Red Bull MX-Classic enormous success
South Africans dominate 1st Leg of Inter-Series
It was a racing day full of surprises. Exciting Moto Cross under blue skies, approximately 1,500 spectators, the finest freestyle and a record turnover in the beer-tent during the Jägermeister-Party.
Lloyd Vercuil (RSA) vs Kerim Fitzgerald (RSA) and Ross Branch (BOT)
For the first time since 1999 it weren’t the Europeans who dominated the Inter-Series, but our neighbours south of the Oranje. The South Africans ruled this event. It should be mentioned however that all Europeans had to deal with mechanical or physical problems. In the first heat of the Open-Class the Scotsman Richard Reid was among the leading group but was thrown back 4 laps prior to the finish due to carburator problems. The present "Namibia International Champion" Benny Kolberg from Germany arrived at the race with neurological neck-pain, rode two good heats but could not participate in the E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt. Christof Schade from Germany had engine trouble in the second heat which threw him way back, and the "flying Dutchman" Mart de Jong from the Netherlands suffered from dehydration in the King of the Dirt.
Since this event is part of the "AMU Championships Southern Africa", the rules of the AMU applied, which means that the 125cc Class and the Open-Class start seperately and the heats last 20 minutes plus 1 lap. Many riders suffered due to the high temperatures.
Let us move on to the Aces in the 125cc Class:
Kerim Fitzgerald (RSA)
Lloyd Vercuil, the South African who earns his living in the Silent Sport Team in Germany wanted to show Kerim Fitzgerald (who has successfully participated at the Canadian Lites Championships) what he has learned overseas. In the first heat Lloyd chased for the lead but when he caught up with Mart de Jong had to bite the dust. Two times however he had to quit because of technical problems. Bad luck, but nevertheless he demonstrated that he was without a doubt the quickest rider that day. Kerim Fitzgerald was the winner of the day with a maximum number of points. Ross Branch from Botswana – sponsored by Nestlé/Milo – had to acknowledge Fitzgerald’s superiority and had to make do with a 2nd place. The Dutchman Mart de Jong fought with physical exhaustion rather than with the obstacles of the Gallina race-track. Anything better than a 3rd place was just out of the question, but next week is one more opportunity for him to give all he’s got.
The best Namibian was Frank Klosta on 4th place.
Results 125cc Class:
- Kerim Fitzgerald, RSA, Yamaha, 60 points
- Ross Branch, BOT, Kawasaki, 49
- Mart de Jong, NED, Kawasaki, 39
- Frank Klosta, NAM, Yamaha, 37
- Gerric Pretorius, RSA, Honda, 25
- Eckhard Hall, NAM, Honda, 19
- Jaco Loots, NAM, Suzuki, 19,
- Lloyd Vercuil, RSA, Suzuki, 17
- Vincent Conlon, BOT, Kawasaki, 8
- Carr Lebatha, BOT, Kawasaki, 8
Brandon Wheeler (RSA)
In the Open-Class the racing was a bit tougher. Lloyd Vercuil was the measure of all things here as well, but unfortunately had to give up in the King of the Dirt due to gearbox problems. Brandon Wheeler could thus assume two 2nd places, plus a 3rd place in the E.L Sea Products King of the Dirt and thus won the Open-Class category. Best Namibian in this category was Tommi Gous, followed by his fellow coutryman Rainer Becker. Benjamin Kolberg from Germany made two 3rd places despite immense pain, but was unable to take part in the King of the Dirt. An interesting group formed around Arno Engels (NAM) with Geoff Den (RSA), Christof Schade (GER) and the Scotsman Richard Reid, who battled for every metre.
- Brandon Wheeler, RSA, Suzuki, 49
- Lloyd Vercuil, RSA, Suzuki, 40
- Tommi Gous, NAM, Yamaha, 32
- Rainer Becker, NAM, KTM, 32
- Benjamin Kolberg, GER, Yamaha, 30
- Arno Engels, NAM, Honda, 22
- Geoff Den, RSA, Suzuki, 21
- Christof Schade, GER, Kawasaki, 20
- Richard Reid, GBR, Kawasaki, 18
- Ronnie Adams, NAM, Suzuki, 13
Rainer Becker (NAM) vs Brandon Wheeler (RSA)
This was followed by the all-deciding highlight of the day, the E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt-race. 25 bikes were at the starting gate, riders were nervously playing with their clutches, the tension was palpable, then the gate fell and 25 bikes shot into the first bent… somehow everyone made it through unharmed. Lloyd Vercuil battled with Ross Branch and Kerim Fitzgerald until his gearbox problem forced him to give up. Now Fitzgerald assumed the lead and Branch tried to keep up. Behind them Brandon Wheeler, Frank Klosta, Mart de Jong, Tommi Gous and Christof Schade fought for positions. No one gave way, the lead in this group changed continuously. These guys were followed by a group which tried to hold up: Rainer Becker got everything out of his two-stroke KTM and was able to pass the finish line ahead of the South African Geoff Den and Scotsman Richard Reid. What an exciting heat! Everything is still open however; the final ranking will be known on Saturday at the Camel MX Dash for Cash. Then we will know who the “Namibian International Champion 2007” will be.
Results E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt Race:
- Kerim Fitzgerald, Waldschmidt Eggs Team-South Africa, 20 points
- Ross Branch, NamIce Team-Botswana, 17
- Brandon Wheeler, Waldschmidt Eggs Team-South Africa, 15
- Frank Klosta, Neo Paints Team-Namibia, 13
- Mart de Jong, E-Med Team-The Netherlands, 11
- Tommi Gous, NAM, Zenner Novel-Yamaha, 10
- Christof Schade, Jägermeister Team-Germany, 9
- Rainer Becker, NAM, KTM, 8
- Geoff Den, Waldschmidt Eggs Team-South Africa, 7
- Richard Reid, Scotland, Kawasaki, 6
- Arno Engels, NAM, Investment Cars Honda, 5
- Gerric Pretorius, Waldschmidt Eggs, Team-South Africa, 4
- Ronnie Adams, Neo Paints Team-Namibia, 3
- Eckhard Hall, NAM, Coastal Racing Honda, 2
- Sascha Becker, NAM, Uwe’s Autoelectric Honda, 1
In the supporting programme races in all classes took place. Let’s start with the little ones, the Rubicon Security 50cc Class. Matthew Nederlof was here the measure of all things. He won with a maximum number of points. William Smith secured his 2nd place, while the present champ Michael Barlow had an awful crash in the third heat, but he was still able to continue the race. The boy from Zambia, Julian Dias, profitted from that and made 3rd place in this heat.
Eric Garbers achieved a flawless maximum number of points in the Obeco 65cc Class. Tristan Muller finished 2nd place overall ahead of Pauli Loots who was handicapped with mechanical problems. Dylan McCann from Zambia made a noteworthy 3rd place in the third heat and came overall 4th.
Gerric Pretorius from South Africa was anticipated as a major favourite (AMU Africa Champion) and participated in the Clyclon Namibia 85cc Class. But our 3 years younger Namibian champion Mark Sternagel isn’t impressed that easily and grabbed the holeshot each time. The talented South African had to use all his tricks to gain the day’s victory. Mark Sternagel made an exceptional 2nd place, ahead of Schalk Louw from Swakopmund.
The oldie Carsten Kölling from Germany already has a subscription for 1st place in the Windhoek Precast & Walls Clubmen’s Class. Only in the second heat he had to make way for Marc Ratheiser. Heiko Hennes finished 3rd and the second German, Thorsten Schidlowski, was not able to participate in the third heat and ranked overall 7th.
Now we move on to the 4-Wheelers. In the kids’ class, the Okahandja Industrial Park Mini-Quads Class, Juane Steenkamp won ahead of Jay-Em Tredoux and Sune Garbers. This class is especially popular among the girlys.
In the ZIBO Automotive Quads-B-Class Eugene Slippers won once more ahead of Effzee Marais and Alfred Köhne. These races were followed by the women in the Propshaft Engineering Ladies Quads Class. Cee-Anne Greyling had to battle it out with Mandy Huysamen and Maike Borchert landed on 3rd place, ahead of her sister Bollie Bochert.
The international races in the Murray & Roberts Quads-A-Class offered tons of excitement. A lot was expected of the Angolan Fabio Ferreira, but he could only keep up in the first heat, before he fell back. The South Africans were expected to perform better as well after their spectacular appearance in 2006. This could only mean that the quality of the Namibians has improved strongly. One example is Dirkie Baard from Walvisbay. He did not win a single holeshot, spectacularly fought his way to the front and won with a maximum number of points ahead of the South African Juan Coetzee and former champion Fanie Steenkamp from Windhoek. Jean Venter’s 2nd place in the King of the Quads was noteworthy as well.
Dirkie Baard (NAM)
Michael Behnke performed extremely well in the JL van Wyk Installations Clubmen’s Class - he won both heats and only in the King of the Quads had to make way for Dirkie Baard and Jean Venter. What an achievement! Wolfgang Rohl made an overall 2nd place, ahead of André Steinfurth.
The Nescafe Powder Puff Class was controlled by Juane Steenkamp. Lezanne Köhne and Berenice Steenkamp ranked 2nd and 3rd respectively.
A brilliant racing day came to an end, but a lot more visitors arrived who only came to Gallina for the Freestyle-Show and the Jägermeister-Party. Both Freestylers showed impressive stunts and the spectators were delighted with their backflip-combinations. Mala Bartik crashed two times, but he resumed his Aerobatics without a scratch. The Jägermeister-Party with DJ Coco was a total success and everyone is looking forward to the next party coming Saturday
when even more entertainment can be expected with Double-Trouble and Stefan Ludik. Make a mental note: The International Camel MX Dash for Cash MX Race takes place on the 10th of November
. It is followed by the Freestyle-Show as part of the Tafel Lager Night and Jägermeister-Party with open end.