|What||Northern Regions Karting Round 4 Preview|
|Where||Zwartkops International Kart Raceway, Pretoria|
|When||Saturday 3 October 2020|
Karters of all ages for Zwartkops NR Max action
With the recent national double header delivering epic karting action just a week ago, it seems Gauteng’s regional karters cannot get enough of the Zwartkops International Circuit. The fourth round of the Rotax Max Northern Regions Karting Championship had already drawn a significant entry as we wrote, with more set to follow for yet another great day’s racing at the Pretoria racetrack on Saturday 3 October.
The most exciting Rotax Max development of late has to be the recent boom among the baby Bambinos. Kids racing in the kindergarten of karting will soon be household racing names in local racing, rallying and overseas in GT3, the DTM and who knows where else in fifteen or 20 years time. Where do you think most of SA’s current racing heroes started off?
Spectacular and always playing to a rowdy following of family and fans, the future stars of SA motorsport will fight it out once again in the 5-10 year old class this weekend. The on form Mattao Mason has the target on his back this Saturday, with Muziwakhe Thekiso, Caleb Moss, Rafael Da Silva and Manelisi Nkomo among those taking aim. Don’t ignore Maddox Mason, Ruald Hartzenberg, Cristian Verheul, Harry Rowe and Shayaan Mohamed among these kids either.
The next step up for young karters is to under-11 Micro Max — bigger kid kart chassis with detuned 125cc watercooled Rotax max power. Mohammed Moerat will be the kid to beat there with Reagile Mailula, national hero Caleb Odendaal and Ntiyiso Mabunda out to do just that. Add Taylin Patel, Owen Williams, Kegan Martin, Hriday Pooren and Enzo Rujugiro and you have the recipe for racing fireworks.
After two years in Micro, the next step is up to under-13 Mini Max, with a little more power in the same kid chassis. Ghazi Motlekar wants to add the Gauteng Mini crown to his all but confirmed 2020 national crown. Arch rival Troy Snyman will hopefully make the trip to stop him, but don’t ignore KC Ensor-Smith, Erich Heystek, Lwandle Pule and Luviwe Sambudla. Or Berlin Robinson, Mahlori Mabunda and Kgabang Mngadi.
Once they turn 14, high school age Rotax Max karting kids must take a significant stride up to under-15 Junior Max. The faster, more demanding full-sized chan-drive Junior chassis run far more powerful 125cc watercooled Rotax 2-stroke engines. None of that will stop newly crowned SA champion Muhammad Wally from fighting off the likes of Tyler Robinson, Kian Grottis, Nikolas Roos, Juandre Nel and Olerato Sekudu on Saturday.
The even more powerful top chain-drive open age group Senior Max runs to a heavier minimum weight for driver and kart on the scales after the race too. Senior Max delivered a cracking show last time out as well, with three winners in three races. Watch out for Dane van Heerde, Junior refugee Aqil Alibhai, Jack Rowe, Tyrone Sterne, Kgalema Mngadi, Hamza Jassat and Wayland Wyman in action this weekend.
The fastest class of them all, the direct drive 2-speed DD2 is Rotax Max karting's premier class. DD2 also attracts SA’s top race and kart drivers, so expect four-times SA champion Bradley Liebenberg to fight it out with Robert Whiting, Jamie Smith, Ian Allnutt and Wayland Wyman this weekend. Add Nicolas Spanoyannis, Niko Zafiris and Divan Braak. Last round winner, SA’s 4-rimes Max world champion Cristiano Morgado may even make the trip too.
The second DD2 class is called Masters — the playground of SA’s top over-30s karters. Nicholas Verheul is the Masters man to beat and Eugene Brittz and Philippe Chapat often do that. Don’t forget Marouan Selmi, Tinahe Ncube, Tiago Clemente or Carlo Gil, either.
Lockdown protocols still apply to Saturday’s races, so no spectators are allowed. But do keep up with progress at the Race Centre on theauto.page/sport throughout the day on Saturday.
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