|Donaldson CC: Rhide SA´s Brian Baragtwanath wins Quads Dakar Challenge|
One of Team Rhide SA’s three quad riders, Brian Baragwanath (26) has won the Dakar Challenge at the "Botswana Motorsport Desert Race" that was held over two days (Saturday and Sunday, 28 and 29 June) and about 800 kilometers in the Jwaneng area in Botswana. This result secures his entry in the quad category of the 2015 Dakar Rally.
The three team-members – Baragwanath, Hannes Saaijman and Ted Barbier – competing with their Yamaha Raptor 700 quads that are in the process of being developed for their possible participation in the 2015 Dakar Rally – have entered the Dakar Challenge at the Botswana event where a free entry into next year’s Dakar Rally in South America was up for grabs. The team is in the process of acquiring sponsorship and funding to enter the Dakar Rally for the first time and a free entry will go a long way to assist with the funding.
Quad competitors had to tackle the race this past weekend behind the motorcycle riders and Baragwanath finished the first day in the second place overall (local Botswana motorcycle rider, Ross Branch, took the lead after the first day’s 400 kilometer section) with Saaijman second in the quad category (he was fifth overall) and Barbier fifth in the quads (14th overall).
Competitors had to take on a different 400 kilometer route on the second day. Baragwanath experienced clutch problems early during the day and could only fix it after completing the first loop. He was then hindered by electrical problems and lost positions as well as time, but pushed on to eventually finished second in the quad category. Berne Bester, who is an employee at BB (Brian Baragwanath) Motorsport, won the quad category after two days’ racing and finished third overall with Baragwanath fourth overall (motorcycles and quads). Branch won the race with his team-mate, Louw Schmidt, second in the motorcycles and second overall.
There was no luck for Saaijman (32) who had to see all his hard work come to nothing as he was excluded due to him missing marshal control points. Barbier (47), who is known for posting consistent race results, finished second in the Dakar Challenge and was third overall in the quad category. A flat tyre during the race cost him some time.
"The route was pure sand and bush the whole way with deep ruts and whoops caused by the racing vehicles," Baragwanath said afterwards. "It was the toughest race I’ve done all year," he said.
Baragwanath has already won all four rounds of the SA National Off-road Quad Championship this season while he has also won the quad category and finished third overall (behind the 2013 national off-road motorcycle champion who was second and double Dakar Rally motorcycle finisher who won the event) at the six-day Namaqua African Rally held in the Western Cape.
"I have my heart set on going to the 2015 Dakar Rally and winning my entry to this event, not only helps us financially, but it ensures that I will be competing in this category where only 40 odd entries are being accepted each year," Baragwanath said. "We still have a long way to go to reach our goal regarding sponsorship, but we are positive that we will get the necessary funding," the happy Pretoria businessman said.
According to Xavier Gavory, who represents the Dakar Challenge competition on behalf of the organisers of the Dakar Rally (ASO), the Dakar Rally organisation is happy with Baragwanath winning the Dakar Challenge in Botswana. "Brian has achieved a fantastic result over the weekend," Gavory said. "Brian is the kind of competitor we are looking for at the Dakar Challenge. He is young, talented, skilled and dedicated with a real passion for the Dakar Rally," he concluded.
Baragwanath’s prize includes his registration fees; fuel for all the special stages during the Dakar Rally; all his food in the bivouac; medical assistance; basic insurances; the rental of the safety equipment as well as the logistical cost of his quad from France to South America. The value of this package is €15,000.
Baragwanath is currently leading the SA National Off-road Quad Championship and the Q1 Class Championship while Saaijman is leading the Q2 standings (he is fifth overall in the quad category) and Barbier is third in the Senior Class Championship. The team is busy with preparations for the fifth and penultimate round of the season that will take place on 23 August in the Frankfort / Reitz area in the Free State.
2014/07/03 | 17:39 CET | ARTICLE: MR/HS/THIART