Jägermeister-Trophy for Ross Branch
After eight unsuccessful attempts to win the annual Namibian Motocross Inter-Series, Ross Branch from Botswana finally grabbed the coveted Jägermeister-Trophy last Saturday in style as well as the prize-money of N$ 25.000. All this in front of his parents who travelled all the way to Namibia. After the glorious victory the previous week in Swakopmund, it was the Team-Manager from Honda-South Africa who also decided to become a witness of Ross’ eternal victory in Namibia. Ross Branch won this event with a maximum number of 150 points, never achieved before in the 13 year long history of the Namibian Inter-Series.
Holeshot for Ross Branch
In the first heat of the Radiowave 96,7 – MX1/MX2 Class Ross won the holehot, closely followed by South African counterpart Michael Kok, Englishman Andre David and Kerim Fitzgerald from South Africa, behind this quartett there was another group of riders rubbing elbows for positions Richard van der Westhuizen (SA), Wyatt Avis (SA), Brannigan “Animal” Wise (Namibia), Peter Mitchell (Scotland) and Namibia’s Björn Bierbrauer. It happened in the 5th lap, GP-Rider Wyatt hit a rock with his stretched left leg and it flung under his rear wheel breaking his ankle. While Ross is racing against the clock, 50 metres adrift the South Africans Michael Kok, Richard van der Westhuizen, Kerim Fitzgerald and Englishman Andre David as well as the Namibians Tommy Gous and Björn Bierbrauer fight for each and every point. In lap 11 Kerim Fitzgerald tumbles at the Shell-Jump and breaks his wrist. Victory for Branch ahead of Kok, van der Westhuizen, David, Bierbrauer and Gous.
In the second Heat Englishman David wins the holeshot, by the table in front of the grandstand Branch passes and never looks back again. Hard charging Richard van der Westhuizen (SA), Jaco Loots (Namibia), Björn Bierbrauer (Namibia), Zeferino Fernandes (Angola), Peter Mitchell (Scotland) and Frank Klosta (Namibia) battle it out amongst themselves, while Brannigan Wise, 14th after the start, is ploughing his way through the field of competitors and is found in 4th position in lap five. Bad luck struck for Wise when technical problems meant the out for Animal. Ross wins the second race of the day ahead of van der Westhuizen, Michael Kok, Englishman Andre David, Björn Bierbrauer and Scotsman Peter Mitchell.
In the all deciding E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt race it is Ross Branch again who wins the holeshot ahead of competitors from South Africa Michael Kok and Richard van der Westhuizen, followed by Englishman Andre David and Frank Klosta from Namibia. In lap two David crashed out and found himself in dead last position. Now David was furious and he charged through the field, while Tommy Gous set a blazing pace from 6th to 3rd position. His compatriot Björn Bierbrauer only found in 8th spot after the start is also charging through the field and in lap seven after bar to bar battle he passes Gous and takes 3rd position. After lap fourteen the race is over and Ross Branch from Botswana deservedly takes the chequered flag, winning the “Namibia International Champion 2009” title for the first time in his career.
Ergebnis E.L. Sea Products King of the Dirt:
- Ross Branch , Bike & Quad Clinic – Team Botswana, Honda, 25 points
- Michael Kok, Waldschmidt – Team South Africa, KTM, 22
- Björn Bierbrauer, Kingsley – Team Namibia, Honda, 20
- Richard van der Westhuizen, Waldschmidt – Team South Africa, Suzuki, 19
- Andre David, Rent-A-Drum – Team England, Honda, 18
- Frank Klosta, Kingsley – Team Namibia, KTM, 17
- Tommy Gous, Kingsley – Team Namibia, Yamaha, 16
- Alexander Howard, Kingsley – Team Namibia, Honda, 15
- Christian Lechner, Jägermeister – Team Germany, Honda, 14
- Mark Sternagel, Kingsley – Team Namibia, Yamaha, 13
In the national AGRA–MX Lites Class (formerly known as 85cc Class) Tristan Muller fullfilled expections and wins with a maximum number of points ahead of Pauli Loots, this time on a Honda. Excellent third overall for little Matthew Nederlof.
Exciting races in the international H.J. Electrical Clubmen’s Class. Namibian Jean Pierre Hugo deservedly wins this class ahead of compatriot Rudolf Steyn and South African stalwart Gary Killian. Pauli Loots, starting in two different classes, finishes in an excellent 4th place ahead of Botswana’s Dartagnan Lobjoit. Best European Stacie Bush from England in 11th spot.
Namibia International Quad-Champion Dirkie Baard
Races of the highest note were performed in the Sun Factor Quad-A and B-Class. In heat one Michael Behnke won the holeshot ahead of Wolfgang Röhl and Phillipie Baard. Namibia’s wonderboy and SA-Champion Dirkie Baard, the clear favourite in this category first had to negotiate his way through the dusty track but in lap two he passes his brother and Wolfgang Röhl closing onto the back wheel of Behnke. Behnke could stay in the lead for another 2 laps, at times you could have covered the two with a towel, but the pressure of Baard got too immense and Behnke succumbed. Victory for Dirkie Baard ahead of Michael Behnke, and Phillipie Baard. Best South African Jaques Struwig in 5th position.
What a surprise, Wolfgang Röhl wins the holeshot in heat twoand stays in the lead for a whole lap, but Dirkie Baard passes in lap two demonstrating his expertise in quad-racing. Michael Behnke can do the same trick a lap later. Dirkie Baard wins ahead of Michael Behnke and Phillipie Baard.
In the all deciding Snyman Transport King of the Quads race it is Dirkie Baards who storms to the front cheered by plenty of fans. Quad-B-rider Ecki Spoerer knew how to please and worked his way from 10th spot after the start to 7th. Dirkie wins with a maximum number of 150 points and becomes "Namibia International Quad-Champion 2009".
Snyman Transport King of the Quads:
- Dirkie Baard , E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, Honda, 25 Punkte
- Michael Behnke, E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, Honda, 22
- Phiilipie Baard, E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, Honda, 20
- Jaques Struwig, Bike $ Quad Clinic – Team South Africa, Honda, 19
- Stepahn Smidt, E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, Suzuki, 18
- Wolfgang Röhl, E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, KTM, 17
- Ecki Spoerer, E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, Honda, 16
- Paul Vermaak, Bike & Quad Clinic – Team South Africa, Suzuki, 15
- Zinildo Silva, Honda Muxima Racing – Team Angola, Honda, 14
- Pierce van Wyk, E.L. Sea Products – Team Namibia, Honda, 13
The girls and ladies in the Propshaft Engineering Ladies Quads Class also were internationally activ on the Gallina track. While Charney Joubert won her heats on maximum, the battles for runner-up between Maike Bochert and Anneke Steenkamp were exciting. For the second time during this Inter-Series Maike could beat Anneke. Mandy Huysamen in fourth. Best South African girl Shandie Els in 6th position. The races in the Paramount Healthcare Quads-C-Class were exciting as ever, with the “Show” of little Freddie Stander who squeezed out Dillan Skoppelitus and J.C. Le Roux. In fifth position the best representative from South Africa Ross Rugheimer. The national Quad Clubmen’s Class saw Willem Wessels in front of Billy Heigan and Leroy Victor.
This was the motocross highlight of the season which culminated in a party second to none, the Tafel Lager - Jägermeister Party with D.J. CoCo which lasted until dawn. Still the writer of these lines is puzzled why the NMSF (Namibia Motorsport Federation) allows two motorsport codes having an international event the same day in Windhoek. Both codes lost out on spectators, that is for sure.