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IDUBE DELIVERS SMASHER ROTAX NATIONAL

Idube never fails to deliver the best of everything – the best weather and the most competitive karting on this unique track.  Friday started off cold and chilly but the pace was hot for qualifying.

Race day saw perfect late winter weather, clear skies and a maximum crowd of supporters.  The day held in promise of hotly contested racing in every class.

Micro Max

In the Micromax Class it was Reece Koorzen who took pole ahead of Erich Heystek followed by Uzair Khan, Reza Levy, Travis Mingay, Luviwe Sambudla, Kent Swartz and Dhivyen Naidoo.    Heat 1 painted a different picture, as Luviwe Sambudla clinched first spot, followed by pole man Reece Koorzen and Dhivyen Naidoo in 3rd with Mohammed Moerat in 4th Luviwe Sambudla made it 2 from 2 as he clinched Heat 2 and recorded the fastest lap time, giving him pole for the final heat of the day.  Reese Koorzen was in 2nd spot, followed by Uzair Khan and Dhivyen Naidoo followed by Wian Boshoff and Reza Levy.  It was heartbreak for Erich Heystek and Travis Mingay who were given nose cone penalties, dropping them down the results.    With the times extremely close the scene was set for the final heat of the day.  Heat 3 gave Luviwe Sambudla 3 wins from 3 starts and overall honours for the day, with Koorzen in 2nd, and Mohammed Moerat taking third and the final step on the podium.  Dhivyen Naidoo finished 4th with Erich Heystek, Kent Swartz, Reza Levy, Travis Mingay and Wian Boshoff making up the top ten.

Results of Heat 1 in the Max 175 Class was not very different from qualifying, as an incident just after the start, saw KZN’s Jonathan Pieterse who qualified on pole, lead the Heat flag to flag, ahead of Erwin Sterne  who had qualified 3rd.Nicholas Verheul finished 3rd

With Clinton Gauld in 4th, Allan Rice in 5th and James Stewart in 6th.   Heat 2 was another closely contested affair, but Jonathan Pieterse took his TonyKart to the second victory of the day, this time Nicholas Verheul finished in the second spot, followed by Geoff Stephen, Allan Rice and James Stewart.  Clinton Gauld and Erwin Sterne who finished in the top 5 in Heat 1 were both unfortunate as Gauld recorded A DNF and Erwine Sterne failed to start.  It was a ding dong start for the front and it was a head to head battle between Jonathan Pieterse and Nicholas Verheul in the final heat of the day, with Pieterse taking the chequered flag and bagging maximum points, followed by Verheul, Geoff Stephen, Allan Rice, James Stewart, Shane Foley, Clinton Gauld, Dean Rice, Eric Marzoppi and Jono Stephen making up the top 10.    

Senior Max Podium

Senior Max’s Shrien Naidoo from KZN put his BirelArt on pole ahead of Charl Visser from Cape Town, with Simon Simpson-Heath in 3rd, Jayden Els in 4th and Brent Walden in 5th ahead of Luca Canderle.  Heat 1 saw KZN’s Shrien Naidoo have a comfortable race to take the chequered flag followed by Charl Visser.  A last lap move by Jayden Els saw him take the 3rd spot, demoting Brent Walden to 4th.  It was a fired up Shrien Naidoo who not only posted the fastest lap time in his BirelArt but clinched his second win of the day.  He was followed by Liam Crystal who charged hard to stay ahead of Charl Visser.  Jayden Els applied pressure on Visser to the very last lap.  Simon Simpson-Heath, Connor Donovan and Brent Walden made up the last seven positions.  There was a change in the front runners in the final heat of the day, with Charl Visser taking the win, followed by Liam Crystal, Shrien Naidoo and Jayden Els.  Third was enough for Naidoo to take overall honours and boost his Championship chase.

Bambino Podium

In the Bambino class, Kai van Rensburg took pole a mere 0.036 seconds ahead of Caleb Odendaal, with Rhoderick Simpson and Luan Mostert in 4th.  Tshepang Shisinwana was in the 5th spot with Jordon Wadeley alongside him.  1st Heat saw Ryan Karriem take the win with Kai van Rensburg in 2nd followed by Caleb Odendaal and Jordon Wadely.  It was Kai van Rensburg who posted the fastest lap time giving him pole for Heat 2.  The Bambinos had an exciting 2nd Heat as a few of them went farming and resulted in a jostle for the top positions.  Rayan Karriem clinched the first spot again, followed by Caleb Odendaal, Caleb Moss, Rhoderick Simpson with Kai van Rensburg in 5th.  Caleb Odendaal ensured he would be on pole in the final heat of the day by posting a time of 50.109 with Rayan Karriem starting alongside him.  It was a great end to the day, as Luan Mostert took the win in Heat 3, followed by Caleb Moss, Rhoderick Simpson with Rayan Karriem having to settle for 4th.  Fourth was good enough to clinch overall honours in the Bambino class for Rayan Karriem with Caleb Odendaal 2nd, Caleb Moss 3rd and Kai van Rensburg in 4th

Junior Max

Aqil Alibhai was the winner of a very exciting Heat 1 in the  Junior Max class, with the front six positions changing lap by lap.  Each lap the commentator would announce a new fastest lap time, but it was Aqil Alibhai who won the heat, but it was 6th placed Ethan Coetzee posted the fastest lap time of 46.398 giving him pole for Heat 2, followed by Kyle Visser and winner Aqil managing only 4th fastest time.   The 2nd Heat saw Ethan Coetzee take the win but third placed Kyle Visser posted the fastest lap time to give him pole for the final heat of the day.  A charging Aqil Alibhai was 2nd with Kyle Visser in 3rd, whilst Troy Dolinschek finished 4th ahead of Tate Bishop.  Heat 3 started with a bang, but it was a sad end to Kyle Visser’s onslaught as he crashed into the tyre wall after making contact with Aqil Alibhai, and the race was stopped. Fortunately Kyle escaped injury and the race restarted -  Ethan Coetzee won, with Tate Bishop in 2nd, Aqil Alibhai 3rd, Jack Rowe 4th and Kwanda Mokoena in 5th.    It was an elated Ethan Coetzee that took the overall win, with Aqil Alibhai in 2nd, Tate Bishop in 3rd and Kyle Visser in 4th, followed by Jack Rowe and Troy Dolinschek.

DD2

DD2 the premier class in Karting in South Africa saw National Championship leader Benjamin Habig take pole position with Jordan Sherratt in 2nd, Brad Liebenberg in 3rd and Sharad Bantho in 4th.  5th and 6th went to Justin Allison and Robert Whiting respectively.  Interestingly the time difference between the first six karts was a mere 0.456 secs.  A bad day for Cape Town’s Dino Stermin who found himself entangled in the tyres and will start Heat 1 from the back of the field.  Habig continued on his journey to achieve maximum points, by winning Heat 1 0.731 ahead of 2nd placed Bradley Liebenberg.  Jordan Sherratt finished 3rd after fighting off an onslaught from Justin Allison.  Local man Dominic Lincoln finished in 5th followed by Dino Stermin, Jonathan Thomas, Nicholas Verheul, Brandon Smith and Sharad Bantho.   Heat 2 saw Brad Liebenberg on pole with Habig alongside him, with Dino Stermin in 3rd, Dominic Lincoln in 4th closely followed by Dominic Lincoln and Justin Allison.  Habig managed to take the lead from Liebenberg in the 2nd lap and once again set a blistering pace to take the chequered flag 3.460 ahead of Dominic Lincoln who had a brilliant start with a good tussle between Sherrat, Bantho and Liebenberg.  It was the experienced Liebenberg who took the third spot ahead of Sherratt.  Lap times told a different story and the final heat of the day saw Liebenberg on pole, with Habig alongside him, the 2nd row was Dominic Lincoln and Brandon Smith, with Justin Allison and Sharad Bantho on the 3rd row, followed by Sherratt and KZN’s Robert Whiting.  Cape Town’s Dino Stermin had a weekend he would rather forget as he was plagued with issues. The final heat of the day saw Habig start the race with his practice engine after his race engine cried no more with a broken gearbox.  Habig had a less than comfortable start finding himself in 4th, but quickly made his way to the front, to be chased by friend and fellow competitor Brad Liebenberg.  In the final moments of the heat, it was Dino Stermin who passed Dominic Lincoln to snatch 3rd – his best result of the day.  Lincoln finished 4th.  This was Habig’s second consecutive National win in this year’s series, following a 2nd in Cape Town, and the first overall victory on his home track in his karting career.

DD2 Masters

DD2 Masters Championship Leader Michael Stephen showed good pace and qualified on pole -  0.419 ahead of Eugene Britz, with Jonathan Pieterse in 3rd, followed by Alistair Mingay in 4th, Simon Wilde and Richard van Heerde.  Heat 1 saw champion Michael Stephen finish ahead of KZN’s Jonathan Pieterse, followed by Eugene Britz and Simon Wilde, with Alistair Mingay in 5th.  Stephen did enough to take pole for Heat 2 with Eugene Britz in the 2nd spot, followed by Jonathan Pieterse and Alistair Mingay making up the 2nd row.   One of South Africa’s most accomplished drivers with numerous championships in various motorsport codes, Michael Stephen took the win in Heat 2.  Stephen is a hero amongst the karters – who he has nurtured and been such an ambassador to the sport.   KZN’s Jonathan Pieterse finished 2nd with Britz in 3rd and Alistair Mingay in 4th.  Making up the top 8 is Connor Hughes, Brett Brito, Simon Wilde and Ryan Wilde.  It was Stephen who clinched the top spot on the podium with three wins from three starts, but was closely followed by Jonathan Pieterse in 2nd, Eugene Britz in 3rd and Alistair Mingay in 4th.  Brett Brito was in 5th with Simon Wilde in 6th.

Mini Max Podium

In the competitive Mini Max Class it was KZN’s Troy Snyman on pole with Matthew Morrell 0.464s behind him, followed by Jason MacBeath and Mandla Mlangeni.  Heat 1 Troy Snyman commanded the race and had a comfortable lead from the start, taking the chequered flag ahead of Matthew Morell.  Snyman posted the fastest lap time and will see Snyman again on pole with Matthew Morrell alongside him. Mika Abrahams and Mandla Mhlangeni was on the second row of the grid.  In a nailbiting Heat 2, it was Troy Snyman recording his 2nd win of the day in the fastest lap time giving him the much coveted pole position for the final heat of the day.  Mika Abrahams finished 2nd with Ethan Stier and Mandla Mlangeni in the top 4 position.  At the end of Heat 3 it was Snyman who took the chequered flag to make it three wins for the day, with Mandla Mlangeni 2nd, Mika Abrahams 3rd, Tyler Robinson 4th and Ghazi Motlekaar in 5th.  Final standings for the day, was Snyman 1st – increasing his lead on the National leader board, Mika Abrahams 2nd, Mandla third with Matthew Morell in 4th and Ethan Stier in fifth.

An eventful but exciting end of the 3rd Round of the Rotax Max Challenge at Idube Raceway.