WhatKZN Rotax Max Challenge Round 3 Report
WhereiDube Kart Raceway, KZN
WhenSunday 02 August 2020
CommunityKZN Regional

Rotax karting gets back on track in KZN


South African karting bounced back from lockdown with a bang on Sunday when iDube hosted the third round of the KwaZulu Natal Rotax Max Challenge and a record field of drivers turned up to race. In a day that more or less went to the form book, there were indeed one or two surprises at the spectator-free meeting racing to lockdown limitations on the twisty hillside kart track east of Pietermaritzburg. 

2019 South African DD2 gearbox champion Benjamin Habig, who is due to make his national rally debut, made a successful surprise return to karting with pole position and with three straight race wins over Robert Whiting, although Whiting made him work for those second and third wins. Jamie Smith beat Sharad Bantho two third-places to one in the heats to sneak third for the day with Divan Braak and Niko Zafiris next up.

Jonathan Pieterse enjoyed a similar rout over Alistair Mingay each time in the karting madala DD2 Masters ahead of Eric Marzoppi as the trio mixed it with the midfield younger DD2 drivers, with Ryan Wilde and Chris Grobbelaar in the mix too. 

Talking older drivers, Shane Foley made off in heat 1 from Richard van Heerde, who fought from the back in the heavyweight chain drive Rotax Max 180 class for older and bigger-boned drivers. Van Heerde made best of race 2 reverse drawn grid race, before Foley and van Heerde delivered the race of the day as they came from the back to top the final. Dean Rice came out best of the rest from Beverly van Heerde, Richard Horner and Allan John Rice.

The highly competitive Senior Max saw the entire field qualify within half a second with Shrien Naidoo on pole, before a humdinger opening heat where Dane van Heerde held off race 2 winner Shrien Naidoo, before van Heerde made off to an easy final win, where Brent Walden popped up second to take third for the day from Brandon Smith, Riley Horner and Jack Rowe.

Moving on to the schoolboy classes, the dominant Troy Snyman qualified on under-15 Junior Max pole and was easily first home in race 1, but he was slapped with a yellow flag penalty to leave Dhivyen Naidoo to take a surprise heat win over Tyler Robinson with Snyman third. SA Mini Max champion Snyman was back to winning ways in the second and third heats to take the day from Naidoo and Robinson each time, while Liam de Beer, Juandre Nel and Nikheil Kulkaparsad rounded out the top six ahead of newcomer Corban Spies.

Bambino graduate Caleb Odendaal was on fire as he defied the odds to dominate under-11 Micro Max, taking pole and a trio of wins from Uzair Khan each time, as the plucky Travis Mingay fought back to overcome Ntiyiso Mabunda and Dylan Watkins to wrest the final podium step, with impressive newcomer Kyle Spies sixth. 

Harry Rowe proved a class act as he qualified on pole, but a chaotic first heat saw him fight from the back to clinch an unlikely baby Bambino win before fighting Mathew Shuttleworth off in heat 2 and then spinning to surrender the final to Shuttleworth from Kayden Thaver. Third man Rowe had already done enough to take the day from Shuttleworth and Thaver, while Shayaan Mohamed, Troy Pieterse and Kayden Pistauer followed.

Last but not least, newcomer Eddie Lloyd shook up the form book and took 4-stroke honours to take the day with a couple of wins from reverse grid final winner Stan Whiting, Peter-John Garbutt, Lisa Mingay, Bruce Rowe and Andre Smit.

The weekend's Covid-19-cracking races are just the pipe opener for Rotax Max karting’s comeback, which will now continue flat out every week or two through to the end of the year. Next up, the Cape’s Rotax Max karters make their comeback at Killarney on 15 August, a week before the first of Rotax Max Nationals back at iDube on 21 August.


Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge

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