Long break in SA National Championship almost over
The nine week break in the 2016 SA National Cross Country Motorcycle and Quad Championship is at the halfway mark with the penultimate round of the season, the Koue Bokkeveld 400 (SACC KB400), that will take competitors to the Ceres area in the Western Cape on 26 and 27 August.
Many competitors welcomed the break after a tough Toyota Kalahari Botswana Desert Race where they completed the best part of a thousand kilometres over three days under gruelling conditions, and not competing at national level for just over two months, would see them preparing for the final onslaught.
Round five of the SACC KB400 will be for motorcycle and quad competitors only and will be combined with the Western Cape Regional Championship while the sixth and final round, the Atlas Copco race in Westonaria on 28 and 29 October, will again be combined with the Donaldson Cross Country Motor Racing Championship for Production and Special Vehicles.
Competitors had to take on a variety of terrain that started with the dusty and rocky terrain of the Kalahari at Vryburg and from there they tackled the Battlefields in a cold KwaZulu-Natal. Then it was the iconic three-day marathon event in Botswana’s desert. A handful of the current competitors will remember the KB400 from 2010 and might recall the spectacular beauty of the area that includes hills, rocks and hard pack terrain.
At this stage of the championship, the title contenders will know how important it is to play it safe while aiming for a rich haul of points. They will also be fully aware of the fact that it is of vital importance to keep an eye on the amount of entrants as a minimum of 10 starters per class is required at each event for the championship to be valid at the end of the season.
Regional off-road racing is alive and well in the Western Cape and the national events are normally well supported by ‘local’ competitors. This year quite a number of Cape riders competed in the national series. The KB400 also counts towards their regional championship and allows them the opportunity to shine in front of their home crowd, while more valuable points can push them closer to a coveted South African national title.
The Caledon rider, Wilhelm Schönfeldt (BCR Arrow Yamaha Racing) is currently second in the OR3 (200cc) motorcycle championship (only one point behind the leader) while another Cape rider, Calvin Wiltshire (Droomers Yamaha) is fifth in this class. Schönfeldt’s team-mate, Altus de Wet, who is from Montagu, won this event in 2010 and another victory will not only look good, but the points can better his current third position in the OR1 (Open Class) Championship.
Lady rider Riki Mans (Droomers Yamaha) is leading the Ladies Class in the motorcycle category while husband and team-mate, Izak, is third in the 125cc Class D Challenge, a mere eight points behind the leader. Durbanville youngster, Troy Sullivan (KTM) has also moved up after the two Botswana events and is now fourth in the High School Class Championship. In the quad category, Brackenfell’s Dewald Theron who led the standings earlier this year has dropped to fifth in the Open Quad championship after not competing in Botswana. The participation of local quad competitors, who have not competed on national level this year, can see some interesting results in this championship.
Racing in their ‘backyard’ will also contribute to the confidence of the local riders and the ‘North vs South Challenge’ will add to the excitement of the event as will the contingent of Namibian competitors who will also participate.
The race headquarters, the start/finish and the designated service point for the SACC KB 400 will be located at a central point from where a time-trial will take place on Friday (26 August) to determine the starting order for the race on Saturday (27 August).
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