Karters set iDube on fire
Cape Town’s Tristan wins closest racing seen in decades in the Maxterino class for youngsters
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.
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.
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
Ivana Cetinich gets airborne in the Senior Max class, where she finished sixth for the day at iDube Raceway.