A wet week in Cape Town culminated in a misty morning at Killarney as the karting community of the Western Cape descended upon their little piece of paradise.
Grip levels were extremely low for warm-ups and qualifying, but definitely improved as the day progressed. We are now in the second half of the 2019 championship and battles are raging in every class.
Bambino (5 – 9 Years)
Although the original entry list showed that 11 youngsters would be lining up for duty, we only had 10 on the day. That’s still a fantastic number for a regional class and bodes well for the future.
Rayan Karriem (Outsourcing Solutions / InTime Aluminium / RK Racing Top Kart) qualified in pole as the only driver to break the one minute mark in slippery conditions. Rhoderick Simpson (RAW Projects Top Kart) put in a high quality performance to claim second spot on the grid ahead of Luan Mostert (AMV Group / DSD Group / Donadio Plant Hire Top Kart) and Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart).
Race 1 was a tight affair among the top four drivers, with Karriem taking the flag from Mostert, Wadeley and Simpson. Kai van Rensburg (7 Films Top Kart) showed solid pace and came home in 5th ahead of the newbie pack of Nikolas Louw (Top Kart), Riley Stier (Top Kart), Siyabonga Ntuli (Top Kart), Michael Danks (Top Kart) and Rebecca Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart).
Race 2 saw an impossibly close finish between Karriem and Mostert of just 0.001s at the flag. Jordon Wadeley banked another 3rd place finish and van Rensburg got the better of Simpson for 4th.
The final race of the day saw Karriem comfortably take the flag, with Simpson coming home in an excellent 2nd place ahead of Wadeley, Mostert and van Rensburg.
Overall, Karriem banked a perfect 105 points to take the win for the day ahead of Mostert, Jordon Wadeley, Simpson and van Rensburg. Louw was best of the rest ahead of Ntuli, Stier, Danks and Rebecca Wadeley.
Rotax Micro MAX (7 – 12 Years)
Brimming with confidence after his win at the Africa Open, Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG) got off to the best possible start with pole position ahead of rivals Reese Koorzen (Kosmic) and Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic). Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team / Flatline SA / Tri Brake & Clutch CRG) got the better of Ethan Deacon (CRG) in qualifying with newbie Yusuf Parker (Parkers Parts Centre CRG) a few seconds back.
Predictably, the class was a tale of three groups. The front pack of Levy, Koorzen and Smit fought fiercely throughout the day. Koorzen drew first blood with a win in race 1, but Levy took the wins in races 2 and 3. Smit also had a superb day with two 3rd place finishes and a 2nd in the final race of the day.
In the Great Ethan Battle, Deacon got the better of Stier in two out of three races. Parker finished in 6th in each of his three races.
It was Levy who took the spoils of the day with an overall win and a move into the lead in the championship. Koorzen took 2nd overall and Smit 3rd ahead of Deacon, Stier and Parker.
Mini Rok (8 – 13 Years)
Championship leader Joaquin de Oliveira (Eastside Cartel Tony Kart) took pole position ahead of Jason MacBeath (Kosmic), Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic), Ethan Lennon (Tony Kart), Ethan Deacon (CRG) and Jude Stuart (Zanardi).
In an eventful first race, it was MacBeath who took the flag from a delighted Deacon as de Oliveira could only manage 3rd after running into late-race issues. Lennon was excluded from the first heat for outside assistance.
De Oliveira bounced back in a big way in the second race with a resounding victory over the rest of the field by over 9s. Smit came home in 2nd ahead of Lennon. De Oliveira made it two in a row in race 3 ahead of Lennon and MacBeath.
De Oliveira claimed top step of the podium where he was joined by MacBeath in 2nd and Smit in 3rd. Deacon finished 4th and Stuart 5th, while Lennon was classified 6th despite strong pace due to the exclusion in race 1.
Rotax Mini MAX (9 – 13 Years)
Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) made his intentions known early in the day with pole position ahead of championship leader Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team / Flatline SA / Tri Brake & Clutch CRG). Valentino Hoffman qualified 3rd just one hundredth of a second ahead of Mikhail Fernandez (CRG). Paul Malcolm (CRG) and Mischa Williams (Zanardi) qualified 5th and 6th respectively.
MacBeath drove beautifully to claim victory in race 1 by just 0.2s from Stier. Malcolm drove out of his socks to bring his kart home in 3rd. Another tight race in the second heat saw the top three cross the line in the same order. MacBeath took the win in a photo finish in heat 3, with just 0.09s separating him and Stier.
MacBeath and his team will celebrate a brilliant 105 points haul and 1st overall for the day. Stier is still championship leader, but will need to get back to the front to keep it that way in the latter part of the season. Malcolm took a brilliant 3rd overall ahead of Fernandez, Hoffman and Williams.
Rotax Junior MAX (12 – 15 Years)
Tate Bishop (ANGRI Kosmic) made the most of slippery conditions in qualifying to put his stunning kart on pole. Kyle Visser (RKT FKA) qualified 2nd ahead of championship leader Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic).
Bishop took the win in race 1 ahead of Dolinschek. Luca Wehrli (FA) would have been thrilled with 3rd in an eventful mid-pack race that saw Visser and Andre le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic) each handed a 5s nosecone penalty. It was Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) who really lost out though, after being excluded for being underweight.
Race 2 was a return to form for Dolinschek as he took the checkered flag from Visser and Bishop. Race 3 was another tight battle among the top three, as Bishop took his second victory for the day ahead of Dolinschek and Visser.
Bishop stood on the top step of the podium by the narrowest of margins, with a 100 points haul vs. 99 points for Dolinschek. Visser took 3rd for the day ahead of Wehrli, Kyle le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic), Andre le Riche and Lanfear.
Rotax Senior MAX (14 Years +)
Charl Visser (RKT FA) put his recent exclusion controversy behind him as he confidently outqualified his nearest rivals Simon Simpson-Heath (MF Consultants Kosmic) and Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto Kosmic) by over three-tenths.
Andrew Thomas (Blake Brothers / Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) put in an excellent qualifying lap to book himself a spot on the grid ahead of Reece Oellermann (CRG). Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) was absent from qualifying, but certainly wasn’t absent from racing….
Visser claimed victory in race 1 from van Zijl and Simpson-Heath. Lanfear fought his way from 6th on the grid to 4th, while Oellermann gritted his teeth through illness to come home in 5th ahead of Thomas
Race 2 was a thrill ride of note for spectators, with Lanfear putting in an exceptional performance to win an eventful race ahead of Visser, van Zijl and Simpson-Heath. Thomas came home in 5th after a spin from Oellermann who withdrew after the second heat due to illness.
Visser took the checkered flag in race 3 ahead of Simpson-Heath, van Zijl and Lanfear.
In just one race meeting and by our calculations, Visser has regained the championship lead after going into the race 12 points behind van Zijl. Driver of the day must go to Lanfear, who stood on the second step of the podium ahead of van Zijl, Simpson-Heath, Thomas and Oellermann.
Rotax DD2 (15 Years +) and DD2 Masters (32 Years + or >85kg in your shorts)
Jason Coetzee (CRG) claimed pole position as nearest rival Dino Stermin (Phoenix Risk Solutions Tony Kart) struggled to a P5 in qualifying. That was certainly Coetzee’s only highlight of the day.
Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight) joined Coetzee on the front row, while Jarryd Evans put in an excellent lap to outqualify Jonathan Thomas, as the battle at the front of DD2 gets closer. Waldo de Wet (Kosmic) qualified in P6.
Stermin clearly sorted out whatever the issue was as he stormed to victory in race 1 despite starting in P5. Coetzee finished P2 ahead of Boyd and Thomas got the better of Evans for P4.
Race 2 was an unhappy one for Coetzee who retired after just a couple of laps, leaving Stermin to take the win from a consistent Boyd in 2nd and Thomas in 3rd.
Stermin made it a perfect trio in Race 3 ahead of Boyd in P2 and Evans who claimed P3 after Coetzee and Thomas each received a nose cone penalty.
Coetzee went into the race with a 27 point lead in the championship that was slashed to just 6 points by Stermin (subject to discards). Boyd took P2 overall with Evans and Thomas both finishing on 87 points behind Boyd. Coetzee was P5 overall ahead of de Wet.
In the Masters class, Roy Gruer (Tony Kart) made his switch from CRG to OTK count with a brilliant pole position ahead of Conor Hughes (Tony Kart) and Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect CPT Tony Kart).
Before the start of Race 1, a moment of silence was observed for Ignis van Rooyen who assisted several drivers in the pits at every race. He tragically passed away in a crime-related incident a few weeks back.
Gruer converted pole to a win in Race 1 ahead of Hughes and Viegas. Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) took an impressive P4 ahead of Ernst Viljoen (Tony Kart) and Rob Peché (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG). Harry Georgiou (DDR / Carbs and Coffee Media Zanardi) suffered an eventful race and finished P7 with a nose cone penalty.
Gruer took another victory in race 2 from Hughes and a resourceful Steenkamp who made the most of mid-pack drama. Georgiou took P4 ahead of Viegas and Viljoen who both had nose cone penalties and Peché who suffered a cracked chassis during the heat and a big spin through Kosmic.
More consistent and quick driving from Gruer, Hughes and Steenkamp saw them finish in that order in Race 3. Viljoen came home in P4, overtaking Peché on the final lap. P5 for Peché was his best finish to date in DD2 Masters after navigating his way through more racing incidents.
A full points haul for Gruer sees him take the championship lead from Hughes. Steenkamp took an impressive P3 overall in his first podium in DD2 Masters. A scrappy mid-pack battle throughout the day saw Viegas take P4 from Viljoen, Peché and Georgiou.
Johan Hamman threw down the gauntlet in qualifying, nearly four tenths quicker than Jordan brothers Jared (Jordan Racing CRG) and Michael (Jordan Racing CRG) who were only split by 0.014s. Gary Lennon (Tony Kart) qualified in P4 and Sean le Riche (Seleka Racing Kosmic) in P5 after struggling in the slippery conditions.
Hamman drove a lights to flag victory in race 1 and Michael Jordan was promoted to P2 after Lennon was given a nose cone penalty. Jared Jordan retired after a few laps.
Race 2 saw Hamman drive away uncontested from Lennon in P2 and Jared Jordan in P3.
Race 3 was a much closer affair, with Jared Jordan taking a great win ahead of Hamman and Lennon and ending his day on a high.
Hamman took top step on the podium ahead of Lennon and Michael Jordan in P3. Jared Jordan missed out on a podium after the retirement in race 1 and le Riche took P5.
As always, WPMC karting dished up competitive and exciting racing. The championship was blown wide open in some of the classes, while other leaders consolidated their positions.
There are a few weeks of preparation left before the next round on 31st August.
Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)
Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)