Gutzeit strengthened his provisional lead on the overall standings as well as in the E1 (Open Class) Championship while his team-mate, Marc Torlage, won E2 (200cc Class) and finished fourth overall after a gruelling enduro race in the rocky hills where they had to complete two special stages three times each and post their best times. Torlage, the defending E2 champion, strengthened his lead in this class championship by winning for the second time this season.
Gutzeit beat the defending E1 champion and overall title holder, Chris Birch (Comsol BELL ACR KTM), who won the previous event, after a tough battle by 24 points (seconds). Louwrens Mahoney (Brother Broadlink KTM) finished third in E1 and rounded off the overall podium after a crash towards the end of the race. Altus de Wet (Brother Broadlink KTM) finished behind Torlage and was second in E2. He was followed by two more E2 competitors, KwaZulu-Natal youngsters Scott Bouverie (Comsol BELL ACR KTM) who struggled with rear brake problems for the best part of the race and Wade Young (Fever Criterion Yamaha).
Kenny Gilbert (Yamaha) was eighth (fourth in E1) with Blake Gutzeit (Fever Criterion Yamaha) 17 points behind him in ninth place (fifth in E2). Riaan van Niekerk (Brother Broadlink KTM) rounded off the top ten after a crash in the obstacle course early in the race. His team-mate, Darryl Curtis, finished 11th after a cautious race and was followed by Bradley van Aswegen (Kargo Racing Yamaha) who survived a frustrating day in the saddle as his motorcycle suffered from engine problems.
James Hodson (Team Liquorland Yamaha) was 13th; youngster Timothy Young (Kargo Racing Yamaha) finished 14th (his team-mate, Mark Garland, could not finish due to a hole in the radiator) with Mark Fox (Wildcoast KTM / UMSO Ribco) 15th. Nicolas Pienaar (RAD Moto KTM) was 16th; Ruan Roberts (KTM), who spent a few days in South Africa while currently competing in Europe, was 17th; Stefan Oosthuysen and his Nomadik Tents KTM team-mate, Wynand Badenhorst, were 18th and 19th respectively while Wian Redelinghuys (Stormjaers Racing KTM) rounded off the top 20.
There was some bad luck for multiple former Supermoto champ, Brian Capper (Red Bull KTM) who lost time and dropped down the field when his chain guard broke off. He had to settle for 21st place while Lloyd Vercueil (Fever Criterion Yamaha) dislocated his shoulder and could not finish.
Marc Torlage extends his lead in E2
The ding-dong battle between defending Senior Class champion, William Gillit (Comsol BELL Yamaha) and Jody Engelbrecht (Fever Criterion Yamaha), who led Gillit by a single point before this event, continued during the dry and dusty race in Gauteng and this time it was Gillit who posted his second victory of the season. Engelbrecht, who has also won twice this year, finished in a close second place and provisionally trails Gillit by only two points with two rounds of the season remaining.
Bruce May (Yamaha) was third; Bruce Gargan (Fever Criterion Yamaha) finished fourth with Brett Fisher (KTM) fifth. Competitors in the Senior Class Championship had to complete the two tough special racing sections twice each with Peter Jung (Wildcoast KTM / UMSO Ribco) finishing sixth followed by Matthew Barker (Yamaha), Justin Broughton (KTM), Garth Prost (KTM) and Dricky Morkel (Nomadik Tents KTM) rounding off the top ten.
Team Liquorland Racing’s Ryan Struckman (Yamaha), who was third in the class championship before this event, crashed into a tree and could not finish the race due to his injuries.
The defending Master Class champion, Denzil Torlage (Proudly Bidvest Yamaha), who has not lost a race since February 2009 when he finished second in the Castrol Winterberg Enduro, scored his fourth consecutive victory this season. With Mark du Plessis not competing in this event, Graydon Ilderton (Nomadik Tents KTM), who finished second behind Torlage, moves into the second place in the championship standings. Carl Rohrbeck (KTM) was third; Spot Martin (Liquorland Racing KTM) finished fourth; Martin Poole (Yamaha) was fifth with Greg Blackwell (Kargo Racing KTM) sixth.
The Offroad Evolution Enduro attracted the most entries so far this season with many competitors competing in an enduro race for the first time. A few new names appeared in the competitive Silver Class Challenge where Vincent Labuschagne (Off Road Racing Concepts KTM) won his first national enduro race this year. Devon Owen (KTM) was second with Jason Kozinsky (Yamaha) third. Riaan JZ van der Walt (KTM) finished fourth and kept his lead in this class.
The penultimate round of the 2012 Liquorland National Enduro Championship, the Castrol Winterberg Enduro, will take place on 18 August in the Eastern Cape.
(The Offroad Evolution Enduro is a Motorsport SA-sanctioned event.)