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National MX News : Namibian Inter-Series
16.11.2008 Moto Cross Inter-Series 2008: Frenchman Renet wins Wesbank-Trophy

Heaps of excitement at Wesbank-MX Dash for Cash

This was the most balanced result in the 12-year history of the Namibian Inter-Series. Pela Renet from France wins the Wesbank-Trophy with a 1-point headstart to the Russian Vitaly Tonkov. The approx. 2000 spectators witnessed dramatic racing action and the day’s sponsor, Wesbank, was more than pleased with the achievement of the Windhoek Moto Cross Club, who once again hosted a hell of a show. A thank you goes to the chairman Tobie Barlow. It was the 12th anniversary of this major international event and despite difficulties it is and stays the biggest annual event on the Namibian motor sports calendar.
Again it were 4 protagonists in the Neo Paints Open Class who offered an unforgettable show. Previous week’s man with the maximum number of points, Pierre Alexandre “Pela” Renet from France, came to the start with a flawed engine and Hermann Hahn’s team was not sure if the engine would survive the heat. The gate drops for the first heat and Lloyd Vercueil from South Africa (Honda-Pupkewitz Team) assumes the lead, followed closely by Vitaly Tonkov, Liam O’Farrel, Pela Renet and the Namibians Rudi Brand and Tommy Gous. In the third lap, Renet pushes to 3rd position, but isn’t able to reach the leading pack . his engines’s power is notably failing. It is only in the tenth lap that Vitaly Tonkov is able to pass the South African Vercueil. Christoph Schade from Germany pushes himself through the field to the front but gets stuck in 6th position behind Gous. This was a great opening!

Results Heat 1:

  1. Vitaly Tonkov, Russia., Yamaha, 20 points
  2. Lloyd Vercueil, South Africa, Honda, 17
  3. Pierre Alexandre Renet,France, Suzuki, 15
  4. Liam O’Farrel, South Africa, Yamaha, 13
  5. Tommy Gous, Namibia, Yamaha, 11
During the break the guys check their bikes and the French mechanic in the Suzuki-pits is especially busy. He cleans the air filter mounting to the engine meticulously with a cloth since the smallest grain of sand could kill the engine.
Pierre Alexandre Renet
Pierre Alexandre Renet
The riders take their positions at the start, the tension is almost palpable, the gate drops and it’s again Vercueil who grabs the holeshot, ahead of Vitaly Tonkov and Pela Renet. This time we have a group of three who quickly leaves the rest of the riders behind. In the seventh lap they fight with no holes barred in the bent of the Honda tower. Pugnacious Tonkov races past Vercueil, who looses the track, goes over the berm temporarly and enables Renet to overtake him as well. Even if some spectators didn’t like it, this is the toughness of European riders.
Renet gives all he’s got and passes Tonkov in the eighth lap. Tonkov gets slower and slower with a mechanical failure; Lloyd Vercueil and Liam O’Farrel get past him in the twelfth lap and he has to give in. Important victory for Renet!

Results Heat 2:

  1. Pierre Alexandre Renet, France, Suzuki, 20 points
  2. Lloyd Vercueil, South Africa, Honda, 17
  3. Liam O’Farrel, South Africa, Yamaha, 15
  4. Tommy Gous, Namibia, Yamaha, 13
  5. Christoph Schade, Germany, KTM, 11
Björn Bierbrauer (Germany) ahead of Ross Branch (Botswana)
Björn Bierbrauer (Germany) ahead of Ross Branch (Botswana)
Similarly exciting were the races in the DHL 125cc Class. Ross Branch from Botswana, the winner of the day in the previous week, showed everyone who’s the boss at the start to the first heat: holeshot and march through! Behind him Mart de Jong from the Netherlands and Björn Bierbrauer, (a real Namibian guy, riding for Germany due to licence issues), Benjamin Kolberg, and the only lady in the bunch, Steffi Laier from Baden in southwest Germany. In the ninth lap Laier passes Kolberg and in the eleventh lap Ryan Frerichs from South Africa does the same. Kolberg gives everything but he’s still weak from the flu.

Results Heat 1:

  1. Ross Branch, Botswana, Honda, 20 points
  2. Mart de Jong, Netherlands, Honda, 17
  3. Björn Bierbrauer, Germany, Yamaha, 15
  4. Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM, 13
  5. Ryan Frerichs, South Africa, Suzuki, 11
Mart de Jong (Netherlands)
Mart de Jong (Netherlands)
After the start to the second heat, we witnessed an exciting novum: Björn Bierbrauer grabs the holeshot and leads the field for several laps. He is chased by Ross Branch, who attacks relentlessly and whose efforts bear fruit in the fourth lap. Steffi Laier on 4th gets a papwiel. Mart de Jong fights for many laps with South African Frerichs and has to give up in the end. Kolberg and South African rider Kai Pritzen (native Namibian) fight it out for 5th position.

Results Heat 2:

  1. Ross Branch, Botswana, Honda, 20 points
  2. Björn Bierbrauer, Germany, Yamaha, 17
  3. Ryan Frerichs, South Africa, Suzuki, 15
  4. Mart de Jong, Netherlands,, Honda, 13
  5. Kai Pritzen, South Africa, Honda, 11
Christoph Schade (Germany)
Christoph Schade (Germany)
The protagonists of all classes meet for the all-deciding E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt race which lasts 25 minutes. The riders prepare their ruts and loosen up the earth with their boots. The engines roar, the gate drops and Lloyd Vercueil wins his 3rd holeshot that day. Close behind are Vitaly Tonkov, Liam O’Farrel, Pela Renet, Ross Branch and Björn Bierbrauer. In the second lap Renet pushes himself to 3rd position. In the sixth lap Pela gets past Tonkov, the title “Wesbank Namibian International Champion” almost in reach! In the twelfth lap, on the straight at the east fence Renet gets slower and slower due to a puncture, Tonkov and O’Farrel pass him and now the Russian feels the title in reach. But in the last lap it happens: Tonkov crashes, Liam O’Farrel dashes past and the title is gone for the congenial Russian.
Namibia's Björn Bierbrauer, riding for Germany
Namibia's Björn Bierbrauer, riding for Germany

Final lap E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt:

  1. Lloyd Vercueil, South Africa, Honda, 20 Punkte
  2. Liam O’Farrel, South Africa, Yamaha, 17
  3. Vitaly Tonkov, Russia, Yamaha, 15
  4. Pierre Alexandre Renet, France, Suzuki, 13
  5. Ross Branch, Botswana, Honda, 11
  6. Björn Bierbrauer, Germany, Yamaha, 10
  7. Christoph Schade, Germany, KTM, 9
  8. Ryan Frerichs, South Africa, Suzuki, 8
  9. Steffi Laier, Germany, KTM, 7
  10. Kai Pritzen, South Africa, Honda, 6
The „Wesbank Namibia International Champion 2008“ results from the addition of the King of the Dirt races of both weekends. This result also determines the winner of the prize money worth N$ 10,000.
  1. Pierre Alexandre Renet, France, 33 points
  2. Vitaly Tonkov, Russia, 32 points
  3. Ross Branch, Botswana, 24 points
The riders in the other motorbike classes were keen on honour and prize money as well. In the Castrol 65cc Class little Tristan Muller from Okahandja earned another maximum victory and Michael Barlow and Jay-Em Tredoux landed on 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Mark Sternagel (Namibia)
Mark Sternagel (Namibia)
In the Honda-Pupkewitz 85cc Class we witnessed another clash of the junior-stars Stefan Eckerold from Germany and the Nambian talent Mark Sternagel. In the first heat Sternagel clearly won, in the second heat Stefan turned the tables and won ahead of Marky. In the deciding third heat we witnessed a bad crash when Mark Sternagel overtook a backmarker who didn’t stay in his line, Mark was carried to the Gallina first-aid station and could luckily leave again after proper examination. Eckerold became the winner of the day, ahead of the Namibians Tristan Muller and Pauli Loots. In the Joker’s Pizzeria Clubmen’s Class twelve riders participated and once more the Angolan Jose Teixeira won, ahead of Namibian Frank Steyn and the German Carsten Kölling from Cottbus.
The spice in the soup of every MX-event is, apart from the races of the 125/Open Class, the races of the Quads-A-and-B-Class. In the Red Square Quads-A-Class young Namibian Michael Behnke won the firt heat fair and squre, ahead of South African Eric Williams. The two heats which followed were won by the strong South African, who cashed in the the prize money. Jean Venter from Windhoek finished third ahead of South African Phillipie Baard behind him on 4th place. Eugene Slippers won 1st place in the Wire Industries Quads-B-Class, followed by Pearse van Wyk and Gideon van Sittert, who had an engine failure in the first heat.
#70 Michael Behnke (NAM) vs  Eric Williams (RSA)
#70 Michael Behnke (NAM) vs Eric Williams (RSA)
Charney Joubert is the winner of the Spot Motor Spares Ladies-Quads Class. The Namibian impressively put Leandry van Blommenstein (SA) in 2nd place. Mandy Huysamen was able to position herself on 3rd place ahead of favourite Cee-Anne Greyling. Cee-Anne battled more with her allergies than with the obstacles on the track. In the Bike & Quad-Clinic Quad-C Class Namibian Jaycee le Roux won exceptionally ahead of his fellow countrymen Pierre Cronje and Anita Miljo. In the Afribeer Quads-Clubmen’s Class the Angolan Hugo Caldeira landed on a good 3rd overall, behind the Namibians Leigh Jean Skoppelitus and Louw Greyvenstein.
At this point a heartfelt thank you goes to the major sponsors Jägermeister, Wesbank, Tafel Lager, Shell Helix, Red Square and Honda-Pupkewitz. Without their support this kind of event could not have been possible.
Author: Bernd Kroemer ... [back]
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