The huge smiles on the faces of David Marchio and Heinrich Sauer, Killarney karting’s resident photographers, could only mean one thing – cloudy weather. A photographer’s dream and a racer’s dream as well.
Cooler weather means everyone is paying a visit to horsepower city. Cooler air is denser and has more oxygen. A combustion engine is essentially a controlled explosion, so more oxygen means more explosion…
…with the right jetting, of course. Nobody said this sport is easy or simple.
The rain stayed away and the clouds delivered the power we hoped for. Lap records tumbled and there were some highly emotional victories.
This is karting.
Bambino (5 – 9 Years)
Killarney’s youngest stars dished up one of the most emotional results of the day. Rumour has it that Dad Brad Wadeley may still be reaching for the tissues. Truthfully, he wasn’t alone.
Rayan Karriem (Top Kart) put his little racing machine on pole with a potent qualifying time of 58.895s, with Luan Mostert (AMV Group / DSD Group / Donadio Plant Hire Top Kart) second and Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) third.
Race 1 was an absolute thriller. Karriem crossed the finishing line in front of Wadeley by the tiniest of margins, but a 5 second penalty promoted young Wadeley to his first race victory, albeit without the feeling of taking the checkered flag. Mostert came home in third, followed by Kai van Rensburg (7 Films Top Kart), the ever-improving Rebecca Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) and class debutant Nikolas Louw (Top Kart).
Race 2 was another closely-fought affair, with Karriem taking the checkered flag once more but this time without a penalty. Jordon Wadeley took second ahead of Mostert with Louw taking an impressive fourth.
Race 3 was when the tissues came out, as Jordon Wadeley powered his way to a victory ahead of Karriem and Mostert. He emphatically waved his finger in the air as he crossed the line, confirming to everyone who number 1 in that race was.
Jordon also took P1 overall for the day ahead of Karriem and Mostert. Van Rensburg bagged fourth, followed by Louw and Rebecca Wadeley.
Rotax Micro MAX (7 – 12 Years)
This weekend belonged to Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG).
Levy put in an absolutely storming qualifying time of 45.896s, four-tenths quicker than arch rival Reese Koorzen (Kosmic). Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) was a further four-tenths back, followed by a LOT of Ethans.
The stage was set for Levy and Koorzen to battle for the win. Smit needed to find pace. Further back we would see Ethan Stier (CRG), Ethan Deacon (CRG) and Ethan Lennon (Kosmic) having their own battle.
As expected, the Koorzen-Levy show got off to a cracking start. Levy took the win in race 1 by all of 0.053s, but Koorzen broke the lap record with a 46.104s scorcher. Smit came home in third, followed by Lennon, Stier and Deacon.
Levy had it slightly easier in the second heat, taking the win by 0.309s from Koorzen. Lennon drove beautifully to take third away from Smit, with Deacon and Stier 5th and 6th respectively.
The final race of the day was another banger, with Levy narrowly making it the perfect weekend by taking the checkered flag just 0.047s ahead of Koorzen. Smit’s disappointing day didn’t end well, with a 6th place finish behind Deacon, Stier and Lennon.
Levy took P1 for the day with a perfect 105 points scored, while Koorzen took P2. Lennon was thrilled to take the final step on the podium, followed by Deacon, Stier and Smit in one of the most exciting classes at Killarney.
Rotax Mini MAX (9 – 13 Years)
Ethan Stier (CRG) put his kart on pole ahead of Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) and an incredibly improved Paul Malcolm. Valentino Hoffman qualified in P4 ahead of Mikhail Fernandez (CRG) and Mischa Williams (Zanardi).
Stier would take the win in race 1, with Paul Malcolm continuing his resurgence with an excellent P2 ahead of Hoffman, Fernandez and Williams. MacBeath suffered a DNS, which is the worst possible thing to happen to a karter as your score zero points for that race.
In race 2 Stier made it two in a row, with MacBeath’s kart deciding to turn up for work and allowing him to take P2. Hoffman got the better of Malcolm to take P3.
Race 3 was a tight affair, with just two seconds between P1 and P4 when the checkered flag was waved. Stier took yet another win, with MacBeath and Hoffman P2 and P3 ahead of Malcolm.
When all was said and done, it was Stier in P1 on the podium with a perfect haul of 105 championship points. Hoffman took P2 and Malcolm P3, with Fernandez P4 and Williams P5. MacBeath was classified P6 overall for the day after the DNS destroyed his points haul – thankfully, racers can drop their three worst heats of the year, so his championship hopes are still alive.
Rotax Junior MAX (12 – 15 Years)
Qualifying gave us a very good idea of the clash that would play out under Cape Town’s clouds. Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic), Kyle Visser (RKT FA) and Tate Bishop (ANGRI Kosmic) were ready to continue their epic battle.
Dolinschek put it on pole ahead of Visser and Bishop, with just 0.15s separating P1 and P3. Luca Wehrli managed P4, off the pace of the leaders but ahead of Andre Le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic), Thaqib Meyer (Itheko Events Tony Kart) and Kyle Le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic). Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) missed out on qualifying due to other commitments, but would arrive at the track in time for the race.
The Dolinschek / Visser / Bishop battle was arguably the race of the day. The pace is relentless and the focus is inspiring to watch. Just 0.8s separated them by the end of race 1, with Dolinschek ahead of Visser and Bishop.
Race 2 was easier for Dolinschek, as he took victory by over 2 seconds from Visser and Bishop. Lanfear and Wehrli provided their fair share of entertainment too, battling for fourth place.
Dolinschek made it a perfect trio in this incredible class, with victory in race 3. This time, Bishop got the better of Visser for P2.
The final classification saw Dolinschek with a supreme points haul in P1 ahead of Visser and Bishop. Lanfear put in a fantastic performance to take P4 ahead of Wehrli, with Meyer getting the better of brothers Andre and Kyle Le Riche.
Rotax Senior MAX (14 Years +)
Charl Visser (RKT FA) took pole, three-tenth ahead of Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto Kosmic). Simon Simpson-Heath (SHQS / MF Consulting & Construction Kosmic) was a further tenth back, with Andrew Thomas (Blake Brothers / Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) a second off the overall pace.
Jason Coetzee arrived on the grid for race 1 to the surprise of many, starting from the back after he missed qualifying. Under the cloud cover, he decided to show everyone else how to drive the fastest chain-driven karts around Killarney, putting in a lap record of 41.387s as he blasted his way to P2 behind Visser. Van Zijl came home in P3 and Lanfear drove an excellent race to beat Simpson-Heath to P4 even though Lanfear was a good two-tenths off Simpson-Heath’s pace.
The rest of the day continued without Coetzee who focused on his DD2 drive. Visser took the win in race 2 convincingly from van Zijl, with Simpson-Heath taking P3. Thomas managed P4 ahead of Lanfear in P5.
Race 3 saw more drama, as Simpson-Heath broke Coetzee’s new lap record with a 41.365s display of brilliance. Unfortunately, he suffered a 5 place penalty from the stewards for an infringement, which ruined his day. The final classification for race 3 was Visser, van Zijl, Lanfear, Thomas and Simpson-Heath.
Visser’s dominance on the day saw him on the top step with maximum points. van Zijl took P2 with Lanfear displacing Simpson-Heath from the podium. Thomas finished one point behind Simpson-Heath in P5.
Rotax MAX 175 (32 Years + or >85kg in your shorts)
Qualifying was a closely-contested affair, with Johan Hamman (Kosmic) swapping his farming tractor for his kart to take pole with a 42.8s time, just 0.076s faster than Gary Lennon (Tony Kart). Jared Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) was two-tenths back in the final grid spot for this class of three men.
Running behind Senior MAX, the “Senior MAX Masters” class (which is what MAX 175 basically is) delivered plenty of action despite having only three racers.
Lennon took the win from Jordan in race 1, with Hamman dropping to P3 and suffering a 5 second penalty to boot (which would not have affected his final classification).
Hammies put in the fastest time in race 1, so he started race 2 on pole and never looked back, taking the win by more than four seconds from Lennon and Jordan who had a ridiculously close duel for karts of this size with only 0.06s separating them at the flag.
Race 3 saw Cape Town’s fastest farmer take another win from Jordan, with Lennon failing to finish the race.
The final classification saw Hamman on the top step, with Lennon in P2 and Jordan in P3 on equal points for the day.
We look forward to this class growing!
Rotax DD2 (15 Years +) and DD2 Masters (32 Years + or >85kg in your shorts)
Jason Coetzee (CRG) showed the world how to drive a DD2 around Killarney, with a stonking 40.396s qualifying lap to take pole. Dino Stermin (Phoenix Risk Solutions Tony Kart) and Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight) qualified P2 and P3 respectively, with Jarryd Evans putting in a terrific performance to qualify P4 ahead of Jonathan Thomas (CRG). Karting newbie Waldo de Wet continues to impress with his time of 42.154s, only 1.758s off the frenetic pace of Coetzee.
Coetzee took a comfortable win in race 1 ahead of Boyd and Thomas, with Evans slipping to P4 ahead of de Wet. Stermin’s day got off to a horrible start with a retirement after 4 laps.
Race 2 was another dominant display by Coetzee, but it was Stermin who took P2 ahead of Boyd, Thomas, Evans and de Wet.
Race 3 was further evidence that Coetzee may be from another planet, with yet another victory. Boyd took best of the rest ahead of Thomas, Evans and de Wet. Stermin’s miserable day continued with another retirement after 3 laps.
Overall, Coetzee’s top performance saw him in P1 with maximum haul of 105 points. Boyd took P2 in the end and Thomas P3, with Evans and de Wet ahead of Stermin.
In the DD2 Masters class, Roy Gruer (CRG) put his kart on pole ahead of Conor Hughes and an incredibly impressive Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG), with all three drivers in the 41s in qualifying. Harry Georgiou (DDR / Carbs and Coffee Media Zanardi), Ernst Viljoen and Rob Peché (Carbs and Coffee Media / AD Trading CRG) rounded out the top 6 in qualifying, with Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect CPT Tony Kart) suffering a mechanical failure.
With only a second separating the 7 drivers in this class, the racing looked set to thrill. It did.
Gruer took the Masters flag in race 1, but suffered a 5s nosecone penalty which kicked him back to P3 behind Hughes and Viegas who drove quite spectacularly from the back of the grid. Viljoen took P4 ahead of Georgiou and Peché, with Steenkamp in a disappointing P7 after an eventful race.
Race 2 saw Gruer take the flag once more, this time with his nosecone where it should be. Georgiou drove to a brilliant P2 ahead of Hughes, with less than two tenths separating them at the flag. Viegas came home in P4 ahead of Steenkamp, Peché and Viljoen with serious kart trouble.
Race 3 was an entertaining affair that eventually saw Viegas come out on top and Gruer retire his kart after 4 laps and an epic battle. Hughes took P2 ahead of Georgiou and Steenkamp who suffered a 5s penalty. Viljoen brought it home in P5 with a bent axle ahead of Peché in P6.
DD2 Masters is totally unpredictable, with a strong and closely-matched field. This was the case yet again, as the overall classification saw Hughes in P1 with 97 points ahead of Viegas on 96 points and Gruer on 91 points. Georgiou took P4 ahead of Steenkamp, Viljoen and Peché.
The Clubmans class is thankfully back on track, with a couple of newbies racing against some more experienced drivers. This is the easiest entry point for adults into the sport, with the huge variety in karts matched by the variety in pace. Hopefully we will see closer racing as the new drivers develop.
Michael Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) took pole ahead of brother Jared Jordan (Jordan Racing Zanardi. Debutant Dylan Pelton can be very pleased with a qualifying time of 46.676s ahead of Sean Le Riche (Seleka Racing CRG) and Ross Middleton.
The old saying of “getting all your ducks in a row” certainly had application in race 1, as it took several warm-up laps for all the drivers to properly form up for the start. Michael Jordan’s pole position all came to nothing as he pulled to the sidelines with his chain no longer connecting his engine to his axle. Jared Jordan went on to take P1 from Le Riche, Pelton and Middleton.
In race 2, Michael Jordan bounced back to take the win from his brother, with Le Riche beating Pelton and Middleton retiring after 10 laps.
Race 3 saw Michael Jordan taking the flag once more from his brother Jared, with Middleton elevating himself to P3 ahead of Le Riche. Pelton unfortunately suffered a DNS.
Overall though, it was Jared on the top step ahead of Michael, with Le Riche, Middleton and Pelton rounding out the class.
It was a thrilling race with very few incidents and plenty of action. Lap records fell and championship fights developed.
The show continues on June 15th at Killarney. Will the weather be even more favourable, or will we have a wet race in the middle of Cape Town’s winter?
Only time will tell!
Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)
Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)