Thrilling end to Kart­ing Na­tion­als

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING - High schools Pri­mary schools World fi­nals next

THE 2016 South African Kart­ing Na­tion­als came to a thrilling end at Vereenig­ing when six driv­ers were crowned cham­pi­ons at the Vereenig­ing Kart track on Satur­day.

Joshua Co­ertze came from be­hind to steal the Mini Rok ti­tle, Charl Visser held on to win the Max­terino ti­tle, Cameron O’Connor stole the Ju­nior Max cham­pi­onship, Dino Ster­min lifted a some­what con­tro­ver­sial Se­nior Max ti­tle and Bradley Lieben­berg and Michael Stephen are the 2016 DD2 and DD2 Masters cham­pi­ons, sub­ject to fi­nal MSA rat­i­fi­ca­tion.

Johannesburg young­ster Bradley Lieben­berg wrapped up his third SA DD2 cham­pi­onship on the trot in SA kart­ing’s quick­est gear­box class, adding the 2016 prize to his 2104 and 2015 gongs. Lieben­berg, who is also mak­ing a name for him­self in Polo Cup rac­ing, reeled off three wins and a sec­ond race third place to win the day and ce­ment his po­si­tion as the King of DD2 as he booked his place at the Ro­tax Max World Fi­nals in Italy in Oc­to­ber. Lieben­berg won six races in 2016 en route to his third DD2 ti­tle in a row.

Third on the day, sec­ond over­all in DD2 and Masters win­ner, mul­ti­ple SA Pro­duc­tion Car cham­pion Michael Stephen added yet an­other South African rac­ing ti­tle to his name as he booked his ticket to the DD2 Masters World Fi­nal.

Port El­iz­a­beth driver Stephen was also sec­ond in the over­all DD2 cham­pi­onship ahead of Dur­ban lad Benjamin Habig, who took the sec­ond race win to clinch sec­ond on the day from Stephen.

Benoni lad Delon Thomp­son de­liv­ered four bril­liant race wins to turn the ta­bles on Dino Ster­min in the Se­nior Max 125 cc cham­pi­onship, but a last race penalty turned the ta­bles to see Ster­min emerge as the pro­vi­sional 2016 South African Se­nior Max cham­pion. Thomp­son’s penalty also handed Jozi lady kart hero­ine Fa­bi­enne Lanz the class win for the day, one point ahead of Stel­len­bosch lad De­lano Fowler. The 125 cc Ju­nior Max gang was al­ways go­ing to fight for cham­pi­onship hon­ours, with six driv­ers within 12 cham­pi­onship points head­ing into the Fi­nals, but Johannesburg driver Cameron O’ Connor took no prison­ers to win the first two races and wrest the cham­pi­onship lead from Camps Bay lad Se­bas­tian Boyd.

Bal­lito’s Daniel Du­miny, who was nudged off track to fin­ish down the field in the first of four high school 125 cc Ju­nior Max races on Satur­day, con­grat­u­lated O’Connor. Du­miny said he now looks ahead to his next race in the VW Polo Cup: “I’m look­ing for­ward to hop in and race my blue ma­chine at Zwartkops in a few weeks’ time — bring it on!”. There was al­ways go­ing to be tears in the two pri­mary school kart­ing classes, where Kyalami lightie Kwanda Mokoena and Cape Town kid Charl Visser went into the Max­terino 60 cc ti­tle on even points, but Visser’s bet­ter points drop sce­nario re­quired him to win one race, which he did in the sec­ond heat. From there Charl looked on as Kwanda raced to three race wins, but Visser beat Mokoena to the ti­tle by all of 0,25 points.

That was in spite of Kwanda win­ning seven races through the sea­son to Charl’s three, but the Cape driver’s con­sis­tency in scor­ing podi­ums did the trick in the end. Cape quartet Troy Dolin­schek, Joseph Oelz, Tate Bishop and Kai van Zijl filled out the SA na­tional Max­terino cham­pi­onship top six. Four of the South African cham­pi­ons crowned on Satur­day — Bradley Lieben­berg, Michael Stephen, Dino Ster­min and Cameron O’Connor — will now rep­re­sent South Africa at the Ro­tax Max World Fi­nals in Italy in Oc­to­ber. They will be joined by the win­ners in their re­spec­tive DD2, Masters, Se­nior and Ju­nior Max classes at the forth­com­ing wild­card African Open at Zwartkops.

Two Western Cape Town driv­ers (Ster­min and Visser), two Gaut­eng driv­ers (Lieben­berg and O’Connor) and two Port El­iz­a­beth driv­ers (Stephen and Co­ertze) shared the six 2016 South African Kart­ing crowns. — Motorsport Me­dia.

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