Local heroes to the fore as title chases tighten at iDube
KwaZulu Natal locals stole the show at their home third round of 2021 WOMZA South African Rotax Max Challenge Championships at the tight, twisty and undulating iDube Raceway near Pietermaritzburg on Saturday. Home province karters took three of the seven class wins in a wonderful weekend for KZN karting, while two others won races en route to podium second places overall on a day that also served to reshuffle the championship order in several classes.
Joey Oelz image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
Cape Town driver Joseph Oelz may not have won a premier DD2 gearbox race but a trio of second places was enough to take the day after local hero Robert Whiting dominated the first two races. Robert made off to take an easy 1.2 second first win while Oelz, Jozi brothers Brandon and Jamie Smith and Jason Coetzee fought over second. Whiting then more than doubled the margin to win heat 2 from Oelz, Brandon Smith and Niko Zafiris.
But Whiting missed the start of the final with an electrical issue to leave Jaimie Smith to fend off Oelz and Zafiris off for the win. So, Oelz took the day by four points from Whiting, Jamie and Brandon Smith, Zafiris, Wayland Wyman and Divan Braak in seventh. Cape title contenders Sebastian Boyd and Jason Coetzee endured days to forget as Oelz moved ahead of Boyd, Brandon Smith and Coetzee in the championship chase.
Jonathan Pieterse image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
KZN star, Jonathan Pieterse made up for his compatriot’s disappointment with a two heat to one over-32 DD2 Masters win over Gqeberha race hero Michael Stephen. An opening race issue saw Pretoria racer Nicholas Verheul nick second overall from Stephen, with evergreen Eugene Brittz third from locals Alistair Mingay and Shane Foley, Cape lad Andrew Thomas and KZN lass Bev van Heerde. Pieterse took a one point title lead over Stephen, Verheul, Brittz and Thomas.
Tate Bishop image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
Championship leader and another Cape lad, Tate Bishop had to fight off another KwaZulu Natal local hotshot, Riley Horner to take overall Senior Max honours two heat wins to one. Jozi lad Kian Grottis held a watching brief to a trio of thirds and third overall, while Olerato Sekudu, Juandre Nel, Nic Wuite, Yifan Li and Jack Rowe entertained in a day-long spat for fourth. Bishop consolidated his title advantage, but Horner slipped by Grottis to second in the chase.
Troy Snyman image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
Maritzburg flyer Troy Snyman took a spectacular under-15 high school Junior Max win. He escaped a wild spat to lead most of the opening heat, but slipped behind title rivals Jozi lad Jayden Goosen and Cape Kid Reza Levy at the flag. Snyman beat local rival Dhivyen Naidoo Goosen and Levy in race 2 and Mahummed Wally, Goosen and Levy in the final, to take the day from Goosen, Levy, Naidoo, Matthew Wadeley and Corban Spies. Snyman and Levy now lead the title from Wally.
Travis Mingay image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
Another local hero Travis Mingay disturbed to take a win, a second and a third to edge upcountry hotshots, second and third race winner Wian Boshoff and Erich Heystek for the overall under-13 Mini Max win. Cape kids, the impressive Joshua Smit and Joaquin de Oliveira were next up from Kent Swart in sixth from Dylan Watkins and Caleb Odendaal. Boshoff thus increased his title advantage over de Oliveira with Swartz, Odendaal and Heystek now battling for third.
Rafael da Silva image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
Gauteng lad Rafael da Silva bounced back from third in a frantic first heat to win the second and third races and take under-11 Micro Max honours for the day. Upcountry compatriot Reagile Mailula edged Cape kid Keagan Beaumont for second with Mattao Mason next up from Kyle Spies, Kegan Martin, Jack Moore and Aiden Beaumont. Malulia meanwhile extended his title advantage over Mason, while Beaumont jumped to third ahead of Martin and Moore.
Maddox Mason image by MOTORSPORT FANATIX
The baby Bambinos proved dice of the day with three winners in three races. Maddox Mason took the final to edge second heat winner Rafael de Sousa, Jack Moore and opening heat winner Mathew Shuttleworth. Michael Danks was fifth from Brodi Dowling, the ever improving Noah Cronje, Logan Billau, Diego Antunes and Arabelle Krause in a packed field of tomorrow’s South African racing heroes. Despite that, Moore maintained a title advantage over Shuttleworth, Mason and Billau.
Now it all goes down to the Rotax Max South African Finals to decide the various 2021 South African Rotax Max Karting champions over four races in each class at Zwartkops on Saturday 2 October. That blockbuster weekend also includes the African Open on Sunday. Those two days will set the South African team to fly the flag at the ‘Olympics of Karting’ Rotax Max Grand Finals at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit 3-11 December.