With the first round of the Raslouw Academy Junior National Championship taking place at Rysmierbult in the Ventersdorp area in the North-West Province on Saturday, it is quite clear that the youngsters – among them some of the South Coast’s brightest young riders – are serious about off-road motorcycle racing.
Due to various reasons, there was no Junior National Championship series last year, but the different regions (the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Northern Regions) all continued to host racing for the juniors.
This year, juniors between the ages of seven and 15 can compete in the Raslouw Academy Junior National Championship.
This series consists of five rounds and will take youngsters from the Ventersdorp area (round one) to Mooi River in KwaZulu-Natal (round two on 25 April) and Stella in the North-West Province (round three on 5 June).
With the season then in the second half, the young riders will visit Louis Trichardt for the penultimate round on 1 August with a visit to the Western Cape will round off the season on 25 September when they will race in the Worcester area.
There are three motorcycle classes: a 65cc Class for young riders from the year of their seventh birthday to the 31st December of the year in which their 12th birthday occurs; an 85cc Class for riders from the year of their eighth birthday to 31 December of the year in which their 13th birthday occurs and a Senior 85cc Class for competitors from the year of their 13th birthday to 31
December of the year in which their 16th birthday occurs.
There is also a Junior Quad Class for young four-wheel competitors from the year of their 10th birthday to 31st December of the year in which their 16th birthday occurs. As with any racing, there are rules and restrictions for each class and riders and their parents and/or sponsors must make sure their motorcycles and quads as well as the riders comply with the rules for each class.
Riders, take out the iPads (or an old-fashioned map book!) and look on a map of South Africa where your ‘competition’ will be travelling from as rider from all over the country have already entered for the first event held almost in the middle of the country. To complete the geography lesson: look where Ventersdorp is to know where you will be racing!
Having a look at the entry list, the names of former junior champions Stefan van Deventer and Noah Maartens (Pa Ma Racing) are familiar.
They will be travelling all the way from Matatiele, a small town on the border of the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal (Kokstad is their closest ‘big’ town) close to the Drakensberg.
Another former champion, Kayde Mante (pictured), also a member of Pa Ma Racing (the name of this team has been derived from the dads and moms who are paying for the racing) is a surfer from Shelley Beach while Trevor Finlay is from Ballito.
More riders from KwaZulu-Natal include Matt Green (Kargo Racing) from Kamberg in the Drakensberg, Ethan Bailey from Uvongo and the Henderson trio of Guy, Matthew and Josh from Umzumbe.
Some riders will travel as far as the Cape. These include Troy Sullivan and Max Ledgerwood while Dean Gouws is from Stellenbosch. Also travelling quite far is HJ Pienaar who is from Lephalale (Ellisras) in the Limpopo Province while it will be a ‘home race’ for Willie Botes, Maarten van Jaarsveld and Gunther Foit who are from Potchefstroom.
Though the entry list is still growing, quite a few riders from Gauteng have already entered. Kyle Bronson and Hayden Tully will compete in the 65cc Class while the rest of the riders are spread between the 85cc and Senior 85cc Classes – Armand Fourie; Matthew Wilson; Liam Krause and Luke Davis are all from Johannesburg while Ryan Pelser and Dylan Ackhurst are both from Pretoria.
Only one entry has been received in the Junior Quad Class so far – Damien Robert, son of the former Q2 quad champion, Justin Robert, hopes to see many more quaddies on the start line on Saturday.
A two-hour race on a separate 20km loop in the diamond fields awaits all the junior competitors for the first round of the Raslouw Academy Junior National Championship. They hope to see many spectators and the racing promises to deliver great action!
The junior race starts just after 8:00 and takes place at the same venue as the ‘senior’ race that forms the first round of the TOTPAK National Off-Road Championship while both junior and senior events are also part of the Northern Regions Championship.
Competitors with a national MSA licence are welcome to enter via www.dirtracing.co.za Enquiries at firstname.lastname@example.org