POULTER AND LIEBENBERG TAKE ON THE HOME TOWN BOYS

Round Two of the 2017 South African Rotax Max Challenge Karting Championship lights up the Killarney Karting Circuit in Cape Town on April 29, and the major interest will centre on how the Gauteng favourites shape up against a large contingent of super-dedicated home-town karters.

The Killarney track is a highly technical circuit that needs good low-end power and good balance in high-speed corners. And the local karters in the Rotax series never seem to get tired of practising each and every nuance of the track and the set-up of their karts.

The Cape drivers are no slouches up-country either. Jurie Swart, in the premier DD2 Gearbox class, won the second of three National Championship races at Vereeniging a month ago, and he lies third in the championship by just one point to current champion Bradley Liebenberg, from Lonehill. But few would bet against current championship leader Leeroy Poulter. Coming back into serious karting after a lengthy layoff, he showed absolute mastery at Vereeniging, and it’s going to be interesting to see if he can out-psyche the locals, which include the impressive Jonathan Thomas and Julian van der Watt. Benjamin Habig from KZN is also finding form again. Then there is Michael Stephen, a past champion from Port Elizabeth and very competitive in Round One, even though he felt he had a slight power disadvantage at Vereeniging.

In Senior Max, Dino Stermin from Cape Town was brilliant at Vereeniging, and he must be the favourite to win on his home track, from Gauteng’s Cameron O‘Connor. But another Cape driver, Jason Coetzee, is right in there in terms of the championship, and never discount past champion Luke Herring, another WP driver who is long overdue for a run of good luck!

In Junior Max, Charl Visser leads the points table, but only just from fellow Capetonian Jason Coetzee, while Sebastian Boyd is lying third, making it three Cape drivers in the top three positions, going into their home race. In a surprising fourth place, and the leading Gauteng driver in this ultra-competitive class, is Cameron Dias, in her very first season of Junior Max!

Tate Bishop and Kyle Visser are two more Cape drivers, fighting for the lead in Maxterino, while in the more powerful Mini Max class, Gauteng’s Leyton Fourie was dominant at Vereeniging. But he’ll have strong competition from Bishop, Sibo Solomon, and Kai van Zyl, all of them Capetonians with home-circuit advantage.

In Micro Max, for tiddlers aged 7-10, Muhammed Wally and Josh de Paiva lead the Gauteng title charge, from Reeza Levy, the latest talent from the famous Cape-based Levy racing family which has a history at Killarney going back four decades!