SA champions at sharp end in ‘Olympics of Karting’
Team South African closed off a brutal week of 2023 Rotax Max ‘Olympics of Karting’ Grand Finals action with four drivers delivering the goods in their Grand Finals heats.
It was up to, Reagile Mailula (Mini MAX), Sebastian Boyd (DD2), Kyle Lawrence (DD2 Masters) and Rafael da Silva (Micro MAX) to fly the flag in Saturday’s Finals. The closest fought week in 23 years of the Rotax Max Grand Finals saw teammates Jamie Smith, Kian Grottis, KC Ensor-Smith and Erich Heystek, Kent Swartz Wian Boshoff, and Caleb Odendaal exit after Friday’s Pre-Finals.
Sebastian Boyd starred throughout the week, well within the top ten to qualify fifth for his Pre Final only to be barged off the track to retire from that crucial race. Still, Sebastian qualified 21st for Saturday’s Grand Final, where he made up numerours places only to be pushed wide again. He re-joined to ultimately gain five places to end 16th.
DD2 MASTERS FINAL
Kyle Lawrence made up no less than thirteen places en route to tenth in the over-32 DD2 Masters Final at the Bahrain International Kart Circuit. Lawrence escaped a red card in one of his heats before delivering that powerful drive in the Saturday Final to clinch a top ten overall.
MINI MAX FINAL
Rookie Mailula starred after he endured a tough week in the under-13 Mini Max heats and squeaked into his pre-final by the skin of his teeth. Spice then climbed ten places through that Friday race to qualify 33rd for the final. And on Saturday, Mailula was in even more scintillating form as he disposed of no less than twenty rivals to finish a brilliant eleventh overall.
MICRO MAX FINAL
Team South Africa’s youngest member Rafael Da Silva endured a tough week, but he did enough to line up 33rd on the under 11 Micro Max Grand Final grid, where he made up a couple of places through the race to be classified 31st.
The rest of the team, DD2 drivers, Jamie Smith and Kian Grottis, Senior Max duo KC Ensor-Smith and Erich Heystek, Junior Max drivers Kent Swartz, who was taken out of the lead group in his Pre Final, and Wian Boshoff, and Mini Max lad, Caleb Odendaal were all eliminated after four gruelling days of racing in their Pre Finals.
“Bahrain hosted a truly incredible 2023 Grand Finals,” Rotax MAX SA boss Ed Murray concluded. “The competition was super tight and closer than ever, with absolutely no room for error right across all the classes and there was much innovation, like racing under lights for the first time to conclude another incredible year of South African Rotax MAX karting.
“Congratulations to every one of Team South Africa who made such a brilliant effort in this weekend’s Grand Finals, and to every Rotax karter who competed throughout the year nationally, and in the regions on a job very well done. This event doesn’t happen because of the 11 South African karters we have here, but also because of all of you who aren’t here. The Rotax drivers with an older kart and one engine. The Mom/Dad and Son/Daughter teams who push so hard every time they take to our local tracks. This event is a celebration of all RMC drivers around the world and a reason to believe in achieving greatness. Now for a little rest before it starts all over again for 2024.”
In conclusion, we would like to wish the entire SARMC Family a safe and happy holiday. Thank you for all your support in 2023 and see you next year!