Windhoek-The highly anticipated Enduro racing season for 2017 finally kicked off last weekend when close to 70 motorbikes and quad bikes entered the first race of the Bank Windhoek Namibia Enduro Championship.
The race was held on farm Omakwara with riders from across the country making their way to one of the biggest events, characterised by endless turns on the red sandy surface.
Fifteen riders entered the competitive Open Motorbikes Class, and one of the most interesting duels of the championship went into the first round in this division. Each rider had to complete three laps of approximately 50 km, with only a few seconds between Marcel Henle (KTM) and Henner Rusch (KTM) throughout the race.
In the end Henle managed to build a gap of 41 seconds ahead of Rusch to take victory in this first event. Ruhan Gous (KTM), known for his motocross skills, finished third.
The senior motorbike riders’s championship class saw Jörn Greiter (KTM) taking victory ahead of Derrick Clark (KTM) and Werner Wiese (KTM). A good number of quads entered this event and provided outstanding performance for the spectators.
Last year, Jens Rubow (Yamaha) and JL Oppermann (Honda) were neck to neck until the final event to decide who wins the championship, and this year started on a similar note. Rubow finished first while Oppermann took second place, both riders showing excellent skills. Jens Weynand (Yamaha) came in third to complete the podium.
The 2016 ladies quad champion, Shannon Rowland (Honda), had an excellent start to the race in this category, recording the fastest lap.
She however had to park her quad after completing only two laps. Claire Brendel (Honda) rode at a consistent pace to take victory. Jolly Fourie (Yamaha) showed a strong performance to finish second.
Namibian motocross and enduro have produced a number of very promising riders in the last few years. Youngster Liam Gilchrust (Husqvarna) illustrated his exceptional skills at the Omakwara Enduro. In the Clubmans Class he showed one of the best performances of the day to take victory ahead of Sigi Pack (KTM) and Jürgen Gladis (KTM).
In the Beginners Bike Class, Teddy Kausch (KTM) took victory ahead of Duard Oosthuizen (Suzuki) and Hauke Visher (KTM). The Namibian Enduro Club offers youngsters from the age of 9 the opportunity to compete in the Development Class. Dylan Hilfiker (KTM) won the race ahead of Levin Quinger (KTM) and Charl Marais (Kawasaki).
The Omakwara event provided a perfect start to the Bank Windhoek Namibian Enduro Championship, with numerous new riders joining the championship, young and old, illustrating the growing popularity of the sport. The next event will take place on 11 March on farm Lichtenstein, close to Windhoek.