Walton wins again

Gavin Walton’s third success in a row (and fourth overall) sees him lead home a trio of former winners in the 2019 DJ Rally.

Words and photographs: Roger Houghton

Experience was certainly a telling factor in the 2019 DJ Run, staged for the 106th time between Durban and Johannesburg on March 15/16.

Former winners took the top three places and there were another two ex-winners in the top 10. Gavin Walton notched up his fourth overall win, while three-time winner Martin Davis was second and Kevin Robertson, a seven-time victor, third.

Texas State Patrolman Gary Gilmore, of Houston, who has ridden motorcycles all over the world, says riding the DJ on Peter Gillespie’s 1930 twin-port 500cc Ariel Model Fwas certainly one of the highlights.

There were 54 finishers from an original field of 79, although, in true DJ spirit, several riders who suffered mechanical mishaps repaired their bikes and rode to the finish at the Classic Motorcycle Club’s clubhouse in Germiston.

Gavin Walton had good reason to look happy after notching up a hat-trick of wins in the DJ Run, riding his faithful 1936 500cc AJS Model 9. He is the first person to win three consecutive DJ Runs and also won in 2009.

This historic event commemorates the annual motorcycle road race between Durban and Johannesburg which took place before racing on public roads was banned.

Since 1971 the DJ Run has been staged as a regularity trial between the two cities, usually following closely to the original route, with competitors now having to ride at set average speeds instead of racing. Qualifying motorcycles must have been manufactured before 1937.

Read more and view more images in the June 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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