HabigSJohannesburg driver Nicholas Verheul has provided the strongest hint of a strong weekend for Team South Africa at this week's 2019 Rotax Max Grand Karting Finals in Sarno, Italy. Verheul ended up quickest after a strong performance throughout the two days of free practice in his over-30 DD2 Masters group at the Naples track on Tuesday, while Masters teammates, KZN man Jonathan Pieterse and Brett Brito from Port Elizabeth continued to learn the track and set up their equipment.
South African champion Benjamin Habig from Ballito ended up quickest of SA’s DD2 drivers in 12th in his group after making progress through Tuesday, while Cape Town lad Jonathan Thomas impressed to end up 8th in the final session of his group. Thomas featured strongly throughout practice with top ten runs in most of his Monday and Tuesday sessions, as Wayland Wyman came to grips with his DD2 kart on the Sarno track.
SnymanSIn the primary school classes Pietermaritzburg’s SA under-13 SA champion Troy Snyman ran consistently in the Mini Max top ten with a few sessions in the top three to end up seventh, while Cape Town Lad Reese Koorzen was also a top-ten regular in the under 11 Micro Max sessions, ending up ninth in his final run of the day.
Cape Town’s SA Senior Max champion Charl Visser was another driver to regularly feature in his group top-ten, while SA’s high school Junior Max team of Jozi’s African Open champion Aqil Alibhai and SA champion Troy Dolinschek from Cape Town concentrated on set-up as they ran mid-pack in their groups.
KoorzenSConsidered the Olympics of Karting, the annual Grand Finals see the Rotax Max national champions from over 80 countries come together to fight it out to crown the best in the world every year, all racing identical karts provided free of charge by Rotax and its partners, with only minor set-up changes allowed to make for most fair and closest possible racing.
The drivers were handed their karts over the weekend, before practice Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. Racing now starts with a series of three heats in each of the six classes Wednesday afternoon and Thursday before two knock-out Pre Finals on Friday to determine the field of 36 drivers to race in Saturday’s Finals in each class to crown the world’s best Rotax Max karters of 2019.