Young karters aim to give KZN’s world champ Mor­gado a tough race

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - STU­ART JOHN­STON

SIX karters from KZN will con­tend for podium places at the open­ing round of the 2015 SA Ro­tax Max Chal­lenge kart­ing cham­pi­onship at the Kil­lar­ney cir­cuit in Cape Town on Satur­day.

The Ro­tax se­ries is go­ing from strength to strength in 2015, and all eyes will be on de­fend­ing DD2 cham­pion Bradley Lieben­berg from Lone­hill in Gaut­eng, to see if his dom­i­nance last sea­son con­tin­ues this sea­son in the first of the four-round na­tional cham­pi­onship that in­cludes the top four classes in SA kart­ing.

And adding in­ter­est will be the per­for­mance of the new Ro­tax Evo en­gines ho­molo­gated for 2015, which have shown, af­ter in­ten­sive pre-sea­son testing, to be even more driver friendly than the pre­vi­ous spec­i­fi­ca­tion, ul­tra-re­li­able 125 cc wa­ter-cooled en­gines used in the Ro­tax se­ries for the past 15 years.

The DD2 events in Cape Town will see the DD2 Masters cat­e­gory run in the same race as the DD2 races, thus swelling the field to an ex­pected 30 run­ners.

The Masters cat­e­gory for driv­ers 32 years and older will be par­tic­u­larly in­ter­est­ing, as mul­ti­ple SA and World DD2 Masters champ Cris Mor­gado from Dur­ban is likely to see his po­si­tion of dom­i­nance chal­lenged by a num­ber of younger karters who move into the cat­e­gory this sea­son. No­table among th­ese is Ni­cholas Ver­heul from Gaut­eng, who has been a regular chal­lenger for top honours in DD2 for a num­ber of sea­sons. KZN’s Jono Pi­eterse re­turns af­ter a lay­off and is also ex­pected to mix it with John van Wyk and Maroan Selmi at the sharp end.

Vy­ing for top over­all DD2 honours at the front of the field along with Lieben­berg will be Cape driv­ers Jonathan Aberdein, Chad Maciver and Kyle Mitchel (Gaut­eng), Luca Can­derle and Benjamin Habig from KZN and Pre­to­ria’s Eu­gene Britz, and any one of th­ese could take the honours.

At the other end of the kart­ing age scale, the Max­terino 60 class for pre­teens has re­ceived an en­try of some 20 karts. Cape Town has a strong con­tin­gent of Max­terino fly­ers and Ai­dan Stry­dom, Charl Visser and Joseph Oelz will face an up-coun­try chal­lenge from the likes of Kwanda Makoena, who won at Zwartkops two weeks ago in a re­gional event, and Aquil Alib­hai.

Ju­nior Max, for driv­ers aged 12 to 16 is an­other cat­e­gory that is ex­pected to draw a full field of up to 20 karts, a grat­i­fy­ing state of af­fairs for the South African Ro­tax se­ries, which has pro­duced a dozen home-grown world kart­ing cham­pi­ons over the past 15 years.

Driv­ers to watch in this very com­pet­i­tive field in­clude Delon Thomp­son, Cameron O’Con­nor, Joshua Diaz and Daniel Du­miny from KZN. They will race Cape Town home-turf de­fend­ers De­lano Fowler, Dino Ster­min and Gior­dano Lupini.

In the Se­nior Max cat­e­gory, look for the “first lady” of kart­ing, Fa­bi­enne Lanz, to be right at the front of the field, chal­leng­ing Cape stal­warts Eu­gene Denyssen, Henry Bam, Chadley Swartz and Jonathan Aberdein. Aberdein, son of Wesbank Audi Qu­at­tro rac­ing star Chris Aber­dien, who set Kil­lar­ney’s main cir­cuit on fire with stir­ring sa­loon car per­for­mances in the nineties, is also en­tered in the Ro­tax DD2 class and has set record-break­ing times in both classes. The win­ners of the var­i­ous Ro­tax cat­e­gories will win a berth to the in­ter­na­tional Ro­tax grand fi­nals kart­ing cham­pi­onship, the big­gest kart­ing event in the world, where driv­ers from some 60 coun­tries will com­pete for glory. This year, the grand fi­nals will be held in the Al­garve, Por­tu­gal, in early Novem­ber. • The sec­ond round of the SARMC se­ries will next move to KZN. For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.kart.co.za, or con­tact Jen­nifer Ver­heul at 082 294 7485.

PHOTO: MOTOPRESS.CO.ZA

Close rac­ing is ex­pected when SA’s top carters de­scend on the Kil­lar­ney cir­cuit in Cape Town on Satur­day for round one of the 2015 SARMC kart­ing cham­pi­onship.

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