All pictures in this article courtesy of www.sportspics.co.za

Ivana Cetinich leads Fabienne Lanz on the way to historic DD2 National win

  • Ivana Cetinich scores her first-ever win in a kart race against the cream of SA motorsport in the DD2 Gearbox class in Race Two at Round Three of the National Championship in KZN on July 8, 2017.
  • Veteran kart racer Fabienne Lanz makes it a “femme fatale” 1-2, as she claims second place behind Cetinich
  • Dominic Lincoln scores his maiden National karting win in Race Two in the Junior Max class at Idube Raceway.
  • Super tight racing in all classes throughout the day

The Idube karting circuit in the KZN Midlands was the scene of an historic triumph for women drivers on Saturday, July 8, 2017.

Ivana Cetinich first lady driver to win a DD2 National Championship karting race in South AfricaYoung Pretoria Law student Ivana Cetinich scored a dramatic win in Race Two of the fastest and most competitive karting class in kart racing. And she was followed home by fellow lady-driver Fabienne Lanz, ahead of three multiple karting and main circuit National champions!

“It was simply amazing, said the petite Cetinich after becoming the first female driver to win a DD2 Gearbox race at National Championship level. What made the victory even more sweet was that this was her first win in karting of any description, since she began competing just a few years ago!

“I was really surprised to be on pole position for Race Two,” she said with a delighted smile. “And even more surprised that I managed to stay there and win the race!”

Cetinich added that the victory was made even more sweet by having Fabienne Lanz finish second.

“Fabienne and I are really good friends and I leaned on her in that first corner,” she said, referring to a fraught start being chased by over 20 of the finest senior karting drivers in the country.

Lanz said the 15-lap race felt like “it was 10 laps too long”, a nod to the pressure she had behind, from the likes of Leeroy Poulter, Bradley Liebenberg and Michael Stephen. “I really pushed Ivana for the lead at the end and she in fact made a slight mistake on the last lap, but she saved it and held on to win. Well done to her!”

Ed Murray, importer of Rotax karts to this country and the founder of the Rotax series here, said that he believes the Rotax National Karting Championship is the most competitive form of any motorsport currently being conducted in South Africa.

“Ivana’s win was a real treat, and doubly so when you see the quality of drivers she and Fabienne had behind them – three National Champions in third, fourth and fifth, in the form of Leeroy Poulter, Bradley Liebenberg and Michael Stephen. Leeroy has competed at Dakar and has won the SA off road championships and won National rally championships. Bradley is a front runner in the GTC2 class in main track racing, and Michael is a multiple National Touring Car Champion.

“You can see how competitive our series is by our results in the Rotax World Championship, where 60 countries take part. We have won 13 World titles there, in the past 17 years!”

The fact that Cetinich and Lanz started on the front row for Race Two was the result of a ruling that sees the grids for races two and three decided by fastest lap time in the preceding race, rather than race results (Race One grids are decided by individual qualifying laps run before the day’s racing begins.)

As far as the overall DD2 results for the day were concerned In this meeting, Round Three of the four-round 2017 South African Rotax Max Challenge National Karting Championship, the overall winner for the day was Leeroy Poulter. Leeroy’s win for the day was the result of two third places and a second.

The other two race winners were Benjamin Habig who won Race Three and Brad Liebenberg, who won the first race. Liebenberg, who arrived at Idube leading the DD2 championship, had to be content with a fourth place in race Two and then an 11th place in Race Three. Bradley actually finished the final race in the top five on the road but was docked 10 seconds due to a bumper infringement.

Habig’s win in the final DD2 race was highly popular, after a difficult weekend on his “home” circuit.

DD2 and DDD2 Masters winner Leeroy Poulter. Picture by www.SportsPics.co.zaIn the DD2 Masters class, for drivers aged 32 and over, Poulter was the overall winner followed by Michael Stephen. But in third place in the Masters category was Gauteng’s Marouan Selmi who had an excellent day’s racing to place 11th overall in the DD2 class ( which races concurrently with the Masters class). Fourth in the Masters for the day was KZN’s Jonathan Pieterse.

Senior Max winner Luke Herring. Picture by www.SportsPics.co.zaSenior Max Challenge , the top non-gearbox class, ended up being a triumph for Cape Town’s Luke Herring. The very experienced former champion driver was the class of the field all weekend, and he logged two straight wins in the opening two races, before having to settle for third place in Race Three.

The other race winner in this very competitive field was Johannesburg’s Cameron O’ Connor, who endured some difficult skirmishes in Races One and Two before finally coming good in the final race. Cape Town’s Dino Stermin arrived at Idube as the favourite but things didn’t go completely his way either. He nevertheless survived a 360 degree spin in the final Max Challenge race of the day to just hold off Herring for second!

Overall, Herring won the day from returnee Clinton Bezuidenhout, the KZN driver back after a three year layoff from karting. Stermin, the championship points leader coming into Round Three, endured a somewhat torrid two opening races before coming back strongly in Race Three, and claiming third overall for the day. Fourth in the day’s standings was the always impressive Jason Coetzee, followed by Michael Buchholz and Cameron O’Connor.

Junior Max winner Sebastian Boyd. Picture by www.SportsPics.co.zaJunior Max, for drivers aged 12-15 years-old, has spawned a deep pool of driving talent in 2017, and as usual in this class the action all the way through the17-kart field was ultra fast and furious.

The day’s racing here was notable for a maiden (and dominant!) race win at national Championship level for Dominic Lincoln, the KZN driver enjoying home track familiarity at Idube. Lincoln is coached by former World 250 cc karting champion Wade Nelson, a long-time KZN resident.

In the other two races Lincoln had to give best to Sebastian Boyd, who scored two fine wins and a third place to head the day’s standings, while in third place, behind Lincoln, was Charl Visser, who fought back from some bumping and barging on a number of occasions, the young Capetonian always showing super-quick pace and determination. Fourth overall was Jason Coetzee, always there or thereabouts in the fight for the lead, followed by Shrien Naidoo and the calm-and-collected young lady driver, Cameron Dias.

Mini Max winner Leyton Fourie. Picture by www.SportsPics.co.zaMini Max, for drivers aged 10-13, has drawn a very competitive field for 2017 in its maiden year as a National Championship class. A glance at the result sheets could indicate that it was a walk in the park for Leyton Fourie, who scored three straight wins. But he had to work very hard for all of them, even though he led just about every lap at Idube.

Second for the day was the ever-improving Daniel de Paiva, enjoying a fine season, and he engaged in some great dog-fights with Kai van Zyl (third) and Aqil Alibhai (fourth). Fifth for the day was Jarrod Waberski, followed by Tate Bishop, Liam de Beer and Ethan Coetzee.

Micro Max win ner Joshua de Paiva. Picture by www.SportPics.co.zaMicro Max (for drivers aged 7-11) is a class that is also in its first year, and enjoys the youngest age entry-limit at this level of racing! Here , overall winner Joshua de Paiva had some almighty scraps with Mandla Mlangeni, a relative newcomer to this level of racing, and a talent to watch. Mandla finished second for the day, ahead of the more experienced, but very quick Muhammed Wally, Jayden Goosen and Mohammed Moerat,

Maxterino winner Jordan Brooks. Picture by www.SportsPics.co.zaThe Maxterino 60 cc class (for ages 8-11) saw its traditional all-out battle for the lead throughout the day. Less than one second separated the top six driver drivers at the end of Race One and that pretty much set the scene from there on in.

Aqil Alibhai won that first race, but it was Jordan Brooks who won Races Two and Three, with Alibhai second on both occasions. So Brooks took the win for the day ahead of Alibhai.

Third overall was Tate Bishop, followed by Kyle Visser, Joshua de Paiva and Troy Dolinschek. Troy was particularly unlucky to be involved in a tangle in Race Three, after placing in the top three in Race Two and contending for the lead on occasion.

  • The fourth and final Round of the 2017 South African Rotax Max Challenge National Karting Championship takes place at the Zwartkops Kart Raceway on September 23, 2017. At this final round, there will be four races per class, and drivers will have to score their best 10 results out of the 13 National Championship races that make up the 2017 SA championship.
  • The winners of the DD2, DD2 masters, Max Challenge, Junior Max, Mini Max and Micro Max championships will each receive a sponsored invitation to compete in the 2017 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal in November, where champions from 60 countries will take part.
  • On Sunday, August 20, the 2017 Africa Open kart event takes place at Zwartkops Kart Raceway. This event features drivers from South Africa as was well as neighbouring countries in Africa. The winners at this one-day event will also have the opportunity to take part in the 2017 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Portugal in November.
  • An archive of the excellent Live streaming of Round Three is available for viewing on www.kart.co.za

 For more information on karting and how to get started in this wonderful sport, the most competitive racing series in South Africa visit www.kart.co.za.