What can you feel in under a minute?
Triumph? Disaster? Pain? Elation? Try all of that, every minute of every race.
It’s a thrill ride. It’s an emotional journey. It’s the ever-elusive perfect lap. Only the very best among us can get it right lap after lap after lap…they are the stars that most of us dream of fighting into turn 1.
Whether hunting down the racer in front or defending for our lives into the first 180 with another kart breathing down our necks, this is what we live for.
Welcome to WPMC karting. With Round 6 completed and just two more races left in the season, things are at boiling point.
A grid of 11 Bambinos is a special thing to see. The adults might be thinking “cuteness overload” but the young racing drivers are only thinking “I want to win!”
Rhoderick Simpson (RAW Projects Top Kart) got his day off to a cracking start with P1 in qualifying ahead of usual suspects Luan Mostert (Top Kart), Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart), Rayan Karriem (Outsourcing Solutions / RK Racing / Intime Aluminium Top Kart) and Kai Van Rensburg (7 Films Top Kart). With 5 drivers posting times under 1 minute in a slippery morning session, the day looked set for exceptional racing.
Race 1 was a titanic battle among the top 5, with a lap chart that looks like spaghetti as they swapped places every lap. Karriem managed to lead from lap 3 to the finish, claiming victory ahead of Simpson, Wadeley, Mostert and van Rensburg. Simpson and Wadeley crossed the line just one hundredth of a second apart.
Race 2 was a calmer affair as Karriem drove a lights-to-flag win. Simpson and Wadeley tussled once more, with van Rensburg maintaining P5 throughout the race. Nikolas Louw (Breeze Airconditioning and Refrigeration Top Kart) took the fight to Mostert in this heat for the first few laps.
Race 3 was pure madness. Less than a tenth of a second separated the top 3 as they crossed the line, with a new lap record from Wadeley as he relentlessly hunted Karriem. It was an absolutely outstanding display from Killarney’s youngest stars.
Despite the exceptionally competitive racing, Karriem managed a perfect haul of 105 points and the overall win for the day. Simpson and Wadeley rounded out the podium ahead of Mostert and van Rensburg.
The midfield battle was won by Louw ahead of Siyabonga Ntuli (Top Kart), Rebecca Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart), Michael Danks (Top Kart), Riley Stier (Stier Racing Team Top Kart) and John Norman (Top Kart). Stier deserves special mention for running with Ntuli in races 2 and 3 before suffering a bent axle (and DNF) in race 3 which pushed her down the order.
The dynamic duo of Reese Koorzen (Kosmic) and Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG) truly turned into a terrific trio this weekend as Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) sent a clear message that he is tired of coming third.
Qualifying saw the top 4 post times under 48s in the difficult conditions, with Levy on pole ahead of Koorzen, Smit and Ethan Deacon (CRG) who continues to impress.
Bambino graduates doing double duty on the day included Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport CRG), Rhoderick Simpson (RAW Projects Birel) and Luan Mostert (Kosmic) with strong midfield times alongside Caleb Odendaal (CRG) and Yusuf Parker (Parkers Parts Centre CRG). Newbie Sabelo Ntuli qualified some way back, but this is of course where everyone starts their karting careers! Eric Norman missed out on qualifying.
Race 1 was a tight battle between Levy and Koorzen. After initially losing out to Koorzen, Levy took back P1 and stayed there until the flag. Deacon held on to P3 until lap 10 when Smit demoted him to P4. The racing further down the grid was furious, with Odendaal and Simpson winning that fight. Mostert retired after lap 4 and Wadeley suffered a nosecone penalty.
Race 2 was one of the best heats of the entire day. In a rather heroic drive, Smit came from P3 to P1 and held on by little more than a breath at the flag ahead of Koorzen and Levy. It was a remarkable performance from the youngster.
Smit very nearly did it again in Race 3, fighting Levy for the lead right at the death but eventually having to settle for P2 ahead of Koorzen.
Overall, Levy’s team will be ecstatic with a 100 points haul and P1 overall vs. championship rival Koorzen with 94 points and P3 overall. Perhaps the biggest smiles of the day were in the Smit pit, with full credit for Joshua for a watershed moment in his racing career.
Deacon won best of the rest in P4 ahead of Odendaal, Simpson, Wadeley, Parker, Norman, Ntuli and Mostert whose retirement in the first heat severely impacted his points haul.
Joaquin de Oliveira (Eastside Cartel Tony Kart), championship leader, got his day off to a flying start with pole position ahead of Lucas Royston (Cool Bananas Tony Kart) and Jason MacBeath. Experienced racers Ethan Lennon (Tony Kart) and Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) weren’t far behind. Jude Stuart (Zanardi) showed strong pace in qualifying that sadly fell away later in the day due to engine trouble. Newcomers William Marshall and Eric Norman rounded out the 8 racer grid.
Race 1 saw a major battle between de Oliveira and Royston, with Royston losing out on lap 9 before falling a further place as MacBeath romped home in P2 with a move on the penultimate lap. Smit and Lennon traded places several times before Lennon emerged triumphantly in P4.
Predictably, Race 2 was another de Oliveira-Royston battle, but this time Royston came out on top. MacBeath drove consistently to take P3 ahead of another Lennon-Smit fight that was won by Lennon.
Race 3 was a procession, with the top three drivers all driving a lights-to-flag race that saw de Oliveira finish ahead of Royston and MacBeath. Smit’s disqualification for being underweight handed the midfield win to Lennon after a tough day of racing.
Overall, de Oliveira extended his championship lead with 102 points vs. 97 points for Royston in P2. MacBeath’s solid performance earned him 92 points and a spot on the podium.
Best of the rest was won by Lennon ahead of Stuart, Marshall, Smit (after a DQ) and Norman.
Championship leader Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team / Flatline SA / Tri Brake & Clutch CRG) put his CRG on pole position ahead of Ethan Deacon, Jason MacBeath (Kosmic), Paul Malcolm (CRG) and Mischa Williams (Zanardi). De Oliveira missed qualifying but would join the pack for race 1. Deacon was unfortunately found to be underweight, putting him at the back of the grid for the first race.
The qualifying times with just half a second separating the entire field set the crowd up for tight racing.
Race 1 will be one that Stier will want to forget and forget quickly. These young racers operate at exceptional levels of concentration and pressure, but sometimes it all goes wrong. Thinking the race was over, he came into the pits one lap early from P2. This literally gifted P2 at the flag to Malcolm behind MacBeath. The drama wasn’t over though, as a nosecone penalty for Malcolm handed P2 to Deacon ahead of Williams. De Oliveira only raced heat 1 and had his share of pain despite the short appearance, with a chain that decided not to stay attached for the full race.
Race 2 was tame in comparison, as MacBeath drove to a P1 finish ahead of Stier, Williams, Malcolm and Deacon.
Race 3 was another display of dominance by MacBeath, taking the checkered flag ahead of Stier and an exceptional Williams who saw off Deacon and Malcolm.
Overall, MacBeath claimed a perfect 105 points haul. Stier will still be kicking himself for race 1, although he took P2 overall. Star of the day was perhaps Williams though, who shone on the podium with a fantastic P3 ahead of Deacon and Malcolm.
Junior MAX is typically an extremely close affair, but Tate Bishop (ANGRi Jeep Kosmic) clearly made the right breakfast choice as he outqualified arch-rivals Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic) and Kyle Visser (RKT FA) by three tenths.
Le Riche brothers Kyle (Seleka Racing Kosmic) and Andre (Seleka Racing Kosmic) set the midfield pace ahead of Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) who will be disappointed with his qualifying performance. Luca Wehrli (FA) and Thaqib Meyer (Itheko Events TonyKart) rounded out qualifying.
Bishop claimed an uncontested win in Race 1, leading every lap while Dolinschek and Visser scrapped behind him to finish in that order. Lanfear took the fight to the front pack in the opening laps before falling behind to win best of the rest ahead of Kyle and Andre Le Riche.
Heat 2 was a monumental affair as the scrap between Bishop and Dolinschek knocked them down the order, allowing Visser to register his maiden win of the season. Lanfear was only too happy to come home in P2, as Bishop recovered to P3. Kyle Le Riche managed to fend off a charging Dolinschek to take P4.
With adrenaline flowing through his veins after finally tasting the checkered flag again, Visser made it two in a row in the final race by the narrowest of margins over Bishop, with Dolinschek close behind in P3.
Visser’s victories were enough to see him on the top step of the podium, with Bishop in P2 and Dolinschek in P3. Lanfear won the midfield fight ahead of Kyle Le Riche, Wehrli, Andre Le Riche and Meyer.
Simon Simpson-Heath (MF Consultants Kosmic) didn’t arrive at Killarney on Saturday purely to watch the Charl Visser (RKT FA) – Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto ANGRi Kosmic) show. No, he decided to throw a cat among the pigeons, qualifying in P2 behind Visser but in front of van Zijl.
Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) and Andrew Thomas (Blake Brothers / Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) were a few tenths further back, with Thaqib Meyer (Itheko Events Tony Kart) putting in a respectable qualifying time in his first Senior MAX race.
Race 1 was a rare beast in karting – a race without a single overtake. Everyone finished exactly where they started.
Race 2, in stark contrast, saw Simpson-Heath and Lanfear dancing in the grass together midway through the race, gifting P3 to an elated Thomas. Visser took his second win and van Zijl took P2.
The excitement in the final race of the day was van Zijl starting on pole after a scorching fastest lap in Race 2. He led for more than half the race before Visser got the better of him to take P1. Lanfear brought his kart home in P3.
Overall, the Visser family enjoyed a perfect day with both boys on the top step of the podium in their respective classes. Charl took a critical haul of 105 points ahead of van Zijl with 96 points. Simpson-Heath claimed P3 with 87 points, ahead of Lanfear and Thomas both with 86 points. Meyer took the final spot.
The front of this class is ridiculous.
Dino Stermin (Phoenix Risk Solution Tony Kart) outqualified Jason Coetzee (CRG) by 0,005s. Yes, you read that correctly. That’s probably equivalent to the thickness of the sticker kit on the front bumper.
To make things even juicier, Jonathan Thomas (Partners Hair CRG) qualified in P3 just 0,003s ahead of Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight Kosmic). That’s the dust on the sticker kit.
With Jarryd Evans missing from action, Waldo de Wet (Kosmic) was the 5th and final entry for DD2. Qualifying was a disappointing experience for him in slippery conditions, as he qualified towards the back of the Masters grid.
Race 1 was an uneventful affair for Stermin as he drove away to victory, but it was an astonishing drive by Boyd who blasted through from P4 to P2 to finish behind his cousin. Coetzee took P3 ahead of Thomas. De Wet spent his race fighting with the Masters mid-pack, which was where he would spend the rest of his day in thrilling battles.
Race 2 was a demonstration of the cruelty of motorsport, as Boyd could only manage P4 after such a strong drive in Race 1. In this competitive class, the smallest error is enough to make the difference. Stermin seemed immune to errors however, as he drove to yet another win, well ahead of Coetzee in P2 and Thomas in P3.
Race 3 was another Stermin screamer, this time beating Thomas to the flag. Coetzee managed P3 ahead of Boyd.
Overall, Stermin’s display of pace and consistency earned him 105 points, while championship rival Coetzee could only muster 92 points, after fighting hard all day against Thomas (91 points) and Boyd (90 points). De Wet took P5 for the day.
Roy Gruer (Tony Kart), looking like a European factory driver in his brand new Tony Kart suit, reported for racing duty ready to put the suit to good use in his championship fight against the experienced Conor Hughes.
Gruer got off to the right start, putting his kart on pole with a blistering lap after 14 qualifying laps in tricky, drying conditions. Almost half a second back, Hughes qualified in second ahead of Harry Georgiou (CRG) who upgraded from an older Zanardi frame to a much newer CRG model for this race. Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) qualified P4 with Robert Peche (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) as the surprise of the day in P5, outqualifying Ernst Viljoen (Tony Kart) and Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect Tony Kart).
Gruer took the win in race 1, but Hughes claimed fastest lap. Georgiou came home in P3 ahead of Viegas who just pipped Steenkamp towards the end of the race for P4. Peche claimed P6 with Viljoen retiring midway with a rib injury.
Race 2 was uncontested for Hughes, but there was plenty of scrapping behind him. Gruer came home in P2 ahead of Georgiou, Viegas and Viljoen who clearly chose the right pills in the medicine box to sort his ribs out. Steenkamp managed to just hold off Peche for P6.
Race 3 was an absolute thriller in the midpack. Whilst Gruer and Hughes drove away to P1 and P2 respectively, Viegas got the better of Georgiou after a few laps to take P3. The scrap between Viljoen, Steenkamp and Peche in the opening laps made for terrific side-by-side racing, which you don’t always see in the DD2 classes with the biggest karts.
Viljoen emerged victorious from that fight after Steenkamp and Peche had a coming-together into the 180s. De Wet (who doesn’t score as part of Masters but certainly races as though he does) and Peche had an immense duel that De Wet eventually won, allowing Steenkamp to bring the fight back to Peche despite having a bent axle and damaged wheel. As the Masters battled damaged karts and damaged bodies, the crowd were on their feet in the final race of the day.
As the dust settled, it was Gruer on the top step of the podium ahead of Hughes. Viegas and Georgiou both finished on 88 points to tie for third, followed by Steenkamp, Peche and Viljoen.
The midpack fight in Masters is turning into an absolute spectacle at Killarney.
There are two races left this year. Champions will be crowned and those who miss out will return home licking their wounds. As the season draws to a close, the racing will be absolutely ferocious in every class.
On 14th September, the karters will return to battle it out for Round 7. If you want the very best in motorsport entertainment, make your way to Killarney for this thrill ride.
Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)
Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)