Donna Collins The revival of Moto-X in Namibia ended on a high note last month, when the ‘Moto-X December Challenge’ drew a whopping 90 entries to the newly refurbished track in Swakopmund. This was ranked as one of the biggest race meetings to be held in Namibia over the past decade, which attracted an estimated 1 000 spectators. It was also the first international status Moto-X race staged at the coast, with riders from all over the country as well as three from South Africa taking part in this two-day action packed event. The new 1.7 kilometre track cost the organising committee of the Swakopmund Moto-X Track around N$100 000 to rebuild from scratch at the old dormant site. This comprised some hard labour preparing the racing surface, stacking sand jumps, erecting a commentating booth, documentation tower as well as a large shaded spectator area to mention some. As a build up to the race itself, the first day was dedicated to a practise session and an opportunity for riders to familiarise themselves with the newly laid out track, with its challenging jumps and obstacles. A total of 11 classes were well represented from 500cc to 450cc, which included the first ladies class. There was even a sky diving display and a stunt plane doing tricks too add to the excitement of the day. Spokesperson from the Swakop MX Promoters committee, Mike Nederlof said that there was a huge drive, and plenty of support to get the track up and running to stage this event. “We brought the track back to life and raised it to FIM (Federation International Motorcycle) standards, complying with the many requirements set out.” explained Nederlof, saying the track can accommodate both the novice and experienced rider, while meeting all safety requirements. “In fact, the new MX track is now on spec to host the Africa Moto-X Championships, as not since 2007 has Namibia held an event of this status. “We are also concentrating on growing the sport for the younger generation, as it is a very dedicated sport which promotes a healthy lifestyle for our youth with a lot of family involvement.” Nederlof said that about a dozen sponsors helped make this event such a huge success, which included the services of earthmoving equipment, water trucks, plus building material and other large donations. Dune Worx Yamaha were the main sponsors of the day. Meanwhile Mark Sternagel was crowned as ‘King of the Dirt’, with Liam Gilchrist taking the trophy for ‘Prince Of the Track (max 125cc) Liam Gilchrist. Mark Sternagel and Marcel Henie won the MX1 and MX2 Class respectively, with Veteran competitor Jaco Maree the man to beat. An exciting ladies MX race was dominated by Geena Sadlowski, while the Clubman Class saw Pascal Henle take the top spot. In the Quad category Maike Bochert flew the flag for the ladies riders, with Jens Rubow winning the Quad Men. Dylan Coetzer won the 50cc Class; Lehan Augustyn led the 65cc race, while the Rookies category was won by Rhys Cragg. Currently the Swakop Moto-X Track Promoters committee are in negotiations with the NMSF (Namibian Motorsport Federation) to host a 2018 championship series at the new Swakopmund Moto-X Track, with dates soon to be released. The committee are: Mike Nederlof, Russel Gilchrist, Wido Bartsch and Norbert Saelowski, Nick Maritz, Ferdi Poolman and Mario Prinsloo. “We are hoping to put at least two events together for the upcoming season, plus our big December event, but meanwhile, will utilise the track for practise purposes between races,” Nederlof concluded.
2018-01-18 09:28:07 8 months ago