WhatRetro Roof of Africa Preview
WhenSaturday 21 September 2019
CommunitySouth Africa National

Lesotho set for a blast from the past

The excitement is growing ahead of the first Motul Retro Roof of Africa Rally in Lesotho on 21 September, with over 70 entries already in and registration still open until the Wednesday before the event. Event organisers are delighted with the response to the new race, but are keen to reiterate its fun and easy-going nature on a stunning Lowlands route.

“Response to the Motul Retro Roof of Africa has been phenomenal and we already have approaching 80 entries with more rolling in every day,” route director Charan Moore confirmed. “We have some most interesting competitors and machines from the old days and a good few current competitors — it seems our fun approach has been widely welcomed and I can confirm that we have put a splendid route together too.

“The Motul Retro Roof is not a car or bike breaker, but rather a blast from the past to celebrate the halcyon days of the classic Roof of Africas of the 1960s, ’seventies and ‘80s,” Moore pointed out. “That is why anyone can bring a normal 4x4, SUV or dirt bike and enter the Sweep class to easily follow the same route behind the competitive guys. “Entry is still open and the weekend will be a blast — log in to the website and join us now!"

The Motul Retro Roof has meanwhile already attracted some most interesting entries to the Mountain Kingdom race, including two Live Lesotho specials for Roof veterans John Moore and Buks Carolin in a Chenowth and Stefan van Pletzen Steyn Viviers in a Zarco V8, Lesotho locals Keith and Andrew Makenete (BAT) Brendan and BR Martin (WPP), Hennie van der Merwe and Leon Pelser, while another Roof of Africa car master, Henri Zermatten will race a Ferm Power Tools Ranger.

Keeping the focus on fun, the Retro Roof's non-competitive Sweep class has also attracted a few surprising entries including old school competitors Bodo Bertholddt and Glen Parker (Prado), Ian Kilburn and Craig Harris (Grand Cheroke) and Ashley Thorn and Barry Marshal (Yamaha Rhino); Magdild and Simon Bak (Chenowth), Griffin and Johan Joubert (Pajero IO), Renier and Elré Weber (Isuzu), Brian Atkins and June Smith and Ryno Pienaar (Grand Cherokee).

Side by Side entries include Hannes and Attie Saaijman’s KON/EMD Polaris turbo, while Tau Tlebere (Yamaha Raptor), Paul Chomse (Yamaha Banshee), Baholo Chimombe (Bombadier) and Suzuki riders Makoae Taoana and Thabo Mahatanya will race the Retro Roof on quads.

A broad and varied two-wheeled Retro Roof entry list will see race veterans like Graham Maclachlan (Lesotho Office Equipment KTM) taking on Senior rivals, KTM duo Andries Lategan and Manny Ferreira and Milton Slabber, Malcolm Joubert and Marius de Klerk on Yamahas, Hannes Rootman and Manfred Nolkensmeier. 

The Pre-99 Vintage Bike class meanwhile sees a few original machines returning to the mountains including Gareth Ireland ('91 KTM 250 EXC), Bertus Bekker (Yamaha IT200), Mark Thompson ('86 Kawasaki KDX200), Evan Pretorius (Honda CR250) and Gordon Johnstone ('96 Yamaha WR 250). George Booker (KTM) is another notable Old School rider taking on Claudio De Luca (KTM 1190 R), JP de Villiers (Tel-a-Car/TAC KTM) and Johan Dreyer (Topwatch) in the Adventure class.

KTM has a proud Roof of Africa history and that winning pedigree clearly shows in the Retro Roof Open bike entry list, where most of the machines will be orange. They include Open class lot, Qkon/EMD trio Dieter and Dawie de Wet and Nico Grobler, Erik Faure, Sechaba Chabeli, Luan Kruger, Reynardt Engelbrecht and Besele Malakane; Joseph Motenane, Tobasti Maseatile (Highlands), Steve Mc Alpine and Sean Koekemoer, while Wesley Liversage brings a touch of blue on his Yamaha.

It’s also an all-KTM affair in the 200cc bike class, where Lekeme Rafoneke takes on Sello Kotele and Moshate Letlela, but there is variety in the Junior bike class, where Sev Oosthuizen (Yamaha) will race against Nkhasi Matete (Husqvarna) and Nkhoakhoa Thabane (KTM). The fun extends to the Sweep Bike class, where Pepson Plastics Husqvarna SA Cross Country trio Taki Bogiages, Iain Pepper and Ryan Ripley ride alongside Yamaha pair Posholi Mpiti and Mohapi Ramoseeka.

“The Motul Retro Roof of Africa is building up to be one hell of a weekend,” event coordinator Buks Carolin concluded. “We have attracted the wide variety of entries we dreamed of including a few serious racers, several Old School Roof folk harking back to the mountains and a bunch of people just out for the fun of it — this is going to be an awesome race!”

The Retro Roof of Africa is an MSA sanctioned event, special one day licenses are available at and entry forms are available at


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