The Mother City karting community and their out-of-town visitors were greeted by a windy day, which seems to have become the norm on Argus weekend. While most of the city focused on cycling, those with petrol in their veins turned their attention to the Killarney karting circuit.

With just two weeks left until the all-important first National of the year at Killarney, the entry lists were long and the racing was fierce as the Capetonians defended their stronghold against the Northern Regions insurgence.

Bambino (5 – 9 Years)

Tshepang Shisinwana (Top Kart) got off to a fantastic start with the fastest time in the warm-up. However, it was Luan Mostert (AMV Group / DSD Group / Donadio Plant Hire Top Kart) who put his kart on pole after an intense qualifying session and took the victory in heat 1.

Troy van der Laan (Top Kart) bounced back to take the victory in heat 2 from Rayan Karriem (Top Kart) and Mostert, after Shisinwana slipped to 5th behind Jordon Wadeley (EMR Top Kart). The Northern Regions drivers dominated the final race of the day, with van der Laan and Shisinwana coming home first and second from Mostert and Wadeley after Karriem ran into trouble.

After a hugely competitive day of racing, it was van der Laan who stood on the top step followed by Mostert and Shisinwana.

Jordon Wadelay and Karriem rounded off the top 5, followed by Christian Verheul (EMR Top Kart), Matthew Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing), debutant Kai van Rensburg (7 Films / Top Kart) and the ever-improving Rebecca Wadeley (Top Kart).

Rotax Micro MAX (7 – 12 Years)

Reese Koorzen (Kosmic) looks to be unstoppable in 2019. After a dominant performance at the first Regional, he did it again this weekend.

Koorzen put it on pole with a six tenths gap to Northern Regions visitor Mohammed Moerat (Moto Technik Praga). Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG) and Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) were a few tenths further back ahead of a group of midfield drivers who would provide the crowd with plenty to shout about throughout the day.

In race 1, Koorzen stormed to victory with a six second gap, followed by a very close battle among Moerat, Smit and Levy who finished within half a second of each other. Northern Regions karters Luviwe Sambudla (FA), Caleb Cotterell (Praga) and Erich Heystek finished ahead of Ethan Lennon (Kosmic) in the midfield pack.

Race 2 saw Koorzen run away with an even more impressive margin of 9.3 seconds, which equates to 20% of the track length! Smit’s misfortune allowed Moerat and Levy to round off the top 3, with Ethan Deacon (CRG) dusting himself off from an unfortunate first heat to get amongst the Northern Regions pack in the midfield fight.

The final heat of the day saw Moerat give Koorzen a much tougher time, with the winning margin reduced to just under a second. Smit grabbed an impressive third place after his kart had to be rebuilt after a major incident in the second race, as Levy struggled to an eighth place finish behind the entertaining midfield contingent.

When all was said and done, it was Koorzen on the top step for the day with a perfect performance that also saw him break his own lap record with a 46.331s lap of glory in heat 1. Moerat impressed on his trip to Cape Town with second place overall and will take these learnings with him into the National. Sambudla was rewarded for an incredibly consistent day with third place overall.

Levy, Lennon and Cotterell rounded off the top six ahead of Smit whose final position for the day certainly didn’t reflect his pace. Deacon brought it home in eighth place ahead of Luan Mostert (AMV Group / DSD Group / Donadio Plant Hire Kosmic), Mapumoto, Enzo Rujugiro (FA), Heystek and Julian Booysen.

Mini ROK (8 – 13 Years)

Mini ROK was an all Cape Town battle as the Northern Regions karters practice in Gauteng ahead of the Vereeniging ROK National next weekend.

Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) kept Lucas Royston (Tony Kart) at bay to take pole position, with Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) a further seven tenths behind the top two.

Joaquin de Oliveira (Tony Kart) endured a difficult qualifying and then experienced a nightmare that every karter has had at some point – a snapped chain in heat 1. MacBeath led the remaining four karts home by the smallest imaginable margin, only four hundredths of a second ahead of Royston.

De Oliveira showed exactly what it means to be a success in karting, bouncing back from a very tough morning to take second place behind Royston and ahead of MacBeath in both the second and third heats in hotly contested races.

Overall, it was Royston who took the win for the day, followed by MacBeath and de Oliveira on the podium.

Ethan Deacon, Ethan Lennon (Tony Kart) and Smit rounded off the class.

Rotax Mini MAX (9 – 13 Years)

The Cape Town vs. Northern Regions battle was an absolute thriller in this class, with young star Muhammad Wally (Tony Kart) hoping to disrupt the Mother City party.

Ethan Stier would have none of it, putting his kart on pole ahead of Wally and fellow Capetonian Mikhail Fernandez (CRG).

Although Stier put in the fastest lap in heat 1, it was Wally who finished on top ahead of Stier, Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) and Fernandez who saw off Taya van der Laan in her Praga, a beautiful kart we don’t often get to see in Cape Town.

Stier bounced back in heat 2 to take the win from Wally, MacBeath and Fernandez, while Troy Snyman (Tony Kart) got the best of the mid-pack to come home in 5th place. The third heat had the identical finishing order for the top 5, with Paul Malcolm (CRG) the best of the rest.

With a result that builds beautifully on his momentum from the first race, Stier stood on the top step of the podium once more. Wally and MacBeath joined him on the podium after an epic day of racing, with Fernandez banking useful points in 4th.

Snyman and van der Laan showed strong pace at their away race ahead of Malcolm, Valentino Hoffman, Mandla Mlangeni (FA) and Mischa Williams (Zanardi).

Rotax Junior MAX (12 – 15 Years)

Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic) brought his round 1 performance into qualifying, achieving pole position by a small margin over Tate Bishop (ANGRI Kosmic) who came to round 2 needing points after a very unfortunate outing in round 1. Kyle Visser (RKT FA) and Joseph Oelz (Birel) were also right on the pace in qualifying.

The first race finished exactly as things did in qualifying, other than Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) overtaking Tristan Galp (CRG) for 5th place.

Race 2 saw change of guard at the front, as Bishop took the win from Dolinschek with a 1.5s gap. Visser and Oelz closed the gap significantly as well, setting the day up for an exciting finish in race 3.

It was Bishop who successfully navigated the ever-changing track conditions that were a feature of the afternoon, taking the win in race 3 with Dolinschek, Visser and Oelz close behind.

Bishop took the honours for the day, putting his championship back on track and the unpleasant memories from the first regional behind him. Dolinschek and Visser rounded off the podium, with Oelz coming home in 4th place in his first outing on the new track surface.

Lanfear, Galp, Ethan Coetzee (CRG), Ndumiso Bungane (FA) and Thaqib Meyer were next in line.

Rotax Senior MAX (14 Years +)

Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto) was the surprise performance of the day, outqualifying Charl Visser (RKT FA) by a ridiculously small margin of six thousandths of a second. The blink of an eye is a lifetime compared to that…

The highly competitive class saw the top seven drivers within eight tenths of each other in qualifying, creating an atmosphere of immense excitement heading into the afternoon’s racing.

Visser was absolutely dominant in the first regional, but had a much tougher time in round 2 with van Zijl taking the win in race 1 and Andrew Rackstraw (CRG) returning to karting with intent by taking second ahead of Visser.

The second heat saw a return to the chequered flag for Visser, followed by van Zijl and Rackstraw. Reece Oellermann (CRG) kept all four of his wheels on his kart this week to get the better of the mid-pack once more, with another 4th place finish in race 2.

In the final heat of the day it was Visser who took the win from van Zijl, but Simon Simpson-Heath (SHQS / MF Consulting & Construction Kosmic) brought the excitement as he snatched third by a narrow margin from Rackstraw, relegating Oellermann to 5th position.

By the end of a tough day’s racing, it was Visser on the top step by one point ahead of van Zijl. Rackstraw can be proud of a podium result against a tough field, with Oellermann and Simpson-Heath snapping at the heels of the front-runners.

Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) finished 6th ahead of Andrew Thomas (Blake Brothers / Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) who was plagued by reliability issues. Dane van Heerden (Praga) showed good pace but had a DNS for the third heat, placing him in 8th for the day ahead of Jade Lanfear (AOCon Consulting Engineers) who also registered a DNS for the final race.

Rotax MAX 175 (32 Years + or >85kg in your shorts)

Nicholas Verheul (CRG) and Erwin Sterne (CRG) flew the Northern Regions colours this weekend against a strong Cape Town trio.

Verheul took pole for Max 175 with the 8th fastest time overall, as the class ran a mixed grid with Senior Max. Gary Lennon (Tony Kart) was a couple of tenths back ahead of Johan Hamman (Kosmic).

Race 1 saw Verheul take the win by 6.6s from Lennon, followed by Erwin Sterne (CRG) whose fastest lap time was identical to a thousandth of a second to that of Jared Jordan (CRG). Hamman had a troubled race, finishing behind Jordan.

Race 2 was again Verheul from Lennon, but Jordan got the better of Sterne to bring it home in third as Hamman’s rather woeful day continued.

Verheul made it three in a row as he took the win in race 3, with Hamman showing his true pace as he banked second in a race where he avoided any incidents. Sterne saw off Jordan after a great battle to take third after Lennon ran into trouble.

Verheul’s dominance saw him enjoy the top step of the podium from Lennon and Sterne who had a successful outing to the Cape although he was well off the blistering pace set at the front. Jordan took 4th for the day ahead of 2018 Clubmans champion Hamman.

Rotax DD2 (15 Years +)

Jonathan Thomas (CRG) took pole in DD2 by four thousandths of a second from Jason Coetzee (TeamLit CRG). Dino Stermin (Tony Kart) also showed strong pace in qualifying to put his kart in 3rd ahead of Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight Kosmic) and Nicholas Verheul (EMR CRG) who bravely entered two classes for the day despite the race programme not allowing for a gap between DD2 and Senior Max. We still aren’t quite sure how he logistically managed to jump out of one kart and straight into another!

Race 1 was a close fight between Thomas and Stermin, as Coetzee ran into trouble and didn’t finish the race or register a lap time. Jarryd Evans drove an excellent race to take third ahead of Verheul and Boyd, with Waldo de Wet (Kosmic) finishing further back but continuing to impress in his first year in karting.

The second race was won once again by Thomas, but Coetzee was the star of the show as he drove from the back of the grid (i.e. behind even the DD2 Masters) to take second overall, an exceptional show of pace and overtaking ability. Boyd stepped up to third overall ahead of Evans and de Wet, as neither Verheul nor Stermin finished the eventful race.

The final race was a spectacularly close battle between Coetzee, Thomas and Boyd, with Coetzee taking top honours. Verheul came in ahead of Evans, Stermin (who started from the back after a second heat disaster) and de Wet.

After a highly eventful day of difficult track conditions and close racing, it was Thomas who took the overall win from Northern Regions star Verheul. Coetzee took the third step on the podium, followed by Boyd, Evans, de Wet and finally Stermin who will not look back on this day with fondness.

DD2 Masters (32 Years + or >85kg in your shorts)

Roy Gruer (CRG) set the pace early on with a pole time less than a second off the DD2 pole time. Championship rival Conor Hughes (Kosmic) qualified in second, followed by Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect CPT Tony Kart).

Heat 1 was an extremely close affair where Gruer took the win from Hughes with Ernst Viljoen finishing in third.

Viegas had a disastrous first heat with serious startline reliability issues that allowed Rob Peché (Carbs and Coffee Media / AD Trading CRG) to jump three places ahead of Viegas, Harry Georgiou (DDR / Carbs and Coffee Media Zanardi) and André Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) to kick off the race. Viegas would not finish the heat and Georgiou chased down Peché to take 4th.

The second heat was as successful for Gruer who came in third behind Hughes and a determined Viegas whose kart behaved itself.

Gruer finished the day strongly with another win in the third race ahead of Viegas and Georgiou who got the better of Hughes.

In a Masters class that grows in competitiveness by the week, it was Gruer who took the overall win from Hughes and Georgiou. Viegas came home in 4th after a troubled day ahead of Viljoen, Peché and Steenkamp.

Conclusion

Killarney karting circuit will now close for two weeks as the track is prepared for the National. The second regional was in many ways a mini-National, with some of the biggest Northern Regions names coming to Cape Town to do battle.

Of course, there are many more big names in Natal and the Eastern Cape who will present themselves for duty at the National, which promises to provide outstanding racing for Cape Town’s motorsport fans.

Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za) and Heinrich Sauer (Heinrich Sauer Photography)

Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)