Our national champions have been crowned. Preparations are underway for Team South Africa to travel to Sarno, Italy, in just a few weeks’ time. With more world championships under our belt than any other country, we will be watching closely as the best of the best take the fight to the world in a country that lives for motorsport (and food).
Although the National battle may be over, the Western Cape karters still have one final dance on their beloved tarmac at Killarney International Raceway. Regional championships need to be decided, with many classes going down to the wire.
At this stage in the season, consistency is rewarded handsomely. Some racers go into the final round with all their drops in-hand, whilst others have nothing left in the drops bank. For those who don’t know, you are allowed to drop your 3 worst heats of the year. The Championship is essentially decided based on the results of 21 heats, even though you can participate in 24 heats (8 races x 3 heats each).
One exception to this is that you cannot drop disqualifications. This has certainly played a role in deciding some of the 2019 Championships.
Months of preparation have come to this…let’s go racing!
Bambino (5 – 9 Years)
There were not enough starters in the first round of 2019 to qualify as a scoring round. The way the rules are written means that all the young drivers used up their drops automatically due to a full round not counting.
The result? Pressure.
Rayan Karriem (Outsourcing Solutions / RK Racing / Intime Aluminium Top Kart) might be going into this race with a 41 point lead, but any mistakes could see that evaporate. With Luan Mostert (Top Kart), Kai van Rensburg (7 Films Top Kart) and Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) breathing down his neck, Karriem won’t have it easy.
Nikolas Louw (Breeze Airconditioning and Refrigeration Top Kart) will be brimming with confidence after a strong performance in the last race. He will be locking horns in the midfield with Siyabonga Ntuli (Top Kart) and Michael Danks (Top Kart).
Close friends “Racing Riley” Stier (Stier Racing Team Top Kart) and Rebecca Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) will do their usual job of stealing hearts at the track, while John Norman (Top Kart) will hope to close the gap. Matthew Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing) makes a welcome return to the Bambino entry list.
Micro MAX (7 – 12 Years)
The titanic battle between Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG) and Reese Koorzen (Kosmic) will play out one more time in 2019. These are two of the finest young karters in the country, with Levy claiming the African Open title but Koorzen taking the National title and booking himself a spot in the team for the grand final in Italy.
In the Regional championship, Levy currently enjoys a 30 point lead going into the final race. Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) has improved greatly this year and will hope for a strong finish.
Ethan Deacon (CRG) can certainly hold his head high this year, as can Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport CRG) who will keep him honest in the midfield fight. Expect plenty of action too from Yusuf Parker (Parkers Parts Centre CRG), Sabelo Ntuli, Eric Norman (Praga) and Jude Stuart who enters his first Rotax race alongside an entry in Mini ROK.
Jude’s dad should also be entertaining to watch on the day, as he juggles the demands of running two karts!
Mini Rok (8 – 13 Years)
At this stage, Joaquin de Oliveira (Eastside Cartel Tony Kart) cannot technically be caught in the Championship, unless he suffers a disqualification. In any event, his arch-rival Lucas Royston (Cool Bananas Tony Kart) is currently not on the entry list, so it appears as though this is one of the few Championship battles that is already done and dusted.
This leaves Jason MacBeath and Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) to keep de Oliveira honest, while fighting it out for P2. Ethan Lennon (Tony Kart) shouldn’t be counted out either.
Jude Stuart (Zanardi) will need to maintain his concentration as he takes on the challenge of a double header. Chasing him down will be William Marshall (Kosmic).
Mini MAX (9 – 13 Years)
Although Mini MAX has had smaller grids than Micro MAX for the latter part of the year, the Championship battle has been no less exciting.
Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team / Flatline SA / Tri Brake & Clutch CRG) will arrive at Killarney with a handy 11 point lead over Jason MacBeath (Kosmic). MacBeath has certainly had the run of form lately, winning 8 out of the last 9 heats. Importantly, Stier has not had to use his drops this year on heats with no points, but MacBeath has had two heats with no points.
MacBeath has the recent pace, but Stier has the points and the margin for error. This should be a phenomenal end to the season!
In the fight for third, Valentino Hoffman (FA) is ahead of Mischa Williams (Zanardi) and Paul Malcolm (CRG) in points, but things have been a lot closer on pace.
Junior MAX (12 – 15 Years)
Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic) is celebrating his South African Championship and making preparations for Italy, but must remain focused on closing out the Regional Championship as well. The trophy is his provided he doesn’t suffer a DQ.
Kyle Visser (RKT FA) has moved into second place in the Championship, 7 points clear of Tate Bishop (ANGRi Jeep Kosmic) but a full 48 points behind Dolinschek.
Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) has built himself quite the reputation as a turn 1 specialist, almost always gaining a place or two on the opening lap. He will do all he can to take the fight to the hugely talented trio up front.
Brothers Kyle and Andre Le Riche look set to entertain in their Seleka Racing Kosmics.
Senior MAX (14 Years +)
Yet another National Champion who calls Cape Town home is Charl Visser (RKT FA), who has fought his way back from a DQ earlier in the season to lead the Regional Championship by 15 points over Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto ANGRi)
Simon Simpson-Heath (MF Consultants Kosmic) sits in third in the Championship with space on either side of him, but will need to keep his wits about him as Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) has more than enough talent to dish up a surprise or two.
Speaking of surprises, the talent pool in this class is a lot deeper than usual this Saturday, as Andrew Rackstraw (CRG) and Reece Oellermann (CRG) dust themselves off from their Matric dance a couple of weeks ago to get back into their karts.
You can expect intensely close racing in this class as 6 experienced karters prepare for war.
DD2 (15 Years +)
Unfortunately, confusion currently reigns regarding the scoring in this class. The matter is currently being clarified with MSA, so we are flying blind into the last race from a points perspective.
The reality is that Dino Stermin (Phoenix Risk Solution Tony Kart) and Jason Coetzee (CRG) are engaged in an exceptional battle for the Regional Championship. Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight Kosmic) has certainly not been a spectator to this either, showing the pace to run at the front several times this year.
After a highly consistent run in the National Championship, Jonathan Thomas (Partners Hair CRG) will be thrilled to be part of the South African team due to karters ahead of him in the final standings not being able to attend the race in Italy. Thomas is a talented and hard-working driver who absolutely deserves the chance to shine on the global stage.
Waldo de Wet (Kosmic) rounds out the class, ready to do battle with the Masters who he typically runs with on pace.
DD2 Masters (32 Years + or >85kg in your shorts)
The points issue in DD2 has had an even greater impact on DD2 Masters. Instead of being scored as a separate class, a technicality means that Masters may be scored as part of DD2.
The impact on the Championship is unclear, but the two contenders are not. Conor Hughes (Tony Kart) and Roy Gruer (Tony Kart) have been slugging it out all year and will continue that fight this weekend. Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect Tony Kart) is closest to the frontrunners on pace and is currently on the entry list, but his kart was in many pieces last weekend and would have needed a lot of love to be ready in time for this race.
With two of the usual suspects unable to make this race, the class welcomes Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Zanardi) to his second race. His kart is entirely untested, having been built from several donor karts over the past week. The spirit of Clubmans never left this man!
Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) and Robert Peche (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) will likely fight it out behind the more experienced Thomas, but the pace gap in this class has closed significantly so anything is possible.
The Jordan brothers Jared (Jordan Racing CRG) and Michael (Jordan Racing CRG) take their sibling rivalry to its 2019 conclusion this weekend. Jared is ahead on points and has had the lion’s share of pace recently, but the battle will be close.
Sean Le Riche (Seleka Racing) will welcome the sight of Dylan Pelton (Arrow) on the entry list, giving him someone to race against after a rather lonely Round 7.
Mini ROK and Junior MAX may be settled in all practical terms, but the rest of the classes certainly aren’t. The same all-or-nothing racing that characterises National race meetings will be on full display on Saturday.
Get to Killarney this Saturday for some of the best entertainment motorsport has to offer!
Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)
Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)