Third round SA Rotax Karting races to light up Killarney
The third round of the South African National Rotax Max Challenge karting championship heads to Killarney in Cape Town on Saturday 1 July. While some drivers are already well on their way to wrapping up titles, other classes remain wide open. That leaves the way open for what is expected to be another dramatic encounter in the Cape of Storms.
Multiple DD2 champion Bradley Liebenberg has had the direct drive gearbox class almost all to himself so far this season. Having won five races to Jozi compatriot Kian Grottis’ one, he leads the way from Wayland Wyman and Grottis. They are however unlikely to have it their own way at Killarney, as the locals can be expected to put on a strong fight on home ground. Champion Sebastian Boyd, Joseph Oelz, and Jason Coetzee will certainly be out to win on Saturday, while Dusan Radojevic, Nicolaos Vostanis and Namibian Justus Beulker have all shown good form of late. All of which promises an intriguing DD2 prospect at Killarney.
Double Jozi race winner Kyle Lawrence leads KZN lad Jonathan Pieterse and another race winner, Eugene Brittz in the DD2 Masters championship chase to Killarney. That despite Cristiano Morgado winning all three opening races at home at iDube in KZN and missing the second round at Formula K. Namibian Mark Villinger and Jozi driver Grant Veenstra gave good accounts of themselves in round 2, but don’t forget the local Cape Masters, Conor Hughes, Michael and Jared Jordan, Carlo Gil, and Steve Beaumont among them.
Senior Max had proven among the more competitive classes so far this year. Until KC Ensor-Smith found his feet at the second round at Formula K. He now leads that championship charge from consistent duo Olerato Sekudu and Ethan Bostander, neither of whom have won a race but, scored consistent points throughout. Former champions, Muhammad Wally and Troy Snyman have won races, but Charl Visser not, while Roshaan Goodman and local lads Matthew Wadeley, Ethan Stier and Storm Lanfear are also in the mix. Should be fireworks!
There’s an extremely tight Rotax under-15 high school fight going down between Jozi Junior Max six Wian Boshoff, Kent Swartz, Amani Kinyua, Mauro Da Luz, Georgia Lenaerts and Jonno Wilson, and Cape lad Jordon Wadeley. Only Swartz has won more than once so far this year, with Boshoff, Wilson, Gianna Pascoal and Uzair Khan each taking one win apiece. Also never ignore KZN lad Travis Mingay or Cape wildcards, William Marshall, James Nash, Reese Koorzen and Matthew Chiwara among this lot. Expect the Junior sparks to fly!
Record entries have been received for the primary school classes, where Jozi lad Caleb Odendaal has won four of six under-13 Mini Max races to lead that chase to Killarney. His closest rival, consistent Cape local Keagan Beaumont is looking to make up ground at home, while Gauteng trio Kegan Martin, Taylin Patel and Emma Rose Dowling will be keen to show them all up. Double race winner in the opening round, Reagile Spice Mailula plans to add more heat wins to his championship lot. Also look out for WP wildcards, Aaron Mason, Liam Koekemoer, Nicolas Lennox, and Zach McAuley, and the rest.
Northern Regions lads top the under-11 Micro Max pops, where Rafael da Silva leads with three wins to Brodi Dowling’s two and Cristian Verheul’s one. He sits behind consistent Rafael De Sousa in the chase, with Ronaldo Koen, Matthew Shuttleworth, Johan Nolte, and Benjamin Gibhard next up. Cape kids Jayden van der Merwe, Aiden Beaumont and Ashaan Reddi remain in play as they will drop their bye points later in the season. Other locals in contention include Carter Cedras, Michael Danks, Michael O’Mahoney, and Liam Wharton.
Gauteng drivers have also dominated baby Bambino so far. Luhan De Wet won five of the six races to Adriaan Steyn’s one. Ronald Venter, Caleb Rogers, Luke Du Toit and Sebastien Shuttleworth have also been there or there about, while Namibian las Russel Josephat has also played a part. Never underestimate the local contingent though. Michael O’Mahoney, Yaqeen Gamieldien, Slater Smith, Carter Cedras, Jake Steyn, Caleb Lingeveldt, Jacques Lewis, Ebrahim Khalpey and Radhi Harris are all in the mix with something to prove this weekend.
It is unlikely that any 2023 South African Rotax Max karting champions will be crowned at Killarney. Four more races follow at Zwartkops’ National Final in August, while several drivers are likely to drop their zero bye scores to bounce back into contention. When crowned, six South African champions will join October’s African Open winners in the National team to represent South Africa at the Rotax Max ‘Olympics of Karting’ in Bahrain in December.
The Cape certainly has delivered its fair share of storms with more predicted for the coming week. The prospect however improves with only light rain for qualifying and practice on Friday, with most competitors hoping that a fresh but clear day forecast remains in play for raceday 1 July.