Ross Branch wins ASTRA-Cup
The family Goldbeck deserves nothing but respect for this great racing day. They have organised it as a family project, in which every family member had a part: bartending in the beer-tent, jumping castle for the kids, watering of the track, everything was organised and the WMCC (Windhoek Moto Cross Club) was extremely satisfied.
Ross Branch from Botswana took part as a guest rider in the Open/125cc Class to test this new track. I’ll say it as it is: Three starts, three wins maximum on points for Branch.
Ross Branch (BOT)
Nevertheless, one could observe really exciting sport. Tommi Gous took the lead in the first heat but was passed by Branch in the second lap already. These two were followed by Rainer Becker and Björn Bierbrauer, and Björn beat the ex-champion in the southern bent. In the meantime, Gous had to call it a day due to a malfunction in his radiator system. Frank Klosta crossed the finish-line ahead of Ruhan Gous who showed a strong performance. What an exciting start-off.
Rainer Becker won the holeshot in the second heat but had to make way for Branch during the first lap already. Becker withstood the pressure from behind for one lap but then had to give in to Tommi Gous and Bierbrauer. Now this heat was dominated by the duel between Gous and Bierbrauer, but behind them it got exciting as well. During the eighth lap Frank Klosta was able to pass Becker (as we heard later on, Becker got sand inside his goggles, which got into his eyes everytime he jumped). Jaco Loots, the climber from the 85cc Class displayed a world-class performance when he fought off Ruhan Gous’ strong attacks for 5 laps. During the eleventh lap, Ruhan shot passed him and stayed in front of Loots for two laps, before Loots in turn grabbed the lead just 100 metres in front of the finish line! Branch won, ahead of Tommi Gous, Bierbrauer, Klosta and Becker.
Tommi Gous (NAM)
In the “Astra King of the Dirt” it was Tommi Gous who grabbed the holeshot. He was able to keep his position for over one lap until Branch assumed the lead in the second lap. For a while it looked like a “procession-race”, until Björn Bierbrauer got past Becker during the sixth lap and started to pursue Gous, without much success. It was nevertheless a marvelous performance on an inferior 250cc bike against a strong 450cc Yamaha. Behind them we witnessed a tough battle between Frank Klosta, Henry O’Kennedy, Jaco Loots, and 13 year old Mark Sternagel who was able to finish ahead of reigning champion Ronnie Adams.
Results ASTRA King of the Dirt:
- Ross Branch, Botswana, Wreckers-Kawasaki, 20 points
- Tommi Gous, Windhoek, Zenner-Yamaha, 17
- Björn Bierbrauer, Windhoek, E-L-Sea Products – Yamaha, 15
- Rainer Becker, Windhoek, Honda-Namibia, 13
- Frank Klosta, Windhoek, Namslab-Yamaha, 11
- Henry o’Kennedy, Windhoek, Tomar Construction-Honda, 10
- Jaco Loots, Windhoek, Suzuki Namibia, 9
- Mark Sternagel, Windhoek, Sternbau-KTM, 8
- Ronnie Adams, Kapp’s Farm, Jägermeister-Suzuki, 7
- Wolfgang Rohe, Windhoek, Kawasaki-Namibia, 6
Tommi Gous (NAM) vs. Björn Bierbrauer (NAM)
Let’s move on to the kids in the 50cc Class. After his initial win in the first heat William Smith had to quit due to technical problems in the second heat. Michael Barlow who had problems with his bike as well, confidently won the next two heats and won the days rating, ahead of Jay-Em Tredoux and Yoshua Becker.
Tristan Muller won sky-high in the 65cc Class with a maximum number of points. Despite his defeat in the second heat against Angolan Joshua Texeira, Matthew Nederlof was able to grab 2nd place ahead of Texeira.
Mark Sternagel who recovered from his injuries, demonstrated his talent in the usual way when he won the 85cc Class with a maximum number of points, ahead of Tristan Muller who participates in two categories. Schalk Louw has improved and finished ahead of Eric Garbers, who isn’t in peak condition yet after a brachial joint fracture to his left arm early in the season.
The Clubmen’s Class has a new “star”, namely Michael Behnke from Walvisbay who isn’t just a damn qick Quads-rider but also an MX-talent. His skill was impressive, he won with a maximum ahead of Gundolf Lang from Swakopmund and Billy Heigan from Windhoek.
Let us move on to the protagonists in the Quads-Classes. Here the Quads-B (Quads up to 240cc) and Quads-A-Class (Quads without engine size limitation) start together, but are assessed separately. Jean Venter proved again that his KTM-Quad is really fast, but since the track demands a maximum of physical fitness, young Venter had to pay tribute to exhaustion each heat after a half of the racing distance. Dirkie Baard and Michael Behnke therefore grabbed the better places on the podium.
Ex-champion Fanie Steenkamp crashed in his second outing, but was able to resume the race. It was breathtaking to watch the Quads-riders, especially Dirkie Baard must get mentioned! Gogo van Wyk won the Quads-B-Class ahead of Gideon van Sittert and Eugene Slippers.
The Quads-Ladies-Class was staffed pretty well. Overall winner was Mandy Huysamen who, after Cee-Anne Greyling’s drop-out secured her position ahead of Celene Adams. Maike Bochert finished in overall 3rd, ahead of her sister Bollie.
The popular Quads-Clubmen’s Class, which doesn’t have a national status and therefore no Namibian championship-title is at stake, was won by Nokkie Maree, who won the big “ASTRA-Cup”. Jaimee Reneckle and Dennis Raines landed on 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The kids in the Mini-Quads-Class chase around the children track just like their grown-up role-models. “Fräulein” Joane Steenkamp won ahead of Jaques Maree and Sune Garbers.
The prize-giving was hosted in the beer-tent of the Namibian Breweries and it was followed by dancing to DJ Coco’s tunes until the early morning hours.
A Thank You goes to all officials of the NMSF (Namibian Motorsport Federation), to all helpers and lap scorers under the leadership of Simone Engling. And again a big Thanks to the family Goldbeck for an unforgettable racing day on their farm at the “Padstal”.