Record grids, cracking racing at all-action Gauteng & KZN Regionals
Regional Rotax Max Challenge kart racing delivered stunning action on two fronts over the weekend as the Gauteng series raced at Formula K in Benoni and the KwaZulu-Natal series competed at iDube near Camperdown. There was high drama at Formula K, which also saw a record entry featuring many new names for the first time as the Rotax South African Kart Championship continues to flourish under its new dispensation under governing body WOMZA.
It was a different Smith who emerged on top of the Gauteng premier direct-drive gearbox DD2 podium as Brandon held race 2 winner Nicolas Spanoyannis off to take the day. Niko Zafiris held a watching brief in third ahead of duelling Divan Braak, Ian Allnutt, DD2 Masters winner Eugene Brittz; troubled title contender Jamie Smith, second Masters man Nick Verheul and Toto Variava tenth in an impressive 18-kart regional grid.
2020 National DD2 runner-up Rob Whiting meanwhile had it all his own way in DD2 down at iDube as he sped to another dominant 3-heat win in the KZN races on Sunday. Behind him, Masters winner Jonathan Pieterse took a couple of seconds and a third to keep final heat second man Shane Foley in third ahead of Alistair Mingay, Eddie Lloyd, Kyle Nivison and Chris Grobbelaar.
Back in Benoni, Kian Grottis was in imperious Senior Max form as he left Hamza Jassat and and Tahier Ramlall to fight it out for second ahead of Tyrone Sterne, Roshaan Goodman, Olerato Sekudu, Ryan Wustmann and Andrew Hill. It was a similar scene at iDube, where Riley Horner made off up front to leave Daniela Marzoppi, Nic Wuite, Yifan Li and Jack Rowe to fight it out for the lesser placings.
An iDube favourite, Max Masters for older and heavier drivers entertained as always. Eric Marzoppi bounced back from a first race fourth to win twice and pip race 1 winner Richard van Heerde for the overall win. He was helped by Richard Horner beating van Heerde in the final as Allan John Rice, Allan Johnston, Shaun Yeld and Peter John Garbutt diced behind.
The two regional under-15 Junior Max bouts were intriguing as national frontrunners dominated. Muhammad Wally was however made to work by a resurgent Jayden Goosen at Formula K, while Moosa Kajee was also on the pace with second in the final, on his way to third from Karabo Malemela, Ricardo Tebbuttand and Nicolaos Vostanis. Down in Camperdown meanwhile, Wally’s arch rival Troy Snyman trotted off a trio of wins from Maahir Wahab and Corban Spies.
Wian Boshoff was untouchable in the Gauteng Micn Max under-13s as Caleb Odendaal bounced back through the day to wind up second ahead of the duelling Kent Swartz and Georgia Lenaerts, Cape visitor Joshua Smit, Berlin Robinson and Erich Heystek on another healthy 14-kart grid. And at iDube, Travis Mingay lost the first race to Dylan Watkins on a nose cone penalty but won the second race in spite of a similar sanction en route to the day win over Watkins and Travis Yeld.
There was more than just a shake-up among the Micro Max under-11s in the Gauteng races after Mattao Mason took the first race and Kegan Martin the second. Both Martin and championship leader Spice Mailula landed up in hospital after tangling early in the final. Mason won the restarted race to beat Rafael da Silva, Taylin Patel, Joshua and Jack Moore and Aadam Kajee at FK. Kyle Spies meanwhile resisted a resurgent final race winner Harry Rowe in the KZN Micro races with Troy Pieterse and Busani Sithole in pursuit.
Matthew Shuttleworth took the first and final baby Bambino races to take the day from race 2 winner Logan Billau, Rafael de Sousa, Maddox Mason, Kayde Cornofsky, Diego Antunes, Santiago Frade, Shayaan Mohamed, Brodi Cooper Dowling and Bophelo Molatlhegi at Formula K. And Troy Pieterse held Kayden Pistaur at bay at iDube.
In other Formula K action, Josh le Roux took FK Shifter honours from Anton and Jurgen Pommersheim, while Calvin Dias took the Masters win from Ian Basson, Jaco Nel, David Hollis and Marius Swanepoel. And in KZN, Scott Falconer benefited race 1 and 2 winner Shrien Naidoo’s final race exit to win the final and take Shifter honours from Brent Walden. Jacques Pretorius beat Jonno Wilson two races to 1 in the 4-stroke races.
All eyes are now fully focussed on Formula K for the second round of the Rotax Max Challenge South African Karting Championship on Saturday 24 April. There, not only will all the KZN Rotax Max favourites as well as Port Elizabeth and East London’s leading karters travel up to take on their rivals, but the Cape contingent will also make its way to Benoni looking for more success following a dominant display at their hometown season opener. Should be a cracker!
For all the details regarding round 2 of the The South African National Karting Championships – CLICK HERE