A strong contingent of upcountry visitors swelled Sunday’s fourth round KwaZulu Natal Rotax Max Challenge regional karting races in anticipation of the third round Nationals there on 10 July. And if the results are anything to go by, the locals appear ready and poised to shine, come their big home weekend.
With regular KZN hotshot Rob Whiting taking a day off, it was up to local over-32 Masters class man Jonathan Pieterse to uphold Rotax DD2 honours. And that he did in style, beating premier gearbox class visitor Jamie Smith three races to one on the day. Smith still won DD2 from upcountry trio Wayland Wyman, Niko Zafiris and Divan Braak, while KZN Masters Shane Foley and Alistair Mingay fought it out with Jozi visitors Carlo Gil and Philippe Chapat, with Chris Grobbelaar in pursuit.
Another local hero, Riley Horner fought back from a first Senior race defeat to beat Gauteng intruder Kian Grottis two races to one. Local lads, Juandre Nel and Yifan Li, narrowly defeated Highveld visitor, Olerato Sekudu. And without any upcountry Junior Max rivals to contend with, Troy Snyman kept himself busy by running interference with the Senior frontrunners as he left historical under-15 rivals, Corban Spies, Maahir Wahab and Nicolaos Vostanis in pursuit.
Travis Mingay gave notice of his National intentions as he romped to a triple under-13 Mini Max victory over Dylan Watkins, Amani Kinyua, Travis Yeld and Kent Swartz. Kyle Spies and Harry Rowe kept the KZN flag high as they fended PE insurgent Jack Moore, and Jozi kids, Mattao Mason, Christian Verheul and Emma Dowling off. Two more locals, Busani Sithole and Troy Pieterse were next up.
A mighty out of town contingent however took charge in the baby Bambinos, where Jack Moore took race 2 and 3 wins to take the day from Rafael De Sousa and opening heat winner Matthew Shuttleworth. Logan Billau was next up from Ronaldo Koen, Bophelo Molathlegi, Diego Antunes, KZN kid Kayden Pistauer, Brodi Dowling and Aqhamile Mfana, with Maddox Mason 11th after losing his second race points underweight.
Richard Horner failed to win a race en route to KZN-only Max Masters honours as second man Richard Van Heerde took two wins each side of a troubled second race. Allan John Rice ended up third ahead of race 2 winner Allan Johnston, James Stewart and Shaun Yeld. Dane van Heerde marched to a 3-race 4 stroke rout ahead of Jonno Wilson and Jacques Pretorius, and local lad Shrien Naidoo beat quick Jozi trio Fabienne Lanz, Joseph Ellerine and Brandon Smith in the Shifters.
Now it’s time for the big one when all of SA’s top karters descend on picturesque and undulating iDube for the third round South African Kart Championships on Saturday 10 July. Watch www.kart.co.za for details on that event’s live stream closer to the time…