After seven eventful races the champions will be crowned this weekend when the grand final of the Bank Windhoek Namibian Enduro Championship takes place at Farm Döbra, north-east of Windhoek on Saturday.
This year could mark the transition in generations, as multiple champions Henner Rusch (KTM, leader motorbikes more than 250 cc) and Ingo Waldschmidt (KTM, leader motorbikes up to 200 cc) come under pressure to lose their championship titles to the young guns with the pair of Pascal Henle (KTM, more than 250 cc Class) and Marcel Henle (KTM, up to 200 cc Class) waiting in the wings.
The event, also referred to as “Otjihase” due to the proximity to the Otjihase Mine, will follow tracks in a diverse landscape, including broad riverbeds, rocky terrain and canyons. Spectators can follow the action near the pit area along a sandy riverbed.
In the motorbikes with more than 250 cc Class, the Namibian championship is a two-horse race between Rusch and Pascal Henle.
Rusch, however, enjoys a comfortable lead of 13 championship points and even if Henle wins Rusch would only need to finish amongst the top 8 to be crowned overall champion. Kai Hennes (KTM) still has a slim chance of finishing 2nd overall, trailing Henle by 12 championship points.
Marcel Henle (KTM) showed a classy performance in the motorbikes up to 200 cc Class in the last event where he won, clocking the fastest lap time, the fastest overall race time of all riders. However championship leader Ingo Waldschmidt (KTM) ensured his championship lead remains intact, finishing 2nd and 3 championship points ahead of Henle.
Waldschmidt can secure the championship by ending ahead of Henle in the last event, while victory for Henle will at least bring him equal on points with Waldschmidt, should the latter finish 2nd.
In the Senior Motorbikes Class, the championship will be another two-horse race between Sven Schneidenberger (KTM) and Frank Ahlreip (KTM) in the final event. The two riders are separated by seven championship points, while Werner Wiese (KTM) and Kai Hohmeier (KTM) are currently tied in points for third place.
The Clubman’s Class is as tight as it can get ahead of the final event. Gerald Heiser (KTM) has a one-point edge ahead of Juergen Gladis (KTM). Equally only one point apart are Adams (3rd overall) and Erni (4th overall), in contention for third place. A nail-biting finish is guaranteed.
In the Off-Road Bikes Class, Kurt Hartung (KTM) has already secured the championship with his victory in the last event.
Lenny Bagwitz (KTM), Juan van As (KTM) and Keanu Weber-Trianus are still in contention for the other podium places, with Lenny Bagwitz in advantage as he is currently placed second with an 8 championship points lead.
Noam Babluki (KTM) and Adam Johnston (Yamaha) will be fighting for the Development Class Championship, where Liam Gilchrist (Husqvarna) has secured third overall already.
In the Open Quad Class Jens Rubow (Yamaha) leads the championship 9 points ahead of J.L. Opperman (Honda), who has a lead of 16 points to Claire Brendel (Honda).
The final championship standings thus seem set – however, both Rubow and Opperman have yet to see the finish line. In the Ladies Quad Class, championship leader Shannon Rowland (Honda) went off the track during the last event 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.
To find the venue, riders and spectators need to follow the B6 out of Windhoek in an eastern direction towards Gobabis for approximately 15 km, and turn off to the Otjihase Mine. After driving towards the mine for approximately 14 km, the mine entrance will appear. From this point onwards the signage “Enduro” will guide to the pit area. The riders will start at 9:00.
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 website www.namibianenduro.com where more information and registration forms are available.