Gauteng, Cape Max Challenge karting returns to home bases
The Gauteng and Cape Rotax Max Challenges return to home ground when both region’s top kart racers gather for the next rounds of the series at Zwartkops and Killarney on Saturday 8 March hot off the second round nationals in Benoni.
Not that the upcountry racing should be any less spectacular but this and the previous rounds swapped venues with the Formula K raceway in Benoni, which also hosted that stunning second national round where the locals shone last weekend. So the allure to prove who’s who among Gauteng’s top dogs are will be as fierce as ever.
Brandon Smith arrives at the recently upgraded figure of 8 Zwartkops International Kart track as the premier upcountry direct drive gearbox kart DD2 favourite. Not only did he beat Nicolas Spanoyannis to take the day in the regionals last time out, but Brandon was also right in the thick of the national action last week. Both men will have to deal with Jamie Smith, Niko Zafiris, Divan Braak and Ian Allnutt, but also DD2 Masters frontrunners Eugene Brittz, Nick Verheul, Phillipe Chapat and the rest.
The Cape DD2 races should prove just as spectacular. Joseph Oelz remains unbeaten in the WP races and SA champion Sebastian Boyd’ will be out to stem that tide. Connor Hughes is the man to beat in DD2 Masters, with Jared and Michael Jordan, Andrew Thomas, Steven Beaumont and Gil Simoes all in with a shout too.
Kian Grottis will no doubt be the man to beat after ruffling the Senior Max feathers at the national last week. He will however have Hamza Jassat and and Tahier Ramlall, Tyrone Sterne, Roshaan Goodman, Olerato Sekudu, Ryan Wustmann and Andrew Hill chasing hard to make an impression there. Down Killarney way meantime, their national rivals, Andrew Rackstraw, SA champion Tate Bishop and Storm Lanfear will fight it out for Cape Senior Max honours.
Will surprise Formula K national winner Jayden Goosen will be out among the Gauteng under-15 Junior Max field? If so, he will have SA champion Muhammad Wally to deal with. Arch rival Troy Snyman often makes the trip up from KZN to race the upcountry regionals too, where Moosa Kajee is capable of surprising and Karabo Malemela, Ricardo Tebbutt and Nick Vostanis will all be keen to make a point. In the Cape, Reza Levy is the man to beat with Ethan Stier, Matthew Wadeley, Joshua Smit and Jaden Jacobs et al all out to do just that.
Wian Boshoff has been untouchable in both the Gauteng and national Mini Max under-13 races of late and thus has a sizeable target on his back. Caleb Odendaal, Erich Heystek, Kent Swartz, Georgia Lenaerts and Berlin Robinson will be among those taking aim. Moving down to Killarney, Joaquin de Oliveira is the man with the Cape Mini Max target on his back and Joshua Smit, Sabelo Ntuli, Jordan Wadeley and Oliver Roach among those taking aim.
Spice Mailula is the kid to beat in national and Gauteng local under-11 Micro Max in 2021, but both he and Kegan Martin will be keen on incident free weekends following their sizeable crash last time they chased the same piece of regional tarmac. Mattao Mason who picked up the pieces last time and Rafael da Silva, Taylin Patel and Aadam Kajee are all in with a shout too. The Cape fight will be between Keagan Beaumont and his pursuers Kegan Martin, Aiden Beaumont, Matthew Chiwara, Matthew Roach and Siyabonga Ntuli.
Matthew Shuttleworth is riding the crest of the baby Bambino wave, but that’s no guarantee of Zwartkops success. Logan Billau, Rafael de Sousa and Maddox Mason are all right on the pace there and Kayde Cornofsky, Diego Antunes, Santiago Frade, Shayaan Mohamed, Brodi Cooper Dowling and Bophelo Molatlhegi want a piece of that action, too. It’s just as competitive in the Cape between Michael Danks, Siyabonga Ntuli, Liam Wharton and Kayde Cornofsky with Zach Mc Auley, Arabelle Krause and Ruan Lewis also keen to make a mark.
Spectators were still banned from the races and all sporting events at the time of writing. Many hope that will change soon.