As the curtain drops on the 2019 season, it’s an emotional time of year for the karting fraternity. After an exceptionally demanding few weeks that included three Regionals and an away National at Zwartkops, some tired bodies would have rested their heads on pillows last night.

Some of those tired bodies went to bed as class champions. Others went to bed as champions in their own right, because there are heroes all the way down the grid. 

It takes an incredible amount of guts, willpower and sheer determination from families to successfully compete in a karting season. Not only is it incredibly time-consuming, but the financial sacrifices in motorsport cannot be overlooked. People do what they need to do to make this work.

This isn’t just another school sport or hobby for adults. Racing is a lifestyle. It grips your soul and won’t let go easily. 

We have nothing but respect for the talented drivers who went to bed this weekend as WPMC Regional Champions. It is an enormous achievement.

The entire WPMC community will be cheering for our drivers headed to the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Final in Italy in a few weeks’ time – Reese Koorzen (Micro MAX), Troy Dolinschek (Junior MAX), Charl Visser (Senior MAX) and Jonathan Thomas (DD2).

For the rest of us mere mortals, 2020 pre-season preparations will begin…

(all Championship results below are provisional and subject to MSA confirmation)

Bambino (5 – 9 Years)

Rayan Karriem (Outsourcing Solutions / RK Racing / Intime Aluminium Top Kart) secured his place in the history books as Bambino Champion for 2019. He didn’t have it all his own way though, with Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport Top Kart) taking a brilliant win in Race 1 and Kai van Rensburg (7 Films Top Kart) taking the checkered flag in Race 2.

To finish off his season on a high, Karriem did cross the line first in Race 3, finishing P3 for the day and winning the WPMC Bambino Championship by 63 points.

In a watershed year for the Bambinos that saw the class grow dramatically, Karriem’s dominance over the first half of the season was enough to see him through. The major surprises this year were the exceptional duo of Wadeley and van Rensburg, who took the fight to Karriem as well as experienced Bambino Luan Mostert (Top Kart) who had a strong year among tough competition. 

The fact that van Rensburg stood on the top step of the podium for Round 8 of the Championship with Wadeley next to him in P2 overall sends a clear signal for next year. These young drivers mean serious business.

Championship top 6:

1.Rayan Karriem696
2.Kai van Rensburg633
3.Luan Mostert633
4.Jordon Wadeley622
5.Rebecca Wadeley
544
6.Nikolas Louw509

Micro MAX (7 – 12 Years)

With a 30 point lead going into this race, all Reza Levy (EMR Kartsport CRG) needed to do was bank a couple of solid results and manage his drops i.e. not suffer any disqualifications. The rules at the moment are such that a competitor who had had a consistent season may not need to do all the races in the final round to still be crowned champion.

Nevertheless, one overtake under yellow flags and a resultant DQ can throw an entire season on its head, so the pressure was still on Levy.

Reese Koorzen (Kosmic) has secured the most coveted prize of National Micro MAX Champion, but gave it his all to catch Levy in the WPMC Regional Championship in this final round. Despite claiming three emphatic wins and taking P1 for the day, Levy did enough to be crowned WPMC Micro MAX Champion to add to his Africa Open title for 2019.

Special mention in this class must go to Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) who claimed P2 in Round 8 and elevated himself over the season to the pace needed to fight for wins. He took the checkered flag once this year and he will no doubt do it again.

Ethan Deacon (CRG) enjoyed a consistent and strong season, taking P3 in Round 8 and P4 in the Regional Championship just 9 points behind Smit.

Keep your eye on Jordon Wadeley (EMR Kartsport CRG) in 2020. He will give it absolutely everything to join the fight in front, after three promising Micro MAX races in the latter part of the season.

Championship top 6:

1.Reza Levy693
2.Reese Koorzen676
3.Joshua Smit623
4.Ethan Deacon614
5.Ethan Lennon345
6.Yusuf Parker270

Mini ROK (8 – 13 Years)

The passionate karters that contest the Mini ROK Championship managed to field race day entry lists that were on par with other classes, despite having a smaller pool of drivers. A consistent entry list makes for an interesting title fight and the competition was as fierce as you’ll find anywhere.

Joaquin de Oliveira (Eastside Cartel Tony Kart) is the man of the moment, earning himself the title of WPMC Mini ROK Regional Champion with a dominant performance in the final round (even though he technically didn’t even need to arrive for duty on the day). 

De Oliveira’s arch-rival this year in terms of pace was actually Lucas Royston (Cool Bananas Tony Kart), whose season got off to a terrific start in the opening races but fell off from there, leaving de Oliveira to run away with the championship. 

Notably though, Jason MacBeath, Joshua Smit (Dart Motors / S&S Racing Kosmic) and Ethan Lennon (Tony Kart) took up the title fight reins and made sure that de Oliveira had to stay awake at the front. MacBeath will be particularly thrilled that he managed to outqualify de Oliveira in this final round of the season.

It was Lennon however who claimed P2 this weekend, ahead of MacBeath and Smit.

Championship top 6:

1.Joaquin de Oliveira720
2.Jason MacBeath616
3.Joshua Smit591
4.Lucas Royston579
5.Ethan Lennon578
6.Jude Stuart487

Mini MAX (9 – 13 Years)

This has been an extraordinary championship fight. Ethan Stier (Stier Racing Team / Flatline SA / Tri Brake & Clutch CRG) won 11 out of the first 12 heats of the year, but Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) went on a rampage thereafter, winning 11 out of the second 12 heats!

With a complete change in relative performance during a season, it all comes down to consistency. Stier literally did just enough this year to keep his nose ahead of MacBeath, being crowned WPMC Mini MAX Regional Champion by just 2 points!

In the final round of the season, things were made even more interesting by the surprise entry of up-country karter Ghazi Motlekar. Perhaps to even his own surprise, he casually qualified in pole and won Race 1! The Capetonians got their acts together thereafter, with MacBeath taking the other two wins. 

As a final twist in the tale, Paul Malcolm (CRG) pulled off a great performance, finishing P3 for the day behind MacBeath in P1 and Motlekar in P2. Motlekar does not score WPMC Championship points for this round as he competes in another regional championship, but he certainly threw a very large cat among the pigeons with exceptional pace.

Malcolm’s performance was enough to secure P3 for the year after a wonderful battle with Valentino Hoffman (FA) and Mischa Williams (Zanardi).

Championship top 6:

1.Ethan Stier
705
2.Jason MacBeath703
3.Paul Malcolm596
4.Valentino Hoffman592
5.Mischa Williams591
6.Mikhail Fernandez446

Junior MAX (12 – 15 Years)

The sheer talent in this class is something to behold, with the top drivers locally equally recognised as being the top drivers in the country. Troy Dolinschek (Makita Power Tools Kosmic) had a dream year, being crowned as South African Junior MAX Champion as well as WPMC Junior MAX Champion. He did it in perfect style with 3 wins in the final round.

Kyle Visser (RKT FA) can be extremely proud of how his season progressed. After following Dolinschek and Tate Bishop (ANGRi Jeep Kosmic) for the first part of the season, he found further pace and claimed his first victories in Round 6. With P2 in Round 8 and P2 overall, this Visser family have plenty to celebrate.

But what of Bishop? His phenomenal season was dealt a death blow by a DQ for overtaking under yellow flags in Round 7. This is a lot easier to do than you might think, as drivers in a train of karts are sometimes completely unsighted to the flags until it’s too late. Success in motorsport requires young drivers to overcome adversity, and Bishop has plenty to look forward to with his success in the OKJ class in the ROK Championship.

Our special mention goes to Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) who somehow managed to juggle school sport commitments and second-hand tyres, all while producing some exceptional race starts and a few podium performances. Like we said, the talent pool in this class is deep.

Championship top 6:

1.Troy Dolinschek
717
2.Kyle Visser
658
3.Tate Bishop
646
4.Storm Lanfear
591
5.Kyle Le Riche
497
6.Andre Le Riche481

Senior MAX (14 Years +)

Unfortunately, the crowd lost out on another battle between Charl Visser (RKT FA) and Kai van Zijl (Unlimited Auto ANGRi) as the drops meant that Visser didn’t need to compete in the race – he was already WPMC Senior MAX Champion by round 7. This adds to his perfect season where he was also crowned South African Senior MAX Champion.

In that context, van Zijl can be incredibly proud of his perfect 105 points haul in round 8 and his P2 overall in the Championship, just 2 points behind Visser. In truth it was Visser’s DQ in round 4 over a technical infringement that blew this class wide open, but van Zijl nevertheless had a consistent year with strong pace. He did, after all, come second to the National champion.

Simon Simpson-Heath (MF Consultants Kosmic) managed P3 overall in the Championship, although he won’t be happy with his result in the final race of the year. He lost out to the powerful duo of Andrew Rackstraw (CRG) and Reece Oellermann (CRG) who certainly had springs in their steps after their Matric dances a couple of weeks ago.

Special mention once more goes to the dragon slayer Storm Lanfear (Private Client Financial Kosmic) who blasted his way to P2 in the final round. His P4 in the Championship simply isn’t an indication of the true pace of this young man.

Championship top 6:

1.Charl Visser
684
2.Kai van Zijl
682
3.Simon Simpson-Heath
634
4.Storm Lanfear
623
5.Andrew Thomas
523
6.Reece Oellermann389

DD2 (15 Years +)

It was a dramatic season that included chaos around whether the 6th round actually counted for points or not. In the end, the round 6 debacle didn’t matter, as the Championship was decided on track between the two young men who fought so hard for it.

After suffering a horrible start to the year with reliability issues, Dino Stermin (Phoenix Risk Solution Tony Kart) pulled together an obscenely good run of form to dominate the season from the 4th round onwards. His performance was enough to see off Jason Coetzee (CRG) by just 6 points, after a year-long battle of tight racing that nobody will forget. 

Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Boss Freight Kosmic) has been incredibly strong all year. He can walk with pride after securing P3 in round 8 and P3 in the Championship ahead of Jonathan Thomas (Partners Hair CRG) who will be fully focused on his duties in Italy in a few weeks’ time.

Karting rookie Waldo de Wet (Kosmic) gets our special mention for putting in lap times that no rookie has any business doing. His gentlemanly style on track was certainly appreciated by the Masters that he spent the year running alongside. De Wet banked P5 in the Championship after Jarryd Evans (CRG) was absent from round 8 because he was busy winning the South African Endurance Championship Index of Performance at the final round in that series.

Remember what we said about Cape Town karting talent running deep…?

Championship top 6:

1.Dino Stermin
666
2.Jason Coetzee
660
3.Sebastian Boyd
645
4.Jonathan Thomas
632
5.Waldo de Wet
545
6.Jarryd Evans488

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

With the scoring shenanigans thankfully out of the way, the DD2 Masters result was not impacted by the DD2 class. Conor Hughes (Tony Kart) and Roy Gruer (Tony Kart) produced an epic year-long battle where Hughes eventually came out as WPMC DD2 Masters Champion by just 3 points.

The final round of the year gave Hughes a scare though, as a procedural mistake in qualifying led to an unwelcome walk to the Steward’s office and a demotion to the back of the grid for Race 1. Gruer also had his fair share of drama, particularly in Race 3.

Marco Viegas (Paper Perfect Tony Kart) did enough all year to claim P3 in Round 8 and P3 for the year. 

With a couple of Masters absent, the surprise package of the weekend was Robert Peche  (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) who put in his best performance of the season to secure P4. He saw off Andrew Thomas (Carbs and Coffee Media Zanardi) who endured the kind of day that only motorsport can dish out, finishing P2 in Race 1 but P6 in the other races. Andre Steenkamp (Carbs and Coffee Media CRG) took P6 for the day.

Championship top 6:

1.Conor Hughes
700
2.Roy Gruer
697
3.Marco Viegas
644
4.Andre Steenkamp
586
5.Robert Peche
573
6.Harry Georgiou543

Clubmans

In a class that only had two competitors fighting for the win, it was Jared Jordan (Jordan Racing CRG) who overcame his brother Michael (Jordan Racing CRG) as they did their best to put on a fight despite the thin field. Jared did it in style with 3 wins in Round 8.

We hope to see a larger field in Clubmans in 2020 and a return to tight racing throughout the pack. Those over the age of 18 who want to get into the sport of karting would be well-advised to start their adventure in Clubmans. 

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.

Championship top 6:

1.Jared Jordan
596
2.Michael Jordan
571
3.Sean Le Riche
438
4.Dylan Pelton
204
5.Johan Hamman
196
6.Gary Lennon159

Conclusion

All eyes will now be on our South African karting heroes who are preparing for their Italian adventure at the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Final. With around 360 racers from 60 countries expected to descend on Sarno, Italy from 19th October to 26th October, our South African drivers will be flying the flag with pride.

Until 2020 – keep it on the black stuff!

Photo credit: David Marchio (www.davidmarchio.co.za)

Issued on behalf of Western Province Motor Club (WPMC)