Karting just got a lot quicker
THE 2015 South African National Karting Championship season fires up in Port Elizabeth on Saturday in a fresh season set to dish up even more innovation and a new top class.
2014 was a watershed year for the local sport when all classes raced together for the first time in over a decade of split championships. The move to those single, blockbuster nationals brought a new gravity to karting and while the blockbuster theme continues into 2015, there are a few more changes this year.
NEW X30S SET TO THRILL
The new IAME X30 shifter class gains national championship status for the first time this year with these high-powered 125 cc six-speed machines set to become karting’s quickest class, driven by among the country’s top racing names.
X30 and the Rok classes start their seasons in Port Elizabeth this weekend before they join up with the new Evo-powered Rotax Max classes for the Cape round in April at Killarney. All classes then move on to KZN at iDube in June and Vereeneging in Gauteng in August, which will be the X30 and Rok finals. Rotax Max then wraps up its year at Zwartkops in October.
The IAME X30 class begins its first season as a national karting class with a star-studded field set to deliver premium action this weekend, with Johannesburg’s world championship runner-up Nathan Parkins heading an entry list that also includes local hero and triple SA Production Car champion Michael Stephen.
Add Cape drivers, double SA Max Challenge champion Luke Herring, Julian vd Watt and Kohen Bam and Reef stars Keagan Masters who steps up to X30 at 14 years old, Connor Rogers, Shayur Harpal and Kyle Lawrence, plus 10 other most capable drivers to that and we have a recipe to thrill.
SOLID AS A ROK
Moving over to the Vortex Rok classes, SA champion Chassen Bright will be out to defend his Super Rok 125 cc title from the likes of last year’s runner-up Jason Smith, brothers Jason and Luke Hill, Keagan Blackensee and Junior Max graduate Henry Bam.
Teenagers Stuart White from Bloemfontein, Jo’burg’s Luca Munaretto and KZN lad Chayse Augustus will have to deal with Jozi lass Neha Harpal among a competitive field in the high school age Junior Rok 125 cc class that is always on for a good battle.
The smallest national class this weekend is the 60 cc primary school gang racing in Mini Rok, where you can rest assured there will be war as usual, in perhaps the purest racing class anywhere. It will also be a case of revenge this year as upcountry drivers seek revenge over Cape lads who dominated the 60s last year. The Cape certainly will be well represented though, by the likes of Aidan Strydom, Charl Visser and Alex Oelz, but upcountry rivals Jordan North, Kwanda Makoena, Altan Bouw, Cameron O’ Conner, Jarrod Waberski, Dillon van Vuuren and Dominic Lincoln will be out to stop them, while local PE lad Joshua Coertze is always a tough nut to crack at home.
There will also be regional championship Cadet races for drivers under eight years of age as well as a NF100 junior motorcycle demonstration races through the day.
THE CELSO SCRIBANTE CIRCUIT
The weekend’s action happens at the Celso Scribante Circuit is at the intersection of the M18 Victoria Drive and Sardinia Bay Road Port Elizabeth. The action starts with practice on Thursday (with a spit braai for competitors that evening) and Friday, with qualifying on Saturday morning before the race action commences at 10.50 am.
The Mini Rok promises top action in 2015 South African National Karting Championship in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.