This weekend marked the start of the highly anticipated National Enduro and National Extreme Enduro Championship. The double header event took riders to Harding, KwaZulu-Natal, for some of the most iconic trails that the country has to offer.
Husqvarna Racing’s Brett Swanepoel spearheaded the hunt for glory on his Husqvarna TE 300i as he took on the highly competitive field of riders in the E2 Class. In what was an action-packed weekend of racing, Swanepoel secured third place overall in both the National Enduro and Extreme Enduro E2 Class.
He commented: “It was a big weekend for us! I put everything into two back-to-back days of racing in some brutal conditions. I’m happy to have gotten some solid points in the bag and look forward to building towards the next rounds.”
Joining Swanepoel in the fight for Enduro glory was rising star Heinrich Aust. Having come painstakingly close to winning the National E1 Enduro Championship last year, the rider is relentless in his pursuit of the title this season on his four-stroke Husqvarna FE 250.
An unfortunate tumble on the second lap dashed his hopes of winning the event, but Aust bounced back to take second for the day in his class and earn valuable championship points for the season ahead.
In the National Extreme Enduro Championship, the team has moved Aust to a Husqvarna TE 250i as he steps up to the E2 Class. After a demanding day in the saddle, Aust finished in a respectable fourth place on his new Enduro machine behind some of the country’s top riders.
He commented: “The Extreme Enduro was nothing short of ‘extreme’ with big technical sections. It’s always good to learn and keep pushing through. My TE 250i was incredible through the gullies and I’m really proud of where I finished.”
The Husqvarna Racing team will now turn their focus to the second round of the National Cross Country Championship. Swanepoel will enter the event with confidence after his impressive start to the season where he took the OR2 Class win and placed second overall.
Teammate Davin Cocker will be out for redemption this weekend. It was a bittersweet season opener for the rider who after leading a portion of the race, got stuck in a mud hole and lost both time and positions.
While the season didn’t start as Cocker had hoped, it certainly proved that Cocker has what it takes to challenge the frontrunners in this sport and he will certainly come back swinging on Saturday.
Published by: Grant Frerichs
Photography by: ZCMC Media