eric Garbers who rides in two categories, is the third 85cc-rider on the rostrum, ahead of local hero Schalk Louw from Swakopmund.
The Clubmen's Class has attracted a few more participants and even the star from the 1990's - Butzer Störmer - was part of the fun! Mark Ratheiser gave all he got this time and won with a maximum number of points ahead of Billy Heigan and Iwan Esterhuizen.
Start Open/125cc Class
In the Kings' Class, the Open/125cc Class Ross Branch on his fast Kawasaki won with a flawless maximum number of points. The Namibian favourite Frank Klosta already crashed his Yamaha in the first heat and broke his collar bone. This resulted in a tough duel between Ronnie Adams
and Arno Engels on his fast Honda. Ronnie's Suzuki malfunctioned in the first head and he had to continue the race with a spare bike. Arno just waited for this chance and he finished the following two races with a 2nd place behind Branch. In the end Adams and Engels both called 47 points their own, but Engels' better achievement in the FNB-King of the Dirt awarded him his overall 2nd place. As I have already predicted after the previous race on Gallina: Henry O'Kennedy
is the man who has developed most in this class. His solid racing style rewarded him with a noteworthy 4th place. Eckhard Hall
's 5th place is also excellent. Another rider worth mentioning is Rudi Brandt, who after a year long break due to a hipjoint-fracture, is back with a formidable 6th place.
Overall results Open /125cc Class:
- Ross Branch, Botswana, Wreckers-Campbell Kawasaki, 60 points
- Arno Engels, Windhoek, Investment Cars-Honda, 47
- Ronnie Adams, Windhoek, Jägermeister-Suzuki, 47
- Henry O’Kennedy, Windhoek, Tomar Construction-Honda, 39
- Eckhard Hall, Swakopmund, Coastal Racing-Honda, 28
- Rudi Brandt, Swakopmund, Coastal Racing-Honda, 27
- Heino Windisch, Walvis Bay, Coastal Racing-Honda, 27
- Ruhan Gous, Windhoek, Coastal Racing-Honda, 26
- Sascha Becker, Windhoek, Uwe’ Autoelectric-Honda, 21
- Jose Texeira, Angola, Muxima-Honda, 18
Now let's move on to the Quads-races which are extremely popular with motorsport enthusiasts. Michael Behnke assumed leadership in the Quads-Clubmen's Class. Michael won the initial heats and landed on an excellent 3rd place in the FNB-King of the Quads race. Wolfgang Rohl came in 2nd, ahead of Jamie Renecke.
The Quads-Ladies-Class ended in a sisterly showdown. Maike Bochert won ahead of Bollie Bochert. Cee-Anne Greyling with the same number of points as Celene Adams
, grabbed 3rd place.
Eugene Slippers won the Quads-B-Class up to 240cc, Ecki Spoerer came in 2nd and Alfred Kohne 3rd.
The "stars" ride in the Quads-A-Class over 240cc and it seems like nothing is getting past the new superstar Dirkie Baard on his superfast Honda-Quads. Ronnie Adams
on the Jägermeister-Suzuki-Quads secured himself 2nd place and Fanie Steenkamp
on his reliable USN-SuzukiNamibia-Quads came in 3rd. We've sort of witnessed a change of generations.
Very popular is the kindergarden-class, the Mini-Quads. Joane Steenkamp won the preceding races like it was nothing, but in Swakopmund she had to accept defeat against Jay-Em Tredoux and Sune Garbers. That was a bitter pill to swallow.
A heartfelt Thank You goes to the main sponsor First National Bank of Namibia, all helpers, the RUNDENZÄHLER, and the officials from the NMSF. Without their support a major event such as this, would not be possible.