East Cape enduro will be a toughieComment on this story
The battles in the 2012 SA Enduro series will resume this weekend at Round 2, the H-Tec Liquorland Enduro, in the Humansdorp area of the Eastern Cape.
The route will consist of one big loop, including tight sections, some hill climbs, riverbeds and meandering rocky paths. E1 (Open) and E2 (200cc) competitors will ride the loop four times and complete six special timed stages. Good rains have recently fallen in the area and dust will not be a problem - although mud could be!
Defending title holder, Chris Birch (KTM) will be at the front of the field, even though he's battling with a knee injury after crashing out of Round 1. His opposition will include the winner of that race, Jade Gutzeit (Yamaha) who is now leading the overall standings as well as E1, and his team mate Marc Torlage, who finished second overall and won E2 and is ready for a first overall victory.
RIDING WITH A POINT TO PROVE
The 'official' KTM riders haven't had an overall victory between them for quite some time - Louwrens Mahoney is third in the overall standings and second in E1 with Dakar hero Darryl Curtis fourth overall and third in E1. Riaan van Niekerk is further down in 10th overall (fourth in E2) while Gray Dick is 14th. They all need to better their positions and will be riding with a point to prove.
Stunt star Brian Capper (KTM) is back from a knee operation and will be chasing hard to improve his fifth place overall (fourth in E1) while enduro newcomer Lloyd Vercuel (Husaberg) would like to prove that his sixth-place finish in his debut event was no fluke.
Yamaha's Bradley van Aswegen is second in E2 (seventh overall), just one point ahead of James Hodson (KTM) on the overall standings and two points ahead of him in E2; the battle in this ultra-competitive class will continue in Eastern Cape, with Scott Bouverie (KTM) fifth in E2 (11th overall); he and Dominic Mantle will tackle the event with some international racing experience after competing together with Birch in the Red Bull City Scramble in New Zealand, where Birch finished third and Bouverie ninth.
Reigning Senior Class champion William 'Wild Bill' Gillit (Yamaha) will be on a serious charge to catch the winner at Round 1, Jodi Engelbrecht, who's also on a Yamaha. Newcomer Ryan Struckman (Yamaha) is third, but his experienced team mate, Steven Landman (Gas Gas), who failed to finish at the previous meeting, could well change that, as only a few points separate the competitors after the first event.
Denzil Torlage (Yamaha) will again be the man to beat in the Master Class where he bagged the maximum amount of points at the first race in his quest to defend his title. Mark du Plessis (KTM) is again chasing him and is currently second followed by Graydon Ilderton (KTM), and the rest will be in hot pursuit with not many points separating them.
All the action will take place at the Twisters Sports Club in Humansdorp - where entrance for spectators will be free - and the race will start on Saturday, 14 April at 8am.