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SACCM 2023: Kawasaki ready for cross country finale

South African Cross Country Moto Round 6

Team Green heads to Bloemfontein for National Finals

Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Factory Racing with Scottish Cables and Motul is sending a strong five-rider team to the Trademore South African Cross Country Motorcycle Championship finale at Bloemfontein on Saturday 9 September. Headed by newly crowned Masters champion Pieter Holl and backed by Wian Wentzel in 250cc OR3, open class OR1 man Taki Bogiages and Junior lads Jayden Boyce and Jake Pretorius, the team is ready to deliver.

Pieter Holl has already wrapped up the Masters class aboard his Pepson Plastics Kawasaki KX 250 X, so he can simply concentrate on the Bloemfontein race in its own right. “I’m excited to race the final at Bloemfontein as the new South African Masters champion,” Peiter beamed. “I realised early in the season that the competition was not to be underestimated, but I put my head down and gave it my best and we came out on top. I do this for fun, but I also represent an awesome team and truly appreciate what they do to make my racing possible. This weekend I plan to do it for the team!”

Wian Wentzel is another Pepson Plastics Kawasaki rider to have won in 2023. He’s looking to finish his National season off in style aboard his KX 250 X in the ultra-competitive OR3 Class. “I’m super excited for the last national,” Wian beamed. “I have had some good hours on the bike, so I’m feeling comfy and fit. My team has been awesome throughout the year so a big shoutout to everyone involved. Now let’s end the national season off on a high!”

Taki Bogiages returns to national competition following his recent injury after ending a comeback fifth at the recent Delmas regional aboard his OR1 Pepson Plastics Kawasaki KX 450 X. “I’m super amped to be back on the bike, I have worked hard towards my comeback, and my elbow is getting stronger following a long recuperation,” Taki confirmed. “I have not ridden much but I’m really looking forward to getting back into National mix. Thanks to my incredible team for the belief in me, and all the support and effort!”

Pepson Plastics Kawasaki IPC 125 cc High School lad Jayden Boyce is also looking forward to the Free State finale. “I am very excited to ride in the coming weekend’s National finals,” Jayden admits. “It’s my first time in Bloemfontein, where I’m riding in the IPC 125 High School class, and I will be going for the win. Wishing all my teammates best of luck and special thanks to everyone who makes this all possible.” 85 cc rider Jake Pretorius completes the Pepson Plastics Kawasaki line-up and he too is looking for a strong finish to his season.

“Pepson Plastics Kawasaki Factory Racing with Scottish Cables and Motul heads to Bloemfontein to close off our 2023 South African national Championship campaign,” team boss Iain Pepper confirmed.” We already have a champion this year in Pieter Holl, so let’s see what he and the team can bring home as they finish another great season for the team.”

*Pepson Plastics Scottish Cables Motul Kawasaki Factory Racing salutes Gilberts Mining & Engineering, the Reinhardt Transport Group, Michelin, Arai, Bikewise, Acerbis and Renthal handlebars for their support.

Issued on behalf of Kawasaki Cross Country

SARRC 2023: Fast and demanding Parys 400 double-header takes its toll on special vehicle category


With the dust now settled on the extremely fast and tough Parys 400 double-header on 18 and 19 August, crews in the Special Vehicle Category will need to consolidate their strategies for the remaining two events of the 2023 SA-Rally-Raid Championship.

In the Overall Championship, defending champions Tim Howes and Gary Campbell (BAT Spec4) retain their almost unassailable lead with a tally of 131 points, a whopping 41 points clear of their nearest rival Geoff Minnitt (HPE Can-Am Maverick) (90), and Glen Theron (Moto-Netix Can-Am Maverick) in third place a further 12 points adrift. Their respective navigators occupy third and second in the Navigators’ Championship level pegging on 78 points.

Former Dakar Rally navigator, Rodney Burke sat next to the charismatic Minnitt for the past three rounds, while second placed Craig Galvin (Moto-Netix Can-Am Maverick) accompanied Glenn Theron as his regular navigator.

Ian and Werner (Moto-Netix Can-Am Maverick) occupy the fourth spot with 71 points, while the Class A pairing of Johan Thompson and Maurice Zermatten (Zarco Challenger), who missed the opening round of the season, round out the top five, a slender one point in arrears.

Behind them there is a bit more breathing space with the top ten in the championship rounded out by Ewald van Rensburg/Johan Scheepers (50 points) Can-Am Maverick, Lood du Preez (Farmers’ Meat Stryker) accumulating 36 points, Quentin Lessing/Brendon Smith in the ageing CRT (31), Trace Price Moor/Gareth Aiston (BAT Venom) (30) and Francois de Wit (Can-Am Maverick) clocking up 24 points.

Du Preez and de Wit, paired with two different navigators during the season with Nick van Zyl and Junior Vardy accompanying Du Preez and Pierre Jordaan and Neil de Wit alongside Francois, falling outside the top ten in the Navigators’ Championship.

In the class championships a similar gist is evident, with reigning champions Howes/Campbell (BAT Spec 4), who were victorious in rounds four and five of the Parys 400 double-header, dominating Class A with 127 points. Thomson and Zermatten (Zarco Challenger) on 90 points finished third in round four but were sidelined by a coming together with Howes/Campbell in round four, but due to unforeseen damage, were unable to see out the distance in round five.

Lood du Preez (Farmers Meat Styker) (64 points) who did not enter the double-header in Parys is 26 points in arrears, while and Trace Price Moor and Gareth Aiston (BAT Venom) 35 points only competed in the Sugarbelt 400, are third and fourth respectively.

Eugene Bierman and Pieter Visser (33) also sat out the Parys 400, brothers Keith and Andrew Makenete (32) only competed in round five of the SA Rally-Raid Championship and LC de Jager/Rikus Hattingh (22), after a lengthy absence from the championship finished round four in Parys but failed to finish round five, round off the top seven in Class A.

In Class G runaway leader Geoff Minnitt has won all four races entered this season amassing 134 points with navigator Burke alongside him for three of these adventures is third on 106 points. Glen Theron and Craig Calvin who have successfully finished all five rounds of the championship are second and first respectively in the Drivers’ and Navigators’ championships with 125 reflecting on their score sheets.

Rookie Ian Mostert currently occupies third spot in the Drivers’ Championship with 122 points, while dad Werner is second in the Navigators’ Championship also on 122 points, curtesy of navigator changes.

The top five in the championship are rounded off by Ewald van Rensburg and Johan Schepers with 92 points and Francois de Wit with 59 points versus his navigator Neil de Wit with 54 points.

The Parys 400 double-header attracted no Class P entries so it is status quo for Quentin Lessing/Bredon Smith (32) who have only entered one event so far this season.

There is a lot of work to be done for those playing catch-up and with only two rounds remaining the pressure will be on to put the best foot forward.

The next event on the calendar, the inaugural Renergen 400 at Phakisa Raceway on 6 and 7 October, will deliver an equal playing field for all.

Source SARRC
Images: Plan C Productions

SARRC 2023: SA Rally-Raid Championship balanced on a knife edge

Following the aftermath at the recent Parys 400, rounds four and five of the SA Rally-Raid Championship, which was run in temperate winter conditions in the environs of the Free State town of Parys, sees the 2023 Championship delicately poised on a knife edge.
Only ten points separate the top four in the Overall Production Vehicle Championship with a slender 13 points the barrier between the defending quartet in Class FIA T1+.

Gareth Woolridge/Boyd Dreyer (Ford NWM T1+ Ford Ranger) clinched the overall and class lead with an empathic win on the iconic Toyota Gazoo Racing Kalahari Botswana 1000 Desert race, putting them nine class points and 15 overall points clear of their closest rivals Henk Lategan/Brett Cummings (TGRSA Toyota DKR Hilux T1+), with two victories in the early 2023 season.

From the opening salvos of the Parys 400 double-header, it was evident the mindset in the NWM Ford Castrol and TGRSA camps were almost identical – do your best, score valuable points, and let victory be the bonus.

When the final flag dropped after round five on Saturday, 19 August, it was Woolridge/Dryer, who held onto the Overall Championship lead by a slender three points with a tally of 119. The pair experienced a mechanical problem in loop one of the main race on Friday, 18 August, relegating them to fourth, however, a gutsy performance on Saturday rewarded them with a third in class and overall, pushing them down to second in class with 144 points - the same slender three points in arrears of Lategan/Cummings.

Lategan/Cummings in a faultless run, scored their third victory of the season to win round four on Friday, however, a malfunctioning transmission sensor, which incurred a five minute time penalty for being late into the race line-up, immediately put them on the back-foot. In true spirit of their unwavering commitment, they bravely fought back to finish round five in fourth, notching up 116 points in the Overall Production Vehicle Category and 147 points in the Class Championship.

Defending champion Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy again displayed their dependability and put in a stellar performance to finish round four and five in second place with 114 points towards the Overall Championship and 139 points in class.

Guy Botterill and stand-in navigator Zaheer Bodhanya were well rewarded with their third position in round four and a well-earned first podium of the season in round five and trail their team-mates de Villiers/Murphy by five points in the respective championships.

Further down the field in the Overall championship matters are a little more fluid with 21 points separating the next five with Lance Wooldridge/Kenny Gilbert on 51 points in fifth spot, Eben Basson/Leander Pienaar (47), Johan de Bruyn/Gerhard Schutte (39), Gary Bertholdt/Henry Köhne (38), Chris Visser/Albertus Venter (31) and Johan and Sean van Staden (30), rounding out the top ten. However, the quest for excellence and the fiercely competitive nature of the SA Rally-Raid Championship is guaranteed to deliver plenty of exhilarating action.

In Class T1 the scrap between two feisty rivals, defending champions Eben Basson and Leander Pienaar (#TeamHilux Rally-Raid Toyota) with 136 points and Johan de Bruyn and Gerhard Schutte (Red-Lined REVO T1 ) on 132 points is palpable, with only four points separating the duelling duo. They are trailed by Johan and Sean van Staden in the ageing Renault Duster with 92 points.

Jayden Els and Elvéne Vonk (King Price Xtreme SVR) on 69 points could not see out the distance in round four and were unable to start round five, are followed by Nic Pienaar/Carl Swanepoel (Red-Lined REVO T1) who missed out on the double-header at Parys, on a tally of 68 points.

Not too far off the pace are Jurgen Schröder and Stuart Gregory with 67 points, followed by son Daniel Schröder and Ryan Bland on 55 (Nissan Navara’s), Dave Klaassen and Tessa Rooth (Red-Lined VK 50) on 50 with Gerhard and Rudi Heinlein 28 points rounding off the top ten.

Class T competitors Schalk Burger and Henk Janse van Vuuren recorded their third victory of the season as the lone finishers in the class and trail Hendrik and Heinrich du Plessis by, who could not finish the Parys 400 double-header by eight points.

With only two more rounds and 60 points in the Overall Championship and 70 points in the class championships available, it would be foolhardy to predict a clear winner.

Round Six of the SA Rally-Raid Championship, an all new event on the calendar, takes place from the Phakisa Raceway in the Welkom and Odendaalsrus area on Friday and Saturday 6 and 7 October.

Source: SARRC
Images: Plan C Productions

Parys 400 2023: Parys an international sucess for Red-Lined

Red-Lined Motorsport cars and crews star in Parys 800 Rally Raid

Red-Lined Motorsport returned home from the 4th and 5th rounds of the South African Rally Raid Championship in Parys bearing a significant stash of silverware after a strong weekend for the team in the double-points scoring Free State races. It was also a stunning weekend for the three international teams racing alongside the two regular Red-Lined factory teams.

“Parys was another great weekend of racing for Red-Lined Motorsport,” team boss Terence Marsh reported. “Not only did we come away with a FIA T1 Class Red-Lined built race car podium lockout on Saturday, we also went on to win the prestigious Team Award on both days, while recording nine finishers out of ten starts from the double header event. Best of all, each of our international customer entries were delighted with their results in what was a particularly good weekend for our two brand new Red-Lined REVO T1+ entries.”

One of the stars of the weekend, young 19-year-old lady rally raid racing sensation Aliyyah Koloc and Riaan Greyling were one of two Red-Lined international crews to debut a brand-new Red-Lined REVO T1+ race cars in Parys. The Buggyra Racing duo did an exceptional job to finish both days with aplomb as they came to terms with their all-new race car as they continue their preparations for Dakar 2024.

Fellow REVO T1+ debutants, Belgian Stefan Carmans and his Dutch navigator Arjan Van Tiel also delivered a steady drive to finish both days without issue in their brand-new CSA Racing T1+ machine.

Another Red-Lined weekend highlight was the team’s FIA T1 class performance with Johan de Bruyn and Gerhard Schutte producing a world class performance over both days aboard their OdorCure powered REVO T1. de Bruyn and Schutte finished second on Friday and then went on to finish first in Saturday’s event after another exceptional run. They later dropped behind Jurgen Schroder’s privately run PS Laser VK50 due to an unfortunate penalty.

Dutch duo Dave Klaassen and Tessa Rooth in their Daklapack Rallysport VK50 backed up a good finish on the Friday with a podium third on Saturday. Klaassen arrived in South Africa rather ill but raised his game through the weekend to pick up his maiden SA Rally Raid podium.

Chris Visser and Albertus Venter delivered another impressive result to come home sixth overall in the team’s Dragon Energy powered REVO T1+ on Friday after fighting in the top five among a really super-competitive field for most of the day. They were unfortunately sidelined by a gearbox vibration on Saturday. Prompting the team to rather retire the race car than incur any further damage.

“Parys was once again a tough double header with extremely fast, dry and dusty conditions, but in the end, it was really a good overall team result for us, Terence concluded. “We’re delighted to have delivered our international customers two brand new T1+ cars that performed faultlessly throughout the weekend. We are delighted with our 90% finish rate over the two days, and to top it all off we came home with a pile of silverware which is always so special after a tough and challenging weekend. So, a job well done and much appreciation once again to every member of our incredible team who collectively made it all happen!”

Red-Lined Motorsport’s next South African Rally Raid Championship appointment is round 6 of 7, back in the Free State in Welkom, 6-7 October.

*Red-Lined Motorsport competes with premium strategic partners, the Penta Motor Group, BFGoodrich, Motul, Dragon Energy, OMP, ExpandaSign and Ingco Tools.

Source: Red-Lined Motorsport via Motorsport Media

Parys 400 2023: Two wins from two starts for TGRSA at SARRC rounds 4 and 5

  • 1st place in Round 4 for Henk Lategan and Brett Cummings
  • 2nd place in Round 4 for Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy
  • 3rd place in Round 4 for Guy Botterill and Zaheer Bodhanya
  • 1st place in Round 5 for Guy Botterill and Zaheer Bodhanya
  • 2nd place in Round 5 for Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy
  • Manufacturers’ Award for Toyota in Rounds 4 and 5

The Parys 400 featured two consecutive rounds of the 2023 South African Rally-Raid Championships (SARRC), run in a double-header format, with Round 4 taking place on Friday, 18 August; and Round 5 following on the Saturday. Both rounds comprised full qualifying races, as well as two race loops of roughly 170km each. The two rounds featured largely independent routes, but the dry, dusty terrain of the end-of-winter Free State was a common feature.

It was against this backdrop that TOYOTA GAZOO Racing’s (TGRSA) squad of four Toyota Hilux T1+ crews set about the business of winning races, with Henk Lategan and co-driver Brett Cummings drawing first blood in Friday’s qualifying race. They set the early pace, besting Saood Variawa and Danie Stassen by 48sec over the short qualifying route of 18km.

The race itself – Round 4 of the championship – saw Lategan/Cummings power to a largely uneventful victory, while Variawa/Stassen fell foul to a tricky water crossing that tripped them up, and excluded them from the final results.

But teammates Giniel de Villiers and Dennis Murphy made the most of the opportunity to move up into second place overall. They finished just 25sec behind Lategan/Cummings, with the final Hilux pairing of Guy Botterill and stand-in co-driver, Zaheer Bodhanya, completing the podium. This was a power performance by TGRSA, and a rich contribution towards Toyota winning the Manufacturers’ Award on the day. By the time the dust settled over the first race day of the double-header weekend, Lategan/Cummings had made up some lost ground in the championship fight, and were looking forward to another solid performance in Round 5.

Saturday of the race weekend dawned crisp and cool, and Lategan/Cummings made the most of the conditions to win their second consecutive qualifying race. This time their lead was only 4sec, over Class T1+ rookies, Fouché and Bertus Blignault, in a #TeamHilux T1+. Variawa/Stassen went 4th-fastest, with Botterill/Bodhanya setting the 5th-fastest time of the morning. De Villiers/Murphy suffered a puncture early in the qualifier, costing them a significant amount of time. As a result, they were only 13th-fastest in the session, but the main race offered new opportunities.

As it turned out, Lategan/Cummings suffered a 5min penalty when the transmission of their car required a sensor replacement shortly before the start of the race. They were forced to leave the service park behind schedule, and paid the price in the form of a penalty which largely precluded them from victory. But the TGRSA crew displayed the toughness and tenacity which is synonymous with Toyota to fight back to 4th place overall, thus keeping their championship aspirations alive.

At the same time, De Villiers/Murphy recorded their second 2nd-place finish in as many days, keeping themselves in with a shout in terms of the championship. But the man of the moment was undeniably Botterill, partnered with Bodhanya for this event. The pair recorded a largely clean run to clinch victory, albeit just 9sec ahead of their teammates. A stunning maiden win for the man from KZN/Natal.

As for Variawa/Stassen, they struggled with the GPS unit in their car; and lost further time when they suffered a puncture. The tyre was extremely hot, and they were forced to wait for it to cool down before continuing on their way. Fifth place was the best they could muster in the circumstances, but the pair clearly had significant pace, and will certainly play a role in future events.

“We are extremely happy with our results this weekend,” said TGRSA Team Principal, SVR Hallspeed’s Glyn Hall. “Henk and Brett were a bit unlucky not to win on both days, but we are very pleased for Guy, winning his first event. Giniel and Dennis showed why they are known for their consistency, and we could see that Saood and Danie are sure to make big contributions to the team in the near future.”

The next round of the SARRC will take place in the Free State town of Welkom on 6-7 October, 2023. This will be the penultimate round of the season, with the finale following on 10-11 November in the Waterberg.


Source South African Rally-Raid Championships

As a service to the sport we all love and follow, Rally-Raid Network posts numerous media releases from a wide variety of sources on our website. Due to the large number, and some times short time available, it is nearly impossible to review each public release. These articles are written by reporters or press officers who work for various organizers, teams, drivers, riders, and other parties, and they do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Rally-Raid Network.