The only certainty in this world is uncertainty. Whether we are navigating the ongoing joys of Covid-19 or a general lack of electricity, as South Africans we are constantly having to adapt.

The world of motorsport is no different. There’s been a significant shake-up in the local karting scene, which has been a cause of considerable administrative stress for the WPMC Karting Committee. We are grateful to them for their tireless efforts in ensuring that Killarney karting continues to go from strength to strength.

The entry list for this weekend looks excellent. The sport is in good health, despite the challenges it has faced in the past year. 

The sound of 2-stroke magic will be heard across Killarney this weekend, even if there are no spectators yet. We can’t control the world, but we can make the most of the cards we are dealt.

Bambino (5th – 9th birthday)

Small kids. Small karts. Big hearts. 

That’s what this class is about and the Bambinos bring that spirit in abundance. With a larger-than-life desire to go racing and families pulling together around them to make it happen, this is where the magic kicks off for many.

Michael Danks (Topkart) will be itching to pick up where he left off last season. Other experienced campaigners include Liam Wharton (Topkart), Siyabonga Ntuli (Topkart), John Norman (Body Elite Topkart) and Zach McAuley (Topkart). 

We welcome relative newbie Ruan Lewis (Topkart) to a new season as well as Kayde Cornofsky (Topkart) who travels to the Mother City to join the racing this weekend.

ROTAX Micro MAX (7th – 12th birthday)

The action looks juicy in this class to say the least.

There are some pilots with previous Micro MAX experience, including the likes of Dale Hobbs (Parolin), Sabelo Ntuli (Kosmic) and Eric Norman (Body Elite Kosmic). Hobbs is probably the pick for this weekend but don’t discount the gains made by his rivals.

The dynamic duo of Kai van Rensburg (CRG) and Aiden Beaumont (Birel) graduate from Bambino to bring their beautiful rivalry to a new class. It might take a few races for these talented drivers to get fully up to pace, but you can rest assured that it will happen. 

We look forward to welcoming Matthew Roach (CRG) and Matthew Chiwara (CRG) to the paddock. Kegan Martin (Dunlop Belting Products & Mobile 1 BirelArt) makes the journey from Gauteng to tackle the locals. Whether he will dish out or receive a Belting remains to be seen! 

Mini ROK (8th – 13th birthday)

There’s a bumper entry list in this class as the ROK contingent come together to do battle. No fewer than seven out-of-towners will join in on the fun, including some top contenders.

It’s never easy to predict the front-runners in the first race of the year, but we feel confident that you’ll find the likes of Reese Koorzen (Parolin) and Ethan Lennon (FTW Tony Kart) at the sharp end of things. 

Watch out for local talents like Rayan Karriem (Tony Kart) and Ethan Deacon (Tony Kart) as well, who will face challenges from William Marshall (Kosmic), Jude Stuart (Tony Kart), Sabelo Ntuli (Tony Kart), Liam Crowe (Tony Kart) and James Nash (Tony Kart).

On debut, we find Kai van Rensburg (RS) taking on an immense challenge of two older classes on the same day. Michael Danks (RS) is also double-dipping, while Sebastiano Human (Kosmic) also looks set to join the action.

From distant lands (ok, mainly Johannesburg), we welcome the Squadra Corse Team represented by Mathlori Mothlabani (Exprit), Enzo Rujugiro (Exprit), Luviwe Sambudla (Exprit) and Ntiyiso Mabunda (Exprit). 

Caleb Cotterell (Kosmic) takes a break from their incredibly exciting “Mini-Indycar” project to do a bit of karting in Cape Town, while the RS Kart Team of Luke Hill (RS / Fullgas RS) and Ewan Venter (RS) join us from the red and white team. 

Will Ralf Schumacher himself make an appearance on Saturday? Based on recent social media activity, it’s genuinely not impossible.

Mini MAX (9th – 14th birthday)

Lightning McQueen’s famous line in the Cars movies, “I am speed”, may well be fantasy. But in the case of Joaquin de Oliveira (Factory Parolin), he really is speed. One of the most talented drivers in the country, not just in Cape Town, de Oliveira is going to be extremely difficult to catch. 

Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport CRG), Ethan Deacon (Tony Kart) and Joshua Smit (S&S Racing Kosmic) will certainly give their all, dishing up some thrilling racing along the way. Jude Stuart (Tony Kart) has been bubbling under for a while now and this could well be his breakthrough year, looking smooth and fast in pre-season testing.

Then we have 2020 Micro MAX Champion Keagan Beaumont (Parolin) who sneaked in some extra practice in the off-season with a race in Namibia. Dancing in the desert is one thing, while many DD2 Masters spent their off-season dancing in the dessert instead, but Beaumont will have a challenge ahead of him to move up the order in this class.

We also look forward to seeing Eric Norman (Body Elite Zanardi) and Oliver Roach (CRG) in this exciting class. 

Junior MAX (12th – 16th birthday)

Don’t be fooled by the smaller entry list here. What this class currently lacks in numbers, it more than makes up for in quality.

Ethan Stier (Kosmic) has cemented himself as a top driver among the WPMC fraternity. He was Mini MAX Champion in 2019 and won Junior MAX races in 2020, so he will have his sights set firmly on another title in 2021. 

He won’t have it easy. EMR Kartsport drivers Matthew Wadeley and Reza Levy, both in CRGs, have been lapping within two tenths of Stier in the build-up to raceday. It’s going to be tight.

Then we have none other than Joaquin de Oliveira (CRG) who makes his debut in this class. It’s going to be fascinating to see how close to the front he can get. Fellow debutant Jaco Jacobs (Tony Kart) finds himself in a lion’s den, but will no doubt put in the work to catch these drivers. 

Senior MAX (14th birthday +)

Senior MAX dished up the most competitive racing of 2020, with a group of immensely talented drivers literally on top of each other for 15 laps. 

Defending WP and South African Senior MAX Champion Tate Bishop (ANGRI Kosmic) will be out for more blood in 2021. He has a busier season now that he has started main circuit racing as well, so his team will need to manage that carefully.

Other drivers with busy seasons include Jason Coetzee (Kosmic) and Charl Visser (FA) with tin-top campaigns on the main circuit and Andrew Rackstraw (CRG) who will have a real go at the F1600 National Championship this year. These top drivers will all give Bishop a proper run for his money and anything is possible.

Kyle Visser (Tony Kart) graduates from Junior MAX as the 2020 champion in that class, finally sharing a grid with brother Charl. To finish off this incredible class, giant killer Storm Lanfear (Kosmic) returns once more to keep the front-runners honest.  

DD2 (15th birthday +) and DD2 Masters (32nd birthday + / 85kgs driver)

It’s impossible not to get excited about the prospects of a DD2 battle.

2020’s reigning champion, Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight BirelArt) stands ready to defend his title. Jason Coetzee (Kosmic), who has won more races in his career than most of us can count, will be back to make life difficult for Boyd. 

The sharp end isn’t done yet.

We cannot wait to see Charl Visser (Kosmic) and Joseph Oelz (BirelArt) in action, both South African champions in their own rights. 

Any of those four drivers could take it and that’s before we get into the rest of the action.

Michael Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) has been impressive in pre-season testing and will give it his best to hang on to the front five. He is joined in DD2 by two debutants: Gil Simoes (CRG) and Rafe Tayler (CRG). 

Among the Masters, Conor Hughes (Tony Kart) is the defending champion and certainly the favourite for this weekend, with his closest rivals from 2020 absent from the entry list. Jared Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) might be best of the rest but will have a tough fight on his hands from Andre Steenkamp (CRG) and Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee | Blake Brothers | ImpiTec CRG). 

Steve Beaumont (CRG) has found pace in the off-season and will seek to be closer to the action, while WPMC Club Chairman Guy Lanfear (Southern Cross Wealth Kosmic) bravely looks to tame a DD2 monster this weekend.

OKJ (12th – 16th birthday)

This class is in its infancy in Cape Town and it’s great to see the name Jason MacBeath (Tony Kart) on the entry list once more. 

He is joined by another great local driver in the form of Ethan Stier (Tony Kart) while excellent driver KC Ensor-Smith (Kosmic) travels to Cape Town to battle the duo.

KZ2 (15th birthday +)

The fastest of the ROK classes has attracted an entry from Dino Stermin (Tony Kart), another brilliant Cape Town driver with a smooth driving style that anyone can and should learn from.

Jason Coetzee (Tony Kart) is also on the entry list. That means three classes in one day, which would be a Herculean effort to say the least.

Carlo Oliver (RS) and Joseph Ellerine (Tony Kart) travel to Cape Town to get stuck in on the action.

WP Clubmans (14th birthday +)

Perhaps the best news of all is that Clubmans is back! 

Offering a low cost, friendly environment for older beginners (literally up to any age), Clubmans is always high on entertainment value. Bringing adults into the sport and in many cases their Bambinos too, Clubmans is close to our hearts. 

We are thrilled to see that Sean Le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic) has spearheaded the return of this class. He brings his two very quick sons with him, Andre (Seleka Racing Arrow) and Kyle (Seleka Racing Kosmic) and quite possibly the family dog as well, who is somewhat of a social media sensation.

Not resembling a bull terrier, but possibly driving like one, will be the highly experienced Club Vice-Chairman David Walker (Southern Cross Wealth FA) with a DVS rocket strapped to the back of his kart. Fellow veteren Guy Lanfear will tackle two classes in one day, in a fitness demonstration that will embarrass drivers many years younger than him.

In this run-what-you-brung format, Dylan Dawes (CRG) is expected to bring his previous Clubmans experience to the mix. 

If you missed out as a kid and want to get involved in the sport, speak to Le Riche or the Committee and get started. We anticipate healthy growth in entries over the season.

Conclusion

David Marchio has elected to step away from taking his incredible photos at Killarney. In a tribute to the man and as a thank you for capturing incredible memories over the past couple of years, we have produced a gallery of some of his finest images.

WPMC karting – we will see you on Saturday!

Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)