Success and drama all around the world
It’s been a busy Easter for South African racers across the globe. Hennie de Klerk and Johann Smalberger brought their TreasuryOne Amarok home sixth on Saturday’s final Morocco Desert Challenge stage as they drove onto the finishers rostrum in an academic 23rd place overall to conclude their quick but troubled 3000km eight-day run across the Sahara. De Klerk added an African finisher’s award to his South American Dakar rookie trophy last year.
Also in Morocco, South African team Red-Lined Adventures racing with British Sabertooth duo Thomas Edward Bell and Patrick McMurren (Nissan Navara) added the Desert Challenge to their 100% 2109 finishing rate. The duo has now finished four races and 10000km of racing over 26 days so far this year, from Dakar to Dubai, Abu Dhabi and now Morocco too.
Bloemfontein youngster Stuart White started his French Formula 4 championship campaign with points paying finishes in all three races in the first round at Nogaro over the weekend. White, who took a season away from the French series to win the 2018 Investchem SA Formula 1600 championship, was sixth in the opening two heats and seventh in the final.
On two wheels, SA hero Sheridan Morias contributed handsomely to and Team Wepol Yamaha Racing’s fine fourth place finish in the FIM Le Mans Motorcycle 24-hour race, while double reigning South African MX1 and MX2 motocross champion Caleb Tennant enjoyed an up and down day at Saturday's California MX classic with a win in the Collegeboy class, before fighting back to 10th following a bad start in the 450 Pro class as he gets to grips with his new US MX career.
Several SA riders raced in the Silverstone British Superbike Championship opener over the weekend, where Philip Atkinson ended fourth and fifth in the Ducati races. It was not as happy hunting for Everquip Racing’s SA duo Bjorn Estment, who suffered a 250km/h crash in Saturday's qualifying, before Brent Harran hit a stalled bike on the grid and suffered severe concussion, a broken wrist and ankle, while both bikes were severely damaged.
Closer to home, a wet, windy and miserable Port Elizabeth did not dampen seismic Rotax Max Challenge action at the second round SA National karting championships on Sunday. With seats on offer at this year’s Rotax Max Grand Finals, race winners Benjamin Habig (DD2), Michael Stephen (Masters), Shrien Naidoo (Senior), Jonathan Pieterse (175), Troy Dolinschek (Junior), Troy Snyman (Mini), Dhvyan Naidoo (Micro) and Caleb Moss (Bambino) all strengthened their claims to those tickets with class wins on the day.
Meanwhile in Britz, Scott Bouverie (Brother KTM) beat round 1 winner Kyle Flanagan (Bidvest Yamaha) to win the Powersol Piesangsberg enduro to draw level in that class championship chase, while William Oosthuizen (Pepson Plastics Husqvarna) ended third to tighten his grip on the National E1 title chase. Luke Walker (KTM) beat Brett Swanepoel (Pepson Husqvarna) to third in E2, while Kayde Mante (Yamaha) and Matthew Green (Pepson Husqvarna) were third and fourth in E1, while Heinrich Aust (KTM) rode to high school and Dwain Barnard Senior honours.