A season to remember!
In Namibian motocross circles the year 2007 will be remembered very positively as each of the eleven races had its highlights. The fact that a foreigner was the overall winner does not hurt, since Ross Branch from Botswana brought the average speed of the Namibians to another, higher level. The unrivaled rider had a positive influence on the sport and knew how to entertain the spectators with wonderful “whips”. And Ross Branch did not take away the national title to Botswana, since he only competed for the “silverware”.
Champion 2007 Michael Barlow, 50cc Class
Because the Omaruru race track is no longer in use, the championship races take place only in Windhoek, Swakopmund, Gobabis and – as of next year - on a new track in Okahandja.
At the beginning of the Wesbank-MX-season the former South African-Champion (he was the one who gave Collin Dugmore a hard time in those years) and multi Namibian-Champion Michael Swanepoel returned to the sport and had some very good races prior to having a serious back injury which forced him to quit for the rest of the season. A couple of other riders also found their way back to MX, namely Heino Windisch, Gino Rossi, Doolie Engels and his son Arno. At the end of the season Heiko Hennes returned and as a highlight: Rainer Becker, who left a good impression during the Red Bull-MX Classic, then crashed at practise for the final Camel MX – Dash for Cash and broke his collar-bone.
Champion 2007 Eric Garbers, 65cc Class
For the last race of the Inter-Series Uwe Sternagel returned to the starting gate in the Clubmen’s Class and proved he hadn’t forgotten a bit. We are looking forward to your comeback in 2008! Hence the Open/125cc Class was very well manned throughout the year. Ronnie Adams could defend his title in the Protagonists Class (Open-Class) by a hairbreadth, while Frank Klosta won the Namibian championship in the 125cc Class.
Other national Champions: Michael Barlow 50cc, Eric Garbers 65cc and Mark Sternagel 85cc. Congratulations!
Champion 2007 Mark Sternagel, 85cc Class
The beer barn and the kiosk in the Pajewski-tower were outsourced to Joker’s Pizzeria & Sports Bar and both sides seem to be satisfied with the arrangement.
The efforts of the WMCC were rewarded with generous support by the FIM/AMU, which included a FIM sponsored ambulance and at the beginning of December Michael Nederlof (Chairman AMU Moto Cross Working Group) surprised the committee of the WMCC with the news that the AMU generously participated in the acquisition of a transponder system.
Champion 2007 Frank Klosta, 125cc
The highlight – like in every season for the past 11 years – was the hosting of the Inter-Series, sponsored by Red Bull and Camel Cigarettes.
Only four weeks prior to the event it became clear that Air Namibia would not continue sponsoring flights. A hard blow, but now the committee concentrated on signing the best riders from southern Africa, by offering a generous starting-money. From Europe came Richard Reid (Scotland), Mart de Jong (Netherlands) and the Germans Benjamin Kolberg, Christof Schade and Carsten Kölling. All Europeans had to organise their own bikes, which wasn’t a major problem. It was a great new concept and it will be indicatory of future Inter-Series. The times when we were able to fly in 30 Europeans are now finally (unfortunately) over.
Champion 2007 Ronnie Adams, Open-Class
Riders from 8 nations namely Angola, Botswana, Sambia, South Africa, Scotland, the Netherlands, Germany and host Namibia, were fighting for points and prize money. The spectators were delighted and some even expressed that it was the best Inter-Series of all times.
After two racing days South African Kerim Fitzgerald was the overall winner, of the title “Namibia International Champion”, followed by Ross Branch (Botswana), Brandon Wheeler (South Africa), Lloyd Vercueil (South Africa) and Mart de Jong (Netherlands). Obviously the various quads-classes also entertained the spectators on a high note but are no “Nationals”.
In the evening the two Czechs Libor Podmol and Mala Bartik showed their Aerobatics during the Freestyle-Show. This was followed by the notorious Jägermeister-Party. On the second racing day a rock concert took place as part of the “Tafel Lager Night”, with Big-Brother darling Stefan Ludik & Band, as well as Double-Trouble and of course DJ Coco.
Thelma Kerim Fitzgerald, Namibia International Champion 2007
Part of an end-of-year review is also that exceptional commitment is mentioned:
This year the couple Melody and Paul Loots definitely stood out. For months they organised the Inter-Series and it’s unfortunate that Paul won’t be available as chairman in the coming year. The year 2007 was a quiet year without stress and the weekly meetings were harmonious without exception.
The WMCC meets on the 5th of december to prepare for the AGM in January and then there will be a two months long break until mid February 2008 when the starter calls up the riders: “Gentlemen, start your engines!”