Silly season for consumers might be in December, but for karters it is firmly the August to October period. No fewer than three WPMC Regionals are contested over this period, with a Rotax National race at Zwartkops thrown in for good measure.
The penultimate round of the WPMC Championship goes down this Saturday at Killarney International Raceway, with battle royale on the menu over the 1km karting circuit.
As ten little motorsport enthusiasts get ready for a little karty party this weekend, Rayan Karriem (Outsourcing Solutions / RK Racing / Intime Aluminium Top Kart) will feel most confident. He leads the Championship and has won 9 heats in a row. That’s exceptional form that will be tough to beat, although you can be sure that Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) and Luan Mostert (Top Kart) will try their best to end Karriem’s streak.
Kai van Rensburg (7 Films Top Kart) is bubbling under the podium surface and is one to watch as he battles Nikolas Louw (Breeze Airconditioning and Refrigeration Top Kart). Girl racers Riley Stier (Stier Racing Team Top Kart) and Rebecca Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) will continue their journey as the rookie roses among the Bambino thorns, with other newbies Siyabonga Ntuli (Top Kart), Michael Danks (Top Kart) and John Norman (Top Kart) equally keen to impress.
You won’t be taking a bathroom break during this class. Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG) is three points ahead of Reese Koorzen (Kosmic), but Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) has tasted the checkered flag and will not be left behind by this duo. Although Smit is probably too far behind in the Championship to really have a shot at being crowned WPMC Micro MAX champion, his on-track form could significantly impact the final outcome.
With all to play for up front, Ethan Deacon (CRG) will aspire to close the gap to the frontrunners and possibly pick up a podium depending on how ferocious things get at the sharp end.
Yusuf Parker (Parkers Parts Centre CRG) will hope to fare better against Bambino graduate Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport CRG). Sabelo Ntuli and Eric Norman (Praga) should ensure that the entertainment value of this class extends all the way down the field.
Joaquin de Oliveira (Eastside Cartel Tony Kart) extended his lead over Lucas Royston (Cool Bananas Tony Kart) in the last round and is 31 points ahead going into the final six heats of the year. De Oliveira hasn’t dipped too deeply into his discards allowance, so he is exactly where he wants to be from a WPMC Championship perspective.
Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) continues to impress in third overall, with a handy gap of 24 points to fourth placed man Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic). Ethan Lennon (Tony Kart) will be keeping them honest on track and in the championship.
Jude Stuart (Zanardi) and William Marshall (Kosmic) should be seeing plenty of each other on track as they get to grips with their racing machines.
There is a fascinating battle at the front in this class. Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team / Flatline SA / Tri Brake & Clutch CRG) leads by 14 points, but recent form has swung firmly in Jason MacBeath’s (Kosmic) favour as he hunts down Stier in the Championship.
Whilst Stier’s discards leave him room for error with a strong points finish in every heat this year, MacBeath has already suffered two heats with no points and cannot afford any bad luck in the final six heats of the year. This Championship battle is one to watch!
As always, the racing will be thrilling for the final podium spot. Mischa Williams (Zanardi) flew the girl racer flag magnificently at the last race with 3rd place overall. She will have another fight on her hands against the likes of Ethan Deacon (CRG), Valentino Hoffman (FA) and Paul Malcolm (CRG).
Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic) dominated the early part of the season, but recent form has seen his lead reduced to just 14 points by Tate Bishop (ANGRi Jeep Kosmic). With a brilliant performance in the last race, Kyle Visser (RKT FA) will be hungry for more success. He is 21 points behind Bishop. This Championship battle is by no means over.
As if that isn’t enough excitement on track, Storm Lanfear’s (Private Client Financial Kosmic) brightly coloured helmet will be in firm attendance at the sharp end. His form early in the race has been quite special this year, often finding himself among the front-runners for several laps. If he can keep that pace up for the full 15 laps, anything is possible at the flag.
Luca Wehrli’s (FA) battle with Le Riche brothers Andre and Kyle in their Seleka Racing Kosmics will also be one to watch. Thaqib Meyer (Itheko Events TonyKart) will hope to close the gap and pick up the pieces of the scraps in the midfield.
A DQ for Charl Visser (RKT FA) in round 4 blew the Championship wide open, catapulting Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto ANGRi) into the lead. With 5 wins from 6 heats after the DQ, Visser has bounced back exceptionally well to hold a 10 point lead over van Zijl.
Simon Simpson-Heath (MF Consultants Kosmic) is perfectly capable of the pace needed to disrupt the fight between Visser and van Zijl. He sits 23 points behind van Zijl in third.
As in Junior MAX, we once again have Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) fighting for a podium spot. Andrew Thomas (Blake Brothers / Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) will do his best to keep Lanfear honest, provided his body can survive the pain of a double-header of Senior MAX and DD2 Masters.
Ready for his first race of the 2019 season will be ex-clubmans driver Dylan Dawes (CRG). Apart from the excitement of being back on track, he will look to learn as much as possible from the youngsters up front as he makes his Senior MAX debut.
Dino Stermin (Phoenix Risk Solution Tony Kart) will be feeling more than slightly aggrieved. After another strong performance in Round 6, a technical issue around scoring currently reflects the round as not counting towards the Championship, as there were only five DD2 starters (but twelve including the Masters).
Whether or not this is the final word on this matter is not for us to speculate on, but Jason Coetzee (CRG) will be thanking his racing lucky stars as he lines up for the penultimate round with a 21 point lead as things currently stand. He will need a strong end to his season after a very difficult winter.
The current standings reflect Jonathan Thomas (Partners Hair CRG) in third by just a single point over young upstart Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight Kosmic). Jarryd Evans (DDR / Brian Evans Developments) will return to karting this weekend after racing at Zwartkops last weekend in INEX Legends. Waldo de Wet (Kosmic) rounds out the DD2 field, although he will likely be squarely in the middle of the Masters fight.
In one of the most competitive karting classes in the country, Roy Gruer (Tony Kart) leads by 8 points over Conor Hughes (Tony Kart). Gruer has won 7 of the last 9 heats – an exceptional run of form that he will look to continue.
The cat among the pigeons is Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect Tony Kart), 40 points behind Hughes in the Championship but certainly not 40 points behind on pace. The midfield battle between Harry Georgiou (DDR / Carbs and Coffee Media CRG), Ernst Viljoen (Tony Kart) and Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) has a new member in the form of Robert Peche (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) who closed the pace gap in the last race meeting.
Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Media / Blake Brothers CRG) begins the process of migrating from Senior MAX to DD2 Masters with a double-header. If you find an exhausted driver sleeping in the pits around 6pm, it may well be Thomas. Please return him to the Carbs and Coffee garage.
With an entry list of three drivers this weekend, Clubmans will once again be on the racing programme. There are several drivers expected to join the class in 2020, so things should return to normal soon.
In the meantime, Jared Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) and Michael Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) will continue their battle. Sean Le Riche (Seleka Racing) will hope to close the gap to the Jordans.
With a packed race programme of highly competitive karting, every race will deliver something special this weekend. Get yourself to Killarney to experience it first-hand.
Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)
Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)