South African Kart Championships set to rock & roll at Killarney
Rotax Max Challenge South Africa 2021 will not only explode into extreme karting action at its opening round at Killarney in Cape Town Saturday 27 March, but the series kicks off a new era of cohesion summed up by the slogan ‘Together We Race’.
“There has been much water under the Rotax Max Challenge South Africa bridge since we closed off that crazy lockdown season at the end of last year,” series boss Ed Murray pointed out. “But the most fundamental step we have taken is summed up by the words, ‘Together We Race’. “There is no more us and them, whether it’s organisers, competitors or officials, we are all in Rotax Max together and our family is ready to race our first National of 2021.”
And if the opening rounds of the three main Rotax Max Gauteng, Cape and KZN Regional Championships are anything to go by, Killarney appears set to deliver some dynamite racing action when those regions come together — to race as one.
The Cape kids will be the ones to beat in premier division DD2, where SA champion Sebastian Boyd is out to do it all again. But he has had a hard time with compatriot Joseph Oelz, who has been unbeaten in the six Cape championship races so far this year. One man likely to prove a thorn in their sides is on form Jurie Swart fresh from his Polo Cup victory, while brothers Jamie and Brandon Smith and Wayland Wyman and Nicolas Spanoyannis will be among a crack Gauteng contingent.
Defending DD2 Masters champion Nicholas Verheul and rival Jonathan Pieterse from Durban will be at it again. Gauteng’s Eugene Brittz turns 32 years old this year and enters his first official year in DD2 Masters and will be one to watch. Don’t discount Cape local Connor Hughes in this fight, other home boys Jared Jordan and Andrew Thomas and challengers Shane Foley and Alistair Mingay from KZN. Last minute entry Gqeberha driver Michael Stephen makes a welcome return to DD2 Masters.
Open class Senior Max is bound to thrill with home rivals, Formula 1600 winner Andrew Rackstraw and Polo Cup rookie Jason Coetzee and Storm Lanfear all hard to beat on home turf. As will KZN drivers Riley Horner, Jack Rowe, Juandre Nel and Gauteng performers Kian Grottis and Olerato Sekudu too.
Hard-fought under-15 high school Junior Max promises a fraught interprovincial battle between Gauteng’s reigning SA champion Muhammad Wally, KZN-based former Mini Max champion Troy Snyman and Cape kid Reza Levy who beat Snyman and Wally in a local regional warm up last week. Local lads Ethan Stier, Matthew Wadeley and Jaden Jacobs are all Juniors worth watching too.
Moving on to the primary school classes, there will be a new South African under-13 Mini Max champion this year, where flying Cape kid Joaquin de Oliveira appears to be the lad to beat at Killarney. He will however have East London lad Caleb Odendaal, Wian Boshoff and Erich Heystek out of Gauteng, KZN kids Travis Mingay and Dylan Watkins and locals Joshua Smit, Sabelo Ntuli and Jordan Wadeley fully on his case.
Local lad Keagan Beaumont arrives at the under-11 Micro Max National off a three-heat rout last time, However not only will his local rivals, younger brother Aiden Beaumont, Matthew Chiwara and Siyabonga Ntuli be out to prove a point, but Jozi lot Reagile Mailula, Rafael da Silva, Kegan Martin, Mattao Mason, Aadam Kajee and Cristian Verheul while KZN kids Harry Rowe and Kyle Spies will also be out to get him. East Cape duo Bambino Champion Caleb Moss and African Open Champion Joshua Moore will be in action.
Expect Killarney karting warfare in the baby Bambinos, where Cape lad Michael Danks will be keen to stamp down his home advantage alongside local rivals Siyabonga Ntuli, Liam Wharton and Zach Mc Auley. Expect out of town competition from upcountry crew Santiago Frade, Matthew Shuttleworth, Maddox Mason and Shayaan Mohamed, and from Eastern Cape lighties, Jack Moore and Arabelle Krause too.
All the Rotax Max South African champions will earn seats in the annual Rotax Max ‘Olympics of Karting’ grand Finals at the end of the year, so expect no quarter to be asked or given, starting from Killarney on 27 March. The racing happens behind closed doors, but log in to www.kart.co.za through the day on the 27th for the live stream and to keep tabs on developments from the Cape.