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FINAL BATTLE FOR NATIONAL ENDURO CHAMPIONSHIP TITLES AT MATATIELE
October 15, 2013  

Supplied by MotorSport Administrator from Motorsport South Africa
The final battles for national championship titles in the 2013 Liquorland SA National Enduro Motorcycle Championship will happen this weekend (Saturday, 19 October) at Matatiele on the border of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal when competitors tackle the sixth and final round of the season and with most of the titles still up for grabs, exciting racing can be expected.


The final battles for national championship titles in the 2013 Liquorland SA National Enduro Motorcycle Championship will happen this weekend (Saturday, 19 October) at Matatiele on the border of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal when competitors tackle the sixth and final round of the season and with most of the titles still up for grabs, exciting racing can be expected.

The Liquorland Matatiele WFO National Enduro, a new race on the national calendar, will level the playing field and while Wade Young (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing), who has just returned from the International Six Days Enduro in Italy with a gold medal, has secured the E2 (200cc) championship title for 2013, he will aim for a fourth victory to secure the overall title ahead of second-placed Altus de Wet (Husqvarna Racing). De Wet is entwined in a three-way battle – he is 24 points behind Young on the overall standings (the race winner scores 25 points) and is only two point ahead of E1 (Open Class) Championship leader, Kenny Gilbert (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) while he trails Gilbert by a mere two points in E1.

Gilbert has just clinched the national off-road title and OR1 (Open Class) Championship (off-road) and will hope to add another title (E1) to his name after the Matatiele event. He will also hope to pass De Wet on the overall standings while the former enduro champion (De Wet) will also aim for the E1 title especially after a bad start to the season with him not completing the first race due to a mechanical problem.

Young has secured the E2 championship title for 2013 with defending champion, Marc Torlage (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) not being able to finish the Castrol Winterberg Enduro. Torlage is still suffering from a back injury and will not be on the startline for the Liquorland Matatiele WFO Enduro this weekend. This leaves the door open for youngster Brett Swanepoel (Team JOAT ccGallery KTM) who is only one point behind Torlage in E2 and the runner-up position in this class is within his reach.  Swanepoel is seventh on the overall standings and will also chase Tim Young (Kargo Racing Yamaha) who is only one point ahead of him in sixth place.

(Tim) Young has passed the injured Nicholas Pienaar in the E1 Championship and is now third (in E1) and with Pienaar not competing in the final event, Young can squeeze past him into fifth place on the overall standings (he currently trails him by five points). Young even stands a chance to pass Torlage as 13 points separate them – he will aim to finish the season in the fourth place overall and after an overall podium result at the recent Winterberg event, the newly crowned OR2 (250cc) off-road champion will fancy his chances of more good results.

Two more riders in the top ten – Brother Broadlink KTM team-mates, Scott Bouverie and Louwrens Mahoney who are currently eighth and ninth overall – are on the injury list. This means that a healthy amount of points can push 10th placed James Hodson (Team Liquorland Yamaha) past them and with the possibility of Hodson moving up, those just outside the top 10 will hope to finish IN the top 10. Bronson Louw (Team Criterion Yamaha) is currently 11th overall – four points behind Hodson and four points ahead of Blake Gutzeit (Sherco Racing) who is 12th while Dwayne Kleynhans (Leadertread KTM) 13th – the rest are somewhat further behind.

Nick Wade (Liquorland Yamaha) is sixth in the E1 Championship and has the same amount of points than Mahoney and Wesley Redinger (Husaberg). Both (Nick) Wade and Redinger can therefore pass Mahoney and these two youngsters will battle it out for the fifth place in E1 (Pienaar is still fairly safe in fourth place).
In E2 Louw will aim to catch and pass Bouverie who is only seven points ahead of him while Gutzeit will hope for a good result to better his seventh place (17 points behind Louw) while Michael Pentecost (Kargo Racing Yamaha) will again chase Gutzeit who is a single point ahead of him.

Another title that is going down to the wire, is the Senior Class Championship where defending champion, William Gillitt (Liquorland Yamaha) will continue his season long battle with Bruce May (Yamaha). Gillitt has four victories behind his name although a few of those were quite close calls while May has won once and finished second three times. They are being separated by 11 points and the scale can sway either way at Matatiele.

Jody Engelbrecht (Husaberg Alfie Cox Racing) is third and within striking range of May as only 11 points separate them while Matthew Barker (FDBR Racing Yamaha) is safely in fourth place. A solid result can ensure the fifth place for former national off-road special vehicle champion, Franz Czepeck (Nomadik KTM) who can pass the injured Stephen Landman in the Senior Class Championship.

One championship that has already found an owner, is the Master Class title that belongs to Denzil Torlage (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha) who claimed this title for the sixth consecutive year. He will however aim for a third victory this season with the Pelgrims Rest winner, Garth Prost (Pirelli KTM) who would want to add another victory to his list. A good result might push Prost past Graydon Ilderton (he will not be competing) into third place in the championship after having competed in only three events this season. Free State rider, Carl Rohrbeck (KTM) is safely in second place.

The Silver Class Challenge will be very competitive as the names of quite a few talented youngsters appear on the list. The battle for the title will however continue between class leader, Damien Scott (Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade) who are from the neighbouring town, Kokstad, and East London’s Sage McGregor (Peri / Wildcoast KTM / Ribco / UMSO) who trails him by 22 points. Lady rider Toni Jardine (Roost KTM) is currently fourth, two points behind Brandon Petrie, but Petrie broke his arm and is out of action. Jardine can finish the season in third place while Wessel Wilken (KTM) can work his way into the top five.

Junior National Championship competitors, Kyle Flannagan (Criterion Yamaha Portable Shade); Henco Botha (Pa Ma Racing Kawasaki) and Flannagan’s team-mate, Dylan Barker who are from Matatiele like Botha; Corbin Lamb (Husqvarna Racing) and Regahrdt van Niewenhuizen (KTM) will all compete in the Silver Class Challenge (they have to complete 75% of the race) while Bradley Cox (Red Bull Safika Oosthuizens Alfie Cox Husaberg); Dean Lindsay (NUTS Racing Century Civils Yamaha) and Reinhardt Ferreira (KTM) will be competing in the Junior Challenge Class for young riders doing 50% of the total distance. A good result can ensure Lindsay, who have clinched the Senior 85cc Class title in the Junior National Championship, this enduro title for the season.

The Liquorland Matatiele WFO National Enduro will start at 08h00 on Saturday (19 October) at the Matatiele Country Club (GPS S30 19.704,  E28 47.631) and will finish at the same venue at about 16h30. It will be a weekend of festivities as the races (young enduro riders competing in the regional championship will race on Sunday) coincides with the Matat Fees.
All the race information including the spectator map, can be found on www.dirtracing.co.za 

Article by:  Elza Thiart-Botes

Picture Caption: The Ballito youngster, Brett Swanepoel (Team JOAT ccGallery KTM) is third in the E2 (200cc) class championship and stand a chance to finish the season as the runner-up behind Wade Young.

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