The world has gone a little mad. Motorsport events are being cancelled everywhere because of Coronavirus, the illness that has certainly claimed the global economy among its victims.
We need an injection of happiness this week and Western Province Motorsport Club karting is ready to deliver.
Next weekend will see the ROK fraternity travel to Cape Town for the first National of the ROK season. Unsurprisingly, the entry list this weekend includes a number of up-country visitors here to practice for the all-important race next weekend. The race programme also includes additional ROK classes to allow these competitors an opportunity to practice.
The ROK classes run on different tyres to the Rotax classes, completely changing the grip characteristics of the track on a mixed race day. Experience will come into play here, as those who have done mixed days before try to learn from previous setup challenges.
Bambino (5th – 9th birthday)
Kai van Rensburg (Top Kart) didn’t play games in Round 1, romping his way to three excellent victories.
Aiden Beaumont (Top Kart), John Norman (Body Elite Top Kart) and Sebastiano Human (Top Kart) also had a strong first race and will be keen to close the performance gap to van Rensburg as quickly as possible.
Mattao Mason (Top Kart) and Maddox Mason (Top Kart) are serious out-of-towners, having competed in races across the country. It will be fascinating to see where they end up on pace.
The mid-pack battle in this wonderful class will be one to watch, as Siyabonga Ntuli (Top Kart), Rebecca Wadeley (Top Kart), Zach McAuley (Top Kart), Liam Wharton (Vishay Interiors Top Kart), Michael Danks (Top Kart) and Riley Stier (Top Kart) all take to the circuit.
Matthew Roach (Top Kart) is the new name on the grid, taking the total to 13 Bambinos which is wonderful to see.
Kid ROK (6th – 10th birthday)
Although only four karters will compete in this class, the locals will be shouting for Rayan Karriem (RK Racing / Outsourcing Solutions Tony Kart) and Keagan Beaumont (Strive Birel).
Matteo Mason (BirelART SA Birel) will compete in two classes this weekend and Troy Van Der Laan will travel to Cape Town for Kid ROK practice ahead of next weekend.
ROTAX Micro MAX (7th – 12th birthday)
Reese Koorzen (Zenkor Engineering Kosmic) claimed a brilliant 105 points haul in the first round of the Championship, but the fight was closer than most people expected. Joshua Smit (S&S Racing Kosmic) gave him a proper run for his money and will be itching to get in front of Koorzen this weekend.
Keagan Beaumont (Strive Praga), Dale Hobbs and Jordan Wadeley (EMR Kartsport CRG) will thrill onlookers with an excellent battle for the remaining podium spot. Depending on what happens at the front, a couple of these drivers may end up with a result to remember.
Eric Norman (Body Elite Praga) and Sabelo Ntuli (Gingerroot Kosmic) round out this exciting class.
Mini ROK (8th – 13th birthday)
Joaquin de Oliveira (Parolin) doesn’t ever seem fussed about the threat from other drivers, as he continues to show them how to drive around Killarney. He was untouchable in Round 1 of the Regional Championship.
Fast Capetonians Ethan Lennon (FTW Tony Kart) and Rayan Karriem (RK Racing / Outsourcing Solutions Tony Kart), who impressed on debut at the last race as he stepped up from Bambino, will be ready for the challenge from some potent out-of-town talent.
Luviwe Sambudla (Impuma / VW Squadra Corse Exprit), Luke Hill (Steelform / Powasol RS), Caleb Odendaal (BirelART SA Birel), Jayden Goosen (PTA Noord Toyota Kosmic) and Kent Swartz (Parolin) will mix it up with the locals in a critical practice race for next weekend.
William Marshall (Kosmic) and Jude Stuart (Tony Kart) will welcome the challenge of a sizable field, using it as an excellent learning opportunity to find more pace.
ROTAX Mini MAX (9th – 14th birthday)
Defending Champion Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team Kosmic) suffered a very challenging start to his year. He is only P5 in the Championship standings, but if he has decent luck for the rest of the year, his drops will kick in and the first race may be forgotten altogether.
Jason MacBeath (Tony Kart) and Reza Levy (CRG) made the most of Stier’s misfortune, banking valuable points in the first round. They will be acutely aware that Stier will be back for blood.
Joshua Smit (S&S Racing Kosmic) only participated in one race in Round 1, but that won’t be repeated this weekend as he brings serious pace to the fight at the front.
Paul Malcolm (Cape Pots CRG) and Ethan Deacon (Tony Kart) will take heart from the first race and will be ready to put on an excellent show in the mid-pack.
Jude Stuart (Tony Kart) makes an exciting jump in his racing career, moving up to the powerful 125cc machines as he grows in confidence and experience.
We welcome Guido Bruno Bidoli (ITAKA Birel) from Namibia who will test the Cape Town waters.
ROTAX Junior MAX (12th – 16th birthday)
Kyle Visser (Charl Engineering Tony Kart) drew first blood, seeing off Troy Dolinschek (Makita Kosmic) who is probably still frustrated after a bizarre transponder issue that ruined his first heat in the opening race meeting.
These two will put on an incredible display of pace and racecraft at the front.
Andre Le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic) will be ready to maintain his momentum from a podium in the first race. Kyle Le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic) lost out on some points in Round 1 and will seek to rectify that position against every-improving duo Matthew Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Zanardi) and Reza Levy (CRG).
Joaquin de Oliveira (Kosmic) makes his debut in Junior MAX which will be watched with interest by many, as this talented driver goes from strength to strength in his racing career.
Paul Malcolm (EMR CRG) is also doing double duty this weekend, entering his first ever Junior MAX race. He races with incredible heart.
OKJ (12th birthday – 15th birthday)
The entry list is graced by 11 teenage karters, ready to battle for supremacy ahead of their National next weekend.
Tate Bishop (ANGRi Jeep Kosmic) and Joseph Oelz (BirelART SA Birel) are among the very best talents in this country and will treat the crowd to another humdinger this weekend.
Luca Wehrli (Tony Kart) was very impressive in the first race and will give plenty of stick to the travellers who join him on track: Ndumiso Bungane (VW Squadra Corse Exprit), Lagson Leäo (VW Squadra Corse FA), Nikolas Roos (CEF Manufacturing Kosmic), Anthony Pretorius (Birel), Muhammad Wally (CAT 99 Group Exprit), Josh Le Roux (Exprit) and Taya Van Der Laan (Exprit).
Mika Abrahams (Kosmic) is on debut in this class.
ROTAX Senior MAX (14th birthday +)
Killarney’s tarmac will not see the bottom of Andrew Rackstraw’s tyres this weekend, as he switches his kart seat for a Formula Ford seat at Zwartkops. Luckily, the rest of the incredible group that contested Round 1 will come together again in a terrific display of chain-driven, pure karting.
Jason Coetzee (EMR Kartsport CRG) is beastly in this class and sent a strong message as he took P1 overall in the opening round. Tate Bishop (ANGRi Jeep Kosmic), Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto Kosmic) and Charl Visser (Charl Engineering Tony Kart) will be out to make his life as difficult as possible.
Storm Lanfear (Venture 4th Consulting Kosmic) and Reece Oellermann (CRG) are excellent drivers who find themselves fighting in the mid-pack purely based on the intense pace at the front.
Joining this illustrious group will be Mikaeel Moolla (Kosmic) who moves from Junior MAX to Senior MAX.
ROTAX DD2 (15th birthday +)
The class has suffered a setback this week with a couple of big names notably absent from the entry list.
Nevertheless, Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight Birel) and Jason Coetzee (CRG) will have a serious battle for the win in the premier class of Rotax karting.
Michael Jordan (CRG) switches from Senior MAX to DD2 to join his brother on the DD2 / DD2 Masters grid.
Conor Hughes (Natasha Hughes Tony Kart), Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Media / Blake Brothers CRG) and Jason Greyling (Nigma Media CRG) will score in both the DD2 class and the DD2 Masters class.
ROTAX DD2 Masters (32nd birthday + / 85kgs driver)
The entry list is a bit smaller for this race than for Round 1, but is still strong with 8 Masters ready to compete. Remarkably, less than 1s per lap separates the entire field on pace and that gap is closing practically every weekend.
Conor Hughes (Natasha Hughes Tony Kart) is the man to beat, with Roy Gruer (Tony Kart) and brilliant newcomer Jason Greyling (Hi-Tech Doors, Nigma Media CRG) at his heels.
Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Media / Blake Brothers CRG) won’t be happy with his points finish in the first race, as he has the pace to fight for podiums. Jacques de Bruyn (Tony Kart) will certainly feel the same.
The battle in the rest of the pack will be fierce, as Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG), Jared Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) and Robert Peche (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) face off in close and exciting racing.
KZ / KZ2
Four shifters will be in attendance ahead of next week’s National.
Capetonian Charl Visser (Charl Engineering Tony Kart) will enjoy support from the locals as he squares off against the extremely talented trio of Bradley Liebenberg (BirelART SA Birel), Joseph Ellerine and Jordan North (Tony Kart).
The world of motorsport is looking thin for international events over the next couple of months. Luckily, the local contingent will give Cape Town motorsport fans something to cheer about as they fight for honour at Killarney International Raceway on Saturday.
The programme is jam-packed. Sit down, strap yourself in and hold on. You’re in for one hell of a ride.
Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)
Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)