Changing conditions challenge hot KZN Max opener
The KwaZulu Natal championship was the final of the three Rotax Max Challenge regional karting championships to kick off in three weeks as a few Gauteng and Cape drivers made the trip to prepare for the opening National at the iDube track in the Midlands on Saturday. Changeable conditions and upcountry competition made for an entertaining day’s racing.
Home Masters’ hero Jonathan Pieterse was untroubled through rain and dry. He romped to three DD2 victories on the trot over Jozi visitor Dusan Radojevic, Richard van Heerde, another upcountry visitor, Kian Grottis and Steven Clark. Pieterse took Masters’ honours from van Heerde and Clark.
Another local lad, Troy Snyman sounded a national warning as he beat Jozi visitor Ethan Bostander, Corban Spies, and race 1 winner and reigning Junior Max national champion KC Ensor Smith from Gauteng, two races to 1 to take Senior Max honours. Maahir Wahab and Hannah Daniel closed off a busy Senior top six.
Jozi lad Kent Swartz and local charger Jonno Wilson thoroughly entertained in their high school Junior Max battles as Swartz ultimately took the day with two close heat wins to Wilson’s one. Another upcountry visitor, karting lass Gianna Pascoal was a happy third from Uzair Khan, Mauro Da Luz and Travis Mingay.
In primary school action, another home hero, Kyle Spies was dominant in under-13 Mini Max. He took three race wins to keep Cape lad Keagan Beaumont and Jozi lass Emma Downing in check, with Sebastian Geldenhuys and Troy Pieterse in chase. Cape visitor Aiden Beaumont meanwhile put one over Gauteng kid Santiago Frade in under-11 Micro Max.
In other iDube action, Bev van Heerde beat hubby Richard to Max Masters’ honours ahead of Andrew Nivison. Kyle Nivison took 4 stroke sprint victory from race 3 winner Steve Christy and Lisa Mingay. KZN karting is very much a family affair.
All attention now turns to the opening round Rotax Max Nationals when the rest of South Africa’s top karters make the trek to iDube for that important 3-4 March weekend. Not only is that the first of four rounds across South Africa to crown SA’s seven Rotax Max National Champions, but those drivers will also represent SA in the ‘Olympics of Karting Grand Finals.