Karters set iDube on fire

Cape Town’s Tris­tan wins clos­est rac­ing seen in decades in the Max­terino class for young­sters

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORSPORT - STU­ART JOHN­STON

THE Max­terino Class stole the third leg of the kart­ing cham­pi­onship held at the iDube Race­way on Satur­day.

Two day’s rac­ing saw the big­gest en­try in over a decade in the top-tier DD2 Gear­box class, as well as the clos­est rac­ing seen in decades in the Max­terino class for young­sters aged eight to 13 years old. Com­pe­ti­tion was fierce on the tight and tricky iDube cir­cuit, which re­wards both driver skill and a strong en­gine setup to cope with the up­hill climbs.

Max­terino class

The young­sters in this class were so close that the lead changed in just about ev­ery cor­ner. The best part of the rac­ing, for both spec­ta­tors and com­peti­tors, was that the driv­ers ac­com­mo­dated an over­tak­ing ma­noeu­vre with­out tan­gling wheels, and yet re­tained enough mo­men­tum to come back fight­ing just a few corners later.

The rac­ing was so close that in the sec­ond heat the top seven fin­ish­ers crossed the line just 1,2 sec­onds apart. When the ex­cite­ment fi­nally set­tled to a post-race adrenalin-wash, Tris­tan Losch form Cape Town emerged as the win­ner for the day, fol­lowed by fel­low Capeto­nian Charl Visser and Gaut­eng’s Cameron O’ Con­nor. Sur­pris­ingly, the im­pres­sive Ai­dan Stry­dom from Cape Town, who has been a top cham­pi­onship con­tender so far, bat­tled in KZN and ended up sev­enth for the day.

DD2 Gear­box class

The sight of some 28 DD2 Gear­box karts tak­ing starter’s or­ders on the tight iDube track took the breath away and glad­dened the hearts of the pro­mot­ers.

Lo­cal favourite Ben­jamin Habig looked set for a fan­tas­tic week­end as he won the first race and placed third in the sec­ond, but saw his week­end ru­ined when his pit-crew mis­placed a piece of the ex­haust power valve, which saw him put­ter around power-less in the fi­nal race. Like­wise, cur­rent SA DD2 cham­pion Bradley Lieben­berg from Lone­hill in Gaut­eng had a dif­fi­cult week­end made worse when he hit a sta­tion­ary kart in

“Lo­cal KZN hero Mitchel Li­cen fol­lowed up a lowly plac­ing in the first race to score two fine sec­ond places in DD2, and there were times when it looked as if he may run out the win­ner for the day.”

Race Two, for­tu­nately with­out in­jury. The fact that he fought back to win the third race speaks for his nat­u­ral tal­ent.

Their mishaps took noth­ing away from the over­all win­ner of the day from Cape Town, Jonathan Aberdein. The young­ster has put an enor­mous ef­fort into this rac­ing this year, com­pet­ing in the Euro Chal­lenge as well as at his home cir­cuit in 2015.

Lo­cal KZN hero Mitchel Li­cen fol­lowed up a lowly plac­ing in the first race to score two fine sec­ond places in DD2, and there were times when it looked as if he may run out the win­ner for the day.

Eu­gen Brittz from Pre­to­ria filled out the podium spot, fol­lowed by Jurie Swart from Cape Town, Cris­tiano Mor­gado from Dur­ban in fifth and Kashen Naiker in sixth.

DD2 Mas­ters and Se­nior Max

The Mas­ters class for driv­ers aged 32 and older runs con­cur­rently in the DD2 races, and has long been dom­i­nated by Dur­ban’s mul­ti­ple world cham­pion, Cris Mor­gado. Mor­gado did the busi­ness as usual on his home track at iDube, but he was shad­owed by Potchef­stroom’s Ron­nie Bap­tista. Ni­cholas Ver­heul from Kemp­ton Park fin­ished third.

Jonathan Aberdein’s achieve­ment in win­ning both the DD2 class and the Se­nior Max class at iDube — and in­creas­ing his cham­pi­onship lead in both cat­e­gories — should not be un­der­es­ti­mated.

Those in the know point to the dif­fi­culty in switch­ing from one cat­e­gory to the next over a race week­end, as the nongear­box Se­nior Max kart re­quires much more sen­si­tive brak­ing (these karts only have brakes on the rear wheels) and car­ry­ing much more mo­men­tum through a cor­ner to make up for run­ning just a sin­gle gear over an en­tire lap.

On the other hand, the DD2 kart re­quires a more ag­gres­sive style to get the most from its two-speed set-up, and ex­tra brak­ing power from the front wheel brakes. KZN’s Jor­dan Sher­rat took the fight to Aberdein in the Se­nior Max af­ter win­ning the open­ing race. A slight in­ci­dent dropped him back in Race Two, but came back a fight­ing third in race Three.

Fa­bi­enne Lanz had a great run at iDube, plac­ing third over­all.

Ju­nior Max

Delon Thompson from Gaut­eng and Dino Ster­min from Cape Town bat­tled it out over all three races for supremacy in this class for young­sters aged 13 to 16. In the end, Thompson ran out the win­ner in all three races, but he was pushed hard all week­end by Ster­min, who is en­joy­ing a great 2015 sea­son. Fel­low Capeto­nian Jason Coet­zee claimed third place, fol­lowed by KZN’s Do­minic Lin­coln, De­lano Fowler from Cape Town and Daniel Du­miny.

The iDube round saw many dif­fer­ent driv­ers score valu­able points in the Four­Round 2015 SA Ro­tax Max Chal­lenge 2015, and has set up a won­der­ful fi­nale for the fourth and fi­nal round to be run at Zwartkops on Septem­ber 25 to 26.

• Win­ners of the three Ro­tax classes will place in the World Cham­pi­onships, known as the 2015 Ro­tax Grand Fi­nal, in Por­tu­gal, a week-long race meet­ing held from Novem­ber 9-14. More info from the Ro­tax web­site www.kart.co.za

PHOTO: HEIN­RICH SAUER

Ivana Ce­tinich gets air­borne in the Se­nior Max class, where she fin­ished sixth for the day at iDube Race­way.

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