Zwartkops set for seismic Rotax SA Kart Championships Finals
South African motorsport is gearing up for the year’s biggest weekend of karting when the Rotax 2022 South African Kart Championships National Finals go down at Zwartkops outside Pretoria Sunday 4 September. With National Championships on the line in all seven classes, and most of them set to book their places on the South African team for the 2022 ‘Olympics of Karting’ Rotax Max Grand Finals in Portugal, it’s quite literally all on the line.
DD2 & DD2 Masters
There will be no quarter asked nor given when SA’s top kart racers trot out for the four heats that will decide this year’s South African championships in each class. Not least of all in premier class DD2, where Cape lad Sebastian Boyd arrives in Pretoria as the hot favourite with a sizeable championship advantage. It’s not that simple for second, where Jozi brothers Jamie and Brandon Smith sandwich Cape lad Joseph Oelz on the log.
Boyd and Smith (DD2) © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
They have Gauteng gang, Nico Spanoyannis, Kian Grottis, Niko Zafiris, Divan Braak and Wayland Wyman on their case. It’s also tight in DD2 Masters, where Jozi man Eugene Brittz and Pretoria home hero Nicholas Verheul hold the advantage over KZN duo Jonathan Pieterse and Alistair Mingay, and Cape drivers Conor Hughes and Andrew Thomas.
Brittz and Verheul (DD2 Masters) © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
Cape youngster Tate Bishop leads a fraught open chain drive Senior Max title chase over Jo’burg driver Moosa Kajee and another WP kid, Ethan Stier. They have ever-improving Gauteng two, Karabo Malemela and Olerato Sekudu on their case, with Cape driver Matthew Wadeley and KZN kid Yifan Li right in there too. If ever there was a Senior Max danger man, then that must be Bishop’s Polo Cup rival and compatriot Charl Visser, who has more poor points to drop than the rest. And watch for Jozi duo Roshaan Goodman and Ethan Bostander there.
Packed grids in Senior Max © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
Moving on to the schoolboy ranks, KC Ensor-Smith has utterly dominated under-15 Junior Max so far this season. Not that he needs to but expect the Toyota Gazoo Academy lad to romp home and leave Jozi compatriots Wian Boshoff, Jayden Goosen, Nicolaos Vostanis and Erich Heystek to duke it out in a very close fight for second. KZN trio Dhivyen Naidoo, Jonno Wilson and Dylan Watkins are meanwhile all set to run Junior Max interference.
Ensor-Smith and Wilson (Junior Max) © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
The closest and most varied dice in the 2022 South African Kart Championships is going down in under-13 Mini Max. Jozi lad Caleb Odendaal leads Cape rival Keagan Beaumont by not much more than a point, with KZN lad Travis Mingay also far too close for championship comfort. Never discount Jozi pair Kent Swartz and Aadam Kajee, WP fellow Jordon Wadeley and Matthew Chiwara, Kegan Martin, Georgia Lenaerts and Kyle Spies in Mini Max either.
Odendaal (Mini Max) © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
Rafael da Silva has a reasonable advantage in under-11 Micro Max. The fight there is for second between Taylin Patel, Cape driver Aiden Beaumont and Emma-Rose Dowling. Micro Max also has a tremendous depth of field, so one can never ignore Cristian Verheul, Johan Nolte, Rafael De Sousa, Santi Frade, Matthew Shuttleworth or Franco Gibhard.
Da Silva, Shuttleworth, Dowling (Micro Max) © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
And then there are the baby Bambinos. Pretoria home hero Noah Cronje will be the kid to beat there, but rest assured that Brodi Cooper Dowling, Ronaldo Koen, Adriaan Steyn and Diego Antunes will be out to do just that. Bambino can often surprise too, so expect just that from Bophelo Molatlhegi, Benjamin Gibhard, Cape visitor Jayden van der Merwe, Omolemo Mfana and a few new names too.
Tiny superstars (Bambino) © 2022 copyright: Motorsport Fanatix™️
Awards On The Line
The South African Bambino Champion will earn themself a green and gold South African race suit, but there’s more than just that at play in the other classes. Those champions will all get to wear their new green and gold race overalls while representing South Africa at the 19-26 November 2022 Rotax Max ‘Olympics of Karting’ Grand Finals at Portimão in Portugal.
They will join, Bradley Liebenberg in DD2, Senior Max driver Shrien Naidoo, Junior Max driver Nicolaos Vostanis and Mini kid Caleb Odendaal. They all already qualified for the Grand Finals by winning their classes at the 2022 African Open at iDube in KwaZulu Natal in July.
It’s Go Time
With practice and qualifying on Saturday, anything can happen over Sunday’s four Rotax Max National Final heats in each class. But 2022’s South African Karting Champions will be crowned by the end of it. Undoubtedly one of the most significant jewels in South Africa’s national motorsport crown, the Zwartkops International Kart Raceway’s Rotax Max National Finals guarantee a most spectacular racing show. See you there!