WhatRotax Max Challenge SA National Karting Round 2 & 3 Report
WhereZwartkops International Kart Raceway, Pretoria
When19-20 September 2020
CommunitySouth Africa National

Rotax national double header delivers insane action

The past weekend’s Rotax Max South African national karting double header delivered spectacular karting action at the Zwartkops International Kart Circuit. The meeting designed to help ensure that Rotax Max national karting bounced back as splendidly as it did following lockdown, saw each class race six times as relentless action entertained a live streaming audience.

It was an exhausting but satisfying weekend that also ushered in a new Max karting era of more officials and stronger control under tough clerk of the course Richard Vaughn. The no-holds barred two-day non-stop action proved tremendous on track. Some drivers left Pretoria with both hands on national titles and their prize drives in February’s Rotax Olympics of Karting Max Grand Finals. Other classes however remain wide open. 

Cape lad Sebastian Boyd emerged the winner of a hard-fought premier class direct drive gearbox DD2 weekend with three heat wins over class veteran Bradley Liebenberg’s two. It was a case of what could have been for final race winner, KZN lad Robert Whiting, who was found underweight and excluded from the second heat. He'd otherwise have taken the day, but ended up sixth behind the dicing Jamie Smith, Nicolas Spanoyannis and Niko Zafiris. Liebenberg leads the DD2 title race to Boyd’s Killarney home track, with just nine points separating the two.

Local man Nicholas Verheul won five out of six over-30s DD2 Masters races to all but wrap up the 2020 championship after Eugene Brittz took the first race win. Third for the day, Jonathan Pieterse is the only driver with any chance of nicking Verheul's title after a weekend of five thirds and a second. Tinahe Ncube, Pascal Acquaah, Marouan Selmi and Alistair Mingay were all in chase.

Open chain drive Senior Max title is nowhere near spoken for, following another brilliant six races at Zwartkops. Cape lad Tate Bishop and home hero and class debutant Aqil Alibhai took two wins apiece, Cape Town’s SA champion Charl Visser and rising KZN star Dane van Heerde one each. Jason Coetzee, Riley Horner, Jack Rowe and Josh Le Roux were next up. That leaves Bishop and Coetzee three points apart en route to their home final, with Alibhai the dark horse. He counts all the points he scores after missing the first round. The rest drop their four worst results.

Muhammad Wally is in essence the 2020 South African high school under-15 Junior Max champion, following a faultless six-win rout at Zwartkops to add to his two out of four at the KZN opener. Troy Snyman, who competed in two classes and twelve races over the two days, played bridesmaid in all but one heat, to come home ahead of Kian Grottis. Ethan Stier, Tyler Robinson, race 4 second man Dhivyen Naidoo and Juandre Nel were next up, leaving the four of them in an ultra-close fight for the title second with Snyman.

Ghazi Motlekar is another driver whose 2020 South African championship is a mere formality. The Dainfern kid added another three wins to his first round under-13 Mini Max whitewash to take the day. KC Ensor-Smith and Troy Snyman ended up on even points after sharing the other three wins out between them. Luviwe Sambudla, Erich Heystek, Ethan Deacon, Mahlori Mabunda and Reza Levy enjoyed a tight mid-pack battle to head to the Cape in an even tighter title fight for third.

Caleb Odendaal took four wins and two seconds to bring the under-11 Micro Max championship alive. Race 3 winner Reagile Mailula ended second ahead of reigning champion Reese Koorzen, who had dominated the opening round. Next up were Ntiyiso Mabunda and heat 1 winner Mohammed Moerat, whose day was spoiled by being underweight in a race. Kegan Martin ended sixth from Jordon Wadeley and Joshua Moore. Odendaal now holds an 11-point title lead heading to Koorzen’s Killarney home track, with Mabunda right in there too...

Last but not least, the baby Bambinos proved the real stars of the show. Caleb Moss won the day following a fraught day’s racing, taking three of six hard-fought heats in the six-to-nine year old class. Ever consistent Manelisi Nkomo ended second from race 4 and 5 winner MJ Thekiso, Mattao Mason, Jack Moore and race 2 winner Aiden Beaumont. Kai Van Rensburg, Maddox Mason, Rafael da Silva and Harry Rowe closed off the top ten. So Moss leads the way to the Cape, just two points clear of Mason with Nkomo and the rest snapping at their heels.

Killarney will wrap the 2020 SA National Rotax Max Challenge up, with each class racing four heats at the Cape Town kart track on Saturday 17 October. That’s a big weekend, for not only will all the 2020 champions be crowned, but each will also earn a ticket to represent South Africa at the February Rotax Max World Finals in February...


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