Riders let it all out on the track in the final round of the Liquorland National Enduro Championship in Heidelberg on Saturday.
When the dust settled, Brett Swanepoel (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) and Travis Teasdale (Brother Leadertread KTM) were crowned E1 and E2 national champion respectively.
Hilton Haywood (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) secured the masters crown, Bruce May (Agrisales Peak Yamaha) secured the silver title, Calvin Hume (KTM Durban) claimed the high school title, Dirk Oliver won the silver inter-provincial challenge and Yamaha clinched the manufacturer championship.
PRESS RELEASE BY POWASOL XTREME EVENTS:
What a season……….up and down, but we can confidently say the future of South African Enduro does look positive. A consistant format, a consistant team and a view for whats best for all concerned.
The Powasol Team arrived in Heidelberg on Wednesday the 6 September, greeted by a happy to see us uncle Henry. Those of you that do not know uncle Henry, he is the Manager of the Heidelberg 4 x 4 Track, what a Gem. Always friendly and always helpful.
We offloaded our Diamond Trailer and headed off to our B & B, the ever popular De Hoek Guest House approximately 10 Klms from the track.
We had a point to prove, the April event our nemesis due to a timing failure made us even more determined to do everything possible to put on an amazing event and try our best to regain the trust lost in April at this amazing venue.
Luckily with our local contacts we rallied up staff and a tractor mower from Mr Peter Arbremse, a local farmer and rider, TD Munro of Riverwalk Trading, Building and Civils sponsored us a Bobcat, Mike Muller of Generator & Plant Hire South Africa sponsored us a generator and Peter Haines of Plumbing Solutions sponsored us with Brushcutters and a Chainsaw.
A massive thank you once again to the Team from Liquorland our title sponsors, their CSI insinuative was once again a major success. The Ratanga Community benefited from an abundance of cool drinks, canned foods, biscuits and many other amazing treats. We thank Liquorland for always going the extra mile for Enduro SA.
From left to right: Travis Teasdale (Brother Leadertread KTM), E2 National Champion, Hilton Haywood (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha), Masters National Champion, Brett Swanepoel (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) E1 National Champion and Calvin Hume (KTM Durban) National Highschool Champion. Missing from the picture: Bruce May (Agrisales Peak Yamaha) National Seniors Champion.
Riders set off at 8:30am, into Regularity 1, a relatively short section with the intention of getting the riders warmed up before they started the Yamaha SA bLU cRU MX Special.
With the first lap being a regularity riders would still need to race the MX Special on lap 1. Under the trees they lined up, cleared the dust from the goggles, quick sip of energy and throttles wide open down the fast start. A sharp left then over a jump right and over a jump before they head down a big drop off towards the dam. The track was set with fast, safe and skill in mind. Riders with Enduro, MX and Off-road experience would have been the tough ones to catch. The corner track well prepared with the Riverwalk Trading machinery and bunted by Liquorland. The track was amazing.
A dingdong battle between the three fastest riders in the MX Special in-sued between Teasdale, Kleynhans and Gutzeit a mere few seconds apart throughout the day meant that one small mistake could cost them dearly.
Spectators were blown away by the speed and skill of these top riders; the track had a great view from the picnic area so lots of spectators lined to shout and support.[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]
Lap 1 done and “dusted” meant riders would come into the pits freshen up and then get ready for the start of their first fully timed lap.
The first special being timed would be the Yamaha SA bLU cRU MX Special then the Enduro Special where they would race a magic Enduro stage set with a bit of everything in mind. Starting off in a Quarry where riders would put on a decent show for the spectators then would head out to a fast section along jeep tracks and in and out of forestry.
The track then begun to get challenging when riders entered the Gully towards the finish of the Enduro Special. 11 Kms of a testing track would mean fitness was key for top results. Fastest in the Enduro Special consistently was Teasdale, almost flawless until Kleynhans pipped him on one lap. De Wet and Swanepoel were also in solid contention.[one_half][/one_half][one_half_last][/one_half_last]
Then the challenge as always, the Extreme Special, something some riders do not enjoy but once they are on the track the fear of the unknown falls away. A 3Kms track set to test all riders, up a rocky dried up river and then up a small treat of a section before riders made their way down to the finish of the special.
Some solid wipe outs here as riders found the judgement of the rocks and ledges to be challenging. Here where Andrew Wren of Sherco SA put his day on ICE. Richie van der Westerhuizen of the ABE Midas Husqvarna team also had a big one here. Fortunately Richie was back up and twisting the throttle to a solid championship finish.
Once again a massive thank you to Liquorland for their support, not just supporting racing but also with there CSI insinuative and the give away of the KTM bike. All of this in conjunction with their suppliers and team in full support.
A huge thank you must go out to all the riders who participated in the Final round, with three other events on on the same weekend it made things difficult to wound up the numbers. But the positive thing is at any given moment over the weekend there were over 700 riders racing on this weekend. All we can say is fantastic!!
On behalf of the Powasol Eventing team we say thank you for your support through the 2016 season. Its been a rocky road which has had its fair amount of ups and downs but in the end we produced worthy champions and a successful season with the help of Rover and WFO Club.
We thank all the sponsors who stood by us throughout the season and never for one minute doubted that the end result would be great.
We thank Motorsport South Africa for their support and help throughout the season.
Riders, teams and families, we wish you all the very best for 2017 and thank you for helping us achieve the unexpected.
We came in confident and have left 2016 humbled.