Off-roadrace goes to Kopong

Riders are off to Kopong this weekend PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Riders are off to Kopong this weekend PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

As the sun is about to set on the Botswana Motor Sport (BMS) off-road championship, competitors will battle it out in the seventh of the nine rounds at Kopong tomorrow. 

Vehicles will make their second appearance since round three of the championship held at Malotwane in April.  The round seven of the championship, dubbed Kopong 200, will have special vehicles, bakkies, quad and two wheeler bikes competing over a distance of 200km.

A tough show is expected from top local riders who will be aiming to end the series on a high note with just two rounds remaining. 

The final rounds of the championship will be in Maun and Serowe respectively. Held just 30km from the capital city, Kopong 200 will have all the categories featured for the event. 

In the quad bikes section, there will be competitions for the B3 quadbikes, B7 quadbikes, wildebeest junior quadbikes and the wildebeest senior quadbikes. 

A fierce battle, however, is expected in the two-wheeler bikes where a number of local top riders amongst them Mark Wilkinson, Kosmas Mamaloukus, Robert Pollock, Kagiso Stephens and Boineelo Rantao will battle for a podium finish in the OR1 category.

Following his triumph at the 1000km Toyota Desert Race, Wilkinson has a good lead at the top of the OR1 category. Despite competing in an OR2 at the ‘Mantshwabisi’, the Maun-based rider walked away as the overall winner of the race. 

He, however, faces stern competition from local hero, Pollock. Riding in his home village, Pollock will have an extra edge over his rivals, but will have to be on the look out for the determined duo of Rantao and Stephens.

Race director, John Kelly of Gaborone Motor Club anticipates a good crowd for the event.

“The people in Kopong have been very supportive over the years.  They always love having us whenever we take our races to their village. I should say we would have a good number of people coming to the race.  This is why we will be having cars once; we expect around 10 to 15 cars for the event,” he said.

Kelly further stated the terrain in the area provides a tough test for the riders as the championship heats up.

“This is not your normal terrain like the one we were used to having in Jwaneng. The terrain is what we call a hard-pack,” he said.

“There are of lot of farms around Kopong, so it will be a very tight and technical race. The terrain consists mostly of hard ground. But the riders are used to it. I think it would be suitable for the faster ones.” By Wednesday, GMC had received more than 50 entries for the race while the organisers expected the number to rise. Riders from neighbouring South Africa and Namibia will compete at the race.

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