The annual Bank Windhoek National Enduro Championships enter the second half of the championship season when round five resumes at the mountain village town of Uis in the vast Erongo Region on Saturday.
Uis last hosted the event in 2014 and is now back on the championship calendar. The challenging track in Uis comprises of a mixture of technical and fast riding, with sections passing through quarries and super-soft white dunes.
Spectators will be exposed to lots of action accompanied by scenic pleasure from an elevated plateau overlooking large parts of the track.
Kai Hennes (KTM), Björn Bierbrauer (Yamaha), Pascal Henle (KTM) and Henner Rusch (KTM) continue their nail-biting rivalry for the championship lead in the motorbikes class of more than 250cc. The pair is separated by only two championship points.
Rusch, who made it three wins in a row at Neu Heusis three weeks ago, and who was also the winner in 2014, is clearly in the driving seat since he is such a phenomenal rider that could easily cancel one result of the championship in the final calculation by the end of the season.
In the motorbikes up to 200cc class, veteran riders Ingo Waldschmidt (KTM) and Tommy Gous (Yamaha) are in close contention for the championship lead and are separated by three points.
However, 3rd placed Joern Greiter (KTM) could be a strong contender for victory after he also won in Uis the last time around. Marcel Henle (KTM), who missed the last event at Neu Heusis as a result of injury, has already recorded two victories this season and hopefully has recovered to participate this weekend.
Sven Schneidenberger (KTM), who has been dominating the senior motorbikes class this season, will aim to make it five wins in a row. His closest contender this season, Frank Ahlreip (KTM), is also in good form and could threaten to spoil the show.
Kai Hohmeier (KTM) steadily improved his performance this season by riding a near perfect race at Neu Heusis where he finished third. He managed to clinch victory at the same venue in 2014 ahead of Schneidenberger, a coup he would seek to accomplish again this year.
Gerald Heiser (KTM) and Jürgen Gladis (KTM), separated by only four championship points, still enjoy a comfortable lead over 3rd placed Ronnie Adams (KTM) in the Clubman’s Class.
Adams finished second in the season’s opening race at Omakwara, before returning with a victory at Neu Heusis. He is likely to be a strong contender for the podium this weekend.
In the Off-road Bikes Class, Kurt Hartung (KTM) enjoys a comfortable lead over second placed youngster Lenny Bagwitz (KTM), who will be eager to continue his recent upward trend.
Other riders in this particular class, such as Juan van As (KTM), have also shown steady improvement and will be strong contenders for a podium finish.
In the Development Class, Swakopmund-based championship leader Liam Gilchrist (Husqvarna) will have a shorter distance to cover to attend the event compared to most other riders. The absence of championship leader Noam Babluki (KTM) could throw the race wide open.
Adam Johnston (Yamaha), currently placed third, could however move to top spot too with a victory at Uis.
J. L. Opperman (Honda) interrupted Jens Rubow’s (Yamaha) winning streak in the Open Quads Class at Neu Heusis with Rubow having clinched all three races of the season, making him to start this weekend’s race as slight favourite.
Oppermann rode an immaculate race to secure victory at Neu Heusis and will seek to continue in this path. His second place finish in 2014 and vast knowledge of the track might prove to be an advantage over his competitors.
In the Ladies Quad Class, Maike Bochert (Honda) is likely to extend her winning streak after victory at Neu Heusis. Championship leader Shannon Rowland (Honda) has been in good form this season and will be out to remain retain her lead.
Registration and scrutineering for all Windhoek-based riders take place on Thursday between 18h00 and 19h00 at KTM Namibia, Andimba Toivo Ya Toivo Street, Southern Industrial Area.
The race proceedings start in the morning at 07h00 with documentation and technical control, while the first bike off the line is scheduled for 09h00. This weekend’s action is co-sponsored by No Limit and Prothatch Namibia.
The Namibian Enduro Club offers quad and off-road motorbike enthusiasts the chance to enjoy enduro sport and encourages newcomers to join. For further information please consult the Namibian Enduro Club website www.namibianenduro.com where more information and registration forms are available.