The 2016 SA National Cross Country Motorcycle and Quad Champions had to work hard at the SACC Westonaria Race, the final round of the championship that took place from the Kloof Country Club at Glenharvie in Gauteng this weekend, 28 and 29 October, to earn their crowns. They had to endure hot and dusty conditions as well as a challenging 300km route and the season ended with disappointment of some and joy for other.
In the motorcycle category, two Botswana riders walked away with two national championship titles. A second place behind the OR1 race winner, Michael Pentecost (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) was enough for multiple SA Motocross champion, Ross Branch (Brother Leader Tread KTM) to claim the OR1 (Open Class) and to take his first national cross country title with the defending champion, Kenny Gilbert (Kargo Racing Husqvarna) finishing third, only one minute behind Branch after losing time due to barbed wire damaging the brake calliper on his bike. Tristan Purdon (Yamaha) finished fourth on the day followed by Altus de Wet (BCR Arrow Yamaha) in fifth.
The consistent Cameron Becker (KTM Centurion Liqui Moly Racing) took his debut OR2 (250cc) victory followed by Riaan Neveling (KTM), Deon du Toit (KTM) and Brendon Fourie (Sherco SA Racing). Louw Schmidt (Brother Leader Tread KTM) started the race just behind Jaycee Nienaber (Super Moose KTM), but a crash close to the finish saw Schmidt losing valuable time and positions while Nienaber had to settle for fifth place after also losing time due to wire damaging his bike.
The defending OR3 (200cc) champion, Brett Swanepoel (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) won the Westonaria battle and claimed his third victory of the season, but Botswana rider, Dartagnan Lobjoit (Yamaha) won the war by scoring enough points with a fourth place to take the 2016 title. Swanepoel was closely followed by Calvin Wiltshire (Droomers Yamaha) who finished only 44 seconds behind the outgoing champion with Eduan Bester (KTM Centurion Liqui Moly Racing) taking the final podium spot in Westonaria. Dean Lindsay (Sherco SA Racing) finished fifth.
In the Senior Class, Juan ‘Bollie’ van Rooyen (Brother Leader Tread KTM) started only nine seconds ahead of Wynand Kleynhans (Yamaha) according to their time-trial times with only a single point separating them in the standings. It was, however, Van Rooyen who scored a hat-trick of Senior Championship title by claiming a fifth consecutive victory for the season. Kleynhans was second and was followed by Dylan Smith (Husqvarna) who competed in his first national off-road event with Lodewyk Jansen van Vuuren (KTM Centurion Liqui Moly Racing) fourth and Bruce Viljoen (Doorzone Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna) rounding off the top five.
Viljoen’s team-mate, Wayne Farmer, took his fifth SA national title by winning the Master Class championship despite finishing second at the SACC Westonaria Race after surviving a huge crash. Justin Broughton (Sherco SA Racing) took his first victory of the season while Izak Mans (Droomers Yamaha), who competed in the 125cc Class during the previous events, finished third.
The High School Class was won by Stefan van Deventer (Alfie Cox Junior KTM) who also took the title after a season long battle with Adriano Catalano (D&H Engineering Works Yamaha) who finished second at the race and in the final standings. Maarten van Jaarsveld (Doorzone Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna) finished third.
Ryan Pelser (KTM) won Class D Challenge for 125cc motorcycles for the third time this year and is the first winner of this new challenge. He was followed by Janco Pienaar (KTM) and Michael Glöckle (D&H Engineering Works Yamaha) and the young lady rider, Chelsea-Rose Droomer (Droomers Yamaha).
In the Ladies Class, Yanke Pieterse (KTM) competed for the third time this year and also took her third victory. It is, however, Riki Mans (Droomers Yamaha) who took the title by finishing second with Karen Jansen van Vuren (KTM) in third place in her first national season.
SJ Bester (VANS Racing Division KTM) won the Silver Class Inter Provincial Challenge ahead of Alan Blain (Doorzone Bikers Warehouse Husqvarna) and Martin Poole (Yamaha).
In the quad category, there were problems for the Open Quad Class leader, Hannes Saaijman (Yamaha) who managed a fourth place, but this was enough for Saaijman to earn his first national title. It was a first win for Johan Oosthuizen (VANS Racing Division Yamaha) with Gideon Jacobs (Yamaha), who was the fastest after the 50km time-trial, finishing second and Russell Ferreira (Honda) rounding off the podium.
Pierre van Heerden (Honda) took his second consecutive win in the master Quad Class and was followed by Stef Bester (VANS Racing Division Yamaha) with Milton Thesen (Yamaha) finishing third and Motsumi Lekone (Yamaha) the fourth finisher. It was the first race this season that the 2016 Master Quad Class champion, George Twigge (Yamaha) could not finish a race.
Cheryl Evans (Yamaha) won the Ladies Quad Class and with Morné Jansen van Vuren (Yamaha), who already claimed the High School title, winning this class again while Keenan Hammon (Yamaha) could not finish in the High School Class.
Images: ZC Marketing