There are two ways to get a seat in the Rotax Max World Karting Finals in Portimao, Portugal in November. One is to win a South African Rotax Max championship and the other is to win at the African Open at Zwartkops on Sunday 20 August, a wildcard winner-takes all meeting, where the winners secure a seat at those Portuguese world championships.
To that end, South Africa and Africa’s best karters will gather at the Zwartkops Kart Raceway outside Pretoria where they will race three times, building up to the respective finals where only the winner and in some instance, second place matters, with those winning drivers taking the tickets to Portugal.
The DD2 gearbox class is considered to be the pinnacle of Rotax Max kart racing and that’s where the wildest action can be expected with the likes of Fourways lads Bradley Liebenberg and Shayur Harpal, lady karting star Ivana Cetinich from Midrand Cape Town’s Jurie Swart, Justin Allison from Bloemfontein; KZN drivers Daniel Duminy, Luca Canderle, Robert Whiting and Justin and Ryan Wilde Brandon Smith from Benoni and Kyalami lad Nicolas Spanoyannis all beyond keen to earn their way to Portugal.
DD2 Masters honours for drivers over 31 will be fought out by SA race greats Leeroy Poulter and PE driver Michael Stephen, with Jozi drivers Marouan Selmi and Pascal Acquaah and Simon Wilde from Pietermaritzburg keen on an upset.
Several Cape Town drivers are expected to continue their stranglehold on Senior Max, with Luke Herring, Dino Stermin, Jason Coetzee and Andrew Rackstraw, as well as Ballito lad Daniel Duminy and East London lass Shannon Jackson coming up to face up to Jozi lads Oliver Gunner, Joshua Dias, Wayland Wyman, Tiago Rebelo and Brandon Smith, while Nairobi lad Jevin Gohil will be an interesting rival.
High school Junior Max promises to be a wild affair with Cape lads Jason Coetzee and Charl Visser and KZN kids Dominic Lincoln and Shrien Naidoo out to show the locals the likes Kwanda Mokoena, Mini Max world champion Jayden Els, who is out to fight his way to another world title and lady stars Tiffany Napier and Cameron Dias, the way. But there’s plenty of African Junior interest too, with Naomi Pitzer and Jeffrey Novela from Maputo, Harari driver Zachary Dufty and Yusuf Moola out of Dubai all ready to star too.
In the primary school classes, expect Cape driver Tate Bishop to take it to his local Maxterino rivals including form guy Aqil Alibhai, Muhammad Wally, Jordan Brooks and Nikolas Roos. Bishop will also take on local lads Alibhai, Leyton Fourie, Daniel de Paiva and Jarrod Waberski in under-13 Mini Max, where another Cape visitor Kai van Zijl and Carmo Novela Junior from Maputo will provide extra interest.
Muhammad Wally should be the man to beat in the under 11 Micro Max war, but he will have his work cut out by local lads Joshua de Paiva, Reece Fuller and Mohammed Moerat. Don’t discount Cape drivers Reza Levy and Valentino Hoffman, KZN kid Dhivyen Naidoo, Carmo Novela Junior from Maputo and Luanda lad Keoni Kiala.
Last but not least, the baby under-8 Cadets will also have their time in the sun with Cape Town driver Luan Mostert and Durban’s Rayn Asmal among those to take on locals Wian Boshoff, Luke Hill, Anthon Lombard, Cyril Jacobs and the likes.
Entrance to the Zwartkops Kart raceway is free — the track is situated at the Zwartkops Raceway on the R55 just outside Laudium, Pretoria and the facility offers a great take-away menu, full amenities and of course, a great day’s spellbinding karting…
Pictures: Heinrich Sauer