Round seven of the annual Bank Windhoek Namibian Enduro Championship took place at Farm Döbra, south-east of Windhoek on Saturday.
Young rider Marcel Henle celebrated the day before his 16th birthday in fine style by winning the motorbikes up to 200 cc class, clocking the fastest overall race time of all riders, while in other classes champions were decided and dramas unfolded.
The race attracted 45 riders from 11 to 52 years of age to a magnificent track close to the Otjihase Mine, and it took last year’s champion Henner Rusch (KTM) 4 hours and 9 seconds to complete the approximately 115 km course (5 laps), claiming the motorbikes division with more than 250 cc class.
Pascal Henle (KTM) followed in 2nd place ahead of Corne Visser (Sherco) adrift in 3rd, with Kai Hennes (KTM) tailing in 4th place.
The national championship has now become a two-horse race between Rusch and Henle in the final event in three weeks’ time. Rusch enjoys a comfortable lead of 13 championship points, but Hennes still has a chance to finish 2nd overall, as he trails Henle by 12 championship points.
Marcel Henle (KTM) gave himself an early gift ahead of his 16th birthday by winning the motorbikes up to 200 cc class, clocking the fastest lap time (00:45:21) and the fastest overall race time of all riders (03:54:03).
Championship leader Ingo Waldschmidt (KTM) however ensured his championship lead remained intact, finishing 2nd with Joern Greiter (KTM) in 3rd.
It will be a true showdown in the final race between Waldschmidt and Henle, with only three points separating the pair. However, veteran rider Waldschmidt can secure the championship if he finishes ahead of Henle in the final event, while Henle can equal the points table if he records a victory, and should Waldschmidt end 2nd.
In the senior motorbikes class, Sven Schneidenberger (Husaberg), fully fit after recovering from injury, took victory with a more than 10-minute gap ahead of David Brown (KTM).
Stefan du Plessie (KTM) finished third. Championship second, Frank Ahlreip (KTM), had an unlucky day as he put in an extremely strong performance, but unintentionally missed a waypoint several times, which cost him a podium finish.
Nevertheless, the championship will be an affair between Schneidenberger and Ahlreip in the last event, while Werner Wiese (KTM) and Kai Hohmeier (KTM) are currently tied for third place.
The clubman’s class saw Ronnie Adams (KTM) take first place, ahead of Gerald Heiser (KTM), Heinz Erni (KTM) and Jürgen Gladis (KTM). In the championship this gives Heiser a one-point edge ahead of Gladis. Equally only one point apart are Adams (3rd overall) and Erni (4th overall). Exciting racing is guaranteed until the last minute of the final event in the clubman’s class.
In the off-road bikes class Kurt Hartung (KTM) secured the championship with his fifth victory of the season. Juan van As (KTM), who had challenged Hartung with very strong performances recently, had to resign in the second lap after leading the race initially.
Lenny Bagwitz (KTM) found the form he had shown in the first part of the season to finish second, and moved into second place in the championship.
Andre van Zyl (Yamaha) finished third. Christina Eins (KTM) – the only lady motorbike rider in the field – finished 7th. In the development class, Noam Babluki (KTM) took victory ahead of Adam Johnston (Yamaha), and now leads the championship by 8 points.
The open quad class ended with Jens Rubow (Yamaha) taking victory ahead of J. L. Opperman (Honda) and Claire Brendel (Honda). Rubow leads the championship 9 points ahead of Opperman.
In the ladies quad class, championship leader Shannon Rowland (Honda) went off the track and could not finish the race. Maike Bochert (Honda) took victory and thus stayed in contention for the championship, as Rowland and Bochert are exactly 20 points apart ahead of the final event. The next championship event will take place on October 8.
The Namibian Enduro Club offers quad and off road motorbike enthusiasts the possibility to enjoy Enduro sport and encourages newcomers to join. For further information please consult the Namibian Enduro Club web site www.namibianenduro.com where more information and registration forms are available.