S­crap ex­pected in next Ro­tax round

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Auto Dealer -

Ve­ree­ni­ging’s Ar­nold Ne­ve­ling he­ads for Kil­lar­ney Ra­ce­way in Ca­pe Town on 11 Au­gust look­ing to ex­tend his le­ad in the top class of the 2018 Ro­tax South A­fri­can Na­ti­o­nal Kar­ting C­ham­pi­ons­hips. This ul­tra-smooth dri­ver ma­de a con­cer­ted co­me­back at the be­gin­ning of this se­a­son and has been the dri­ver to be­at in the DD2 class. The two-speed ge­ar­box class is the fas­test and most com­pe­ti­ti­ve class in kar­ting this se­a­son.

But the young man from the Vaal T­ri­angle will ha­ve his work cut out to sta­ve off a bunch of ri­vals look­ing to re­du­ce his 19-point le­ad in this y­e­ar’s tit­le ra­ce. “Ar­nold is no doubt the in-form man in South A­fri­can kar­ting this se­a­son,” says Ro­tax im­por­ter Ed Mur­ray. “But first he’s going to ha­ve to get on top of the lo­cal DD2 pro­ta­go­nis­ts in Ca­pe Town - the­se days t­hat will ta­ke so­me doing.”

Mur­ray points to lo­cals such as Jo­na­than T­ho­mas, Lu­ke Her­ring, Ju­rie “Um­pie” Swart and Ja­son Coet­zee who are dif­fi­cult to be­at on their ho­me ci­r­cuit. And then t­he­re is the reig­ning South A­fri­can DD2 cham­pi­on Brad­ley Lie­ben­berg, who has been ha­ving a tor­rid se­a­son so far in DD2 and finds him­self do­wn in sixth pla­ce. Al­so very quick in this ca­te­go­ry in 2018 is young KZN ace Ben­ja­min Ha­big.

Se­cond o­ver­all in DD2 af­ter two rounds is Port E­li­za­beth’s e­ver­green Mi­cha­el S­te­phen. He al­so le­ads the DD2 Mas­ters’ class for dri­vers a­ged 32 and o­ver. The ca­te­go­ry runs con­cur­rent­ly in the DD2 ra­ces and ol­der dri­vers sco­re points in both ca­te­go­ries. S­te­phen is al­so a mul­ti­ple South A­fri­can Pro­ducti­on Car and GTC cham­pi­on and one of the most de­ter­mi­ned dri­vers in lo­cal ra­cing. If he can find the rig­ht se­tup in Ca­pe Town he can chal­len­ge for the o­ver­all DD2 le­ad. A­not­her dri­ver who should ne­ver be dis­coun­ted is KZN’s C­ris­ti­a­no Mor­ga­do, a mul­ti­ple Wor­ld Cham­pi­on Ro­tax dri­ver and win­ner of the DD2 Mas­ters ca­te­go­ry at the re­cent A­fri­ca O­pen meet­ing at Zwart­kops Kart Ra­ce­way in P­re­to­ria.

Ex­pected to be in the mix in this su­per­com­pe­ti­ti­ve field will be Se­bas­ti­an Boyd, and Di­no S­ter­min, a ta­len­ted young­ster who re­cent­ly re­tur­ned to Ro­tax ra­cing in the DD2 class and im­me­di­a­te­ly sho­wed com­pe­ti­ti­ve pa­ce on his ho­me track of Kil­lar­ney.

In the Se­ni­or Max class for dri­vers a­ged 14 y­e­ars and o­ver, Gau­teng’s Way­land Wy­man le­ads the points ta­ble, a­he­ad of Jo­na­than Pie­ter­se from KZN and Ni­cho­las Ver­heul from E­den­va­le. Lo­cal lad Ja­son Coet­zee will be strong in this class too, which ca­ters for po­wer­ful Ro­tax non-ge­ar­box-en­gi­ned karts. Do­mi­nic Lin­coln from KZN lies fifth in the cham­pi­ons­hip and will be ho­ping to im­pro­ve, whi­le his fel­low KZN ri­val Shrien Nai­doo has been very quick all se­a­son and did well at the re­cent A­fri­can O­pen meet­ing.

The Ju­ni­or Max class for dri­vers a­ged 12 to 15 has dra­wn so­me 25 dri­vers com­pe­ting in the re­cent A­fri­can O­pen meet­ing. He­re, few would bet a­gainst ho­me-town fa­vou­ri­te C­harl Vis­ser to ex­tend his le­ad in the cham­pi­ons­hip af­ter the o­pe­ning rounds of 2018. Ca­pe Town’s Vis­ser has de­ve­lo­ped ex­cel­lent ra­ce craft o­ver the past few se­a­sons.

Vis­ser’s big­ge­st chal­len­ge in Ju­ni­or Max should co­me from a­not­her Ca­pe dri­ver, Jo­seph Oelz, who has been sho­wing su­per-quick form this se­a­son. The Gau­teng con­tin­gent who is in the mix for this y­e­ar’s tit­le cha­se will be out to spoil a Ca­pe ce­le­bra­ti­on. The­se dri­vers in­clu­de A­qil A­li­bhai, Jar­rod Wa­ber­ski, K­wan­da Mo­koe­na, Ley­ton Fou­rie and Da­nie­le Pa­tri­zi. Ot­her Ca­pe dri­vers who al­ways shi­ne at their ho­me track in­clu­de Simon Simp­son-He­ath and Ta­te Bis­hop.

The Mi­ni Max class for dri­ves a­ged 9 to13 has so far seen a tus­sle for cham­pi­ons­hip ho­nours de­ve­lo­ping be­t­ween Ca­pe Town’s Mik­hail Fer­nan­dez and KZN’s Li­am de Beer. The­se two he­ad the cham­pi­ons­hip ta­ble with just a hand­ful of points be­t­ween them, fol­lo­wed by two mo­re Gau­teng dri­vers, Jos­hua de Pai­va and Josh le Roux. Lo­cal ace Ky­le Vis­ser should ha­ve a se­ri­ous ho­me-track ad­van­ta­ge in round three on 11 Au­gust. Gau­teng’s Jor­dan Brooks should be strong, af­ter an ex­cel­lent win in the re­cent A­fri­can O­pen.

In the Mi­cro Max class, for dri­vers a­ged 7 to 11, the com­pe­ti­ti­on will a­gain be fier­ce, par­ti­cu­lar­ly from the lo­cal young­sters con­tes­ting this y­e­ar’s na­ti­o­nals. He­re Re­za Le­vy and Ree­se Koor­zen must be odds-on fa­vou­ri­tes for vic­to­ry, a­he­ad of reig­ning Mi­cro Max cham­pi­on Mu­ham­med Wal­ly from Jo­han­nes­burg, who won im­pres­si­ve­ly at the A­fri­can O­pen in Ju­ly. Flying the KZN flag high will be the im­pres­si­ve Troy Sny­man, who lies fifth in the cham­pi­ons­hip, a­he­ad of Gau­teng’s B­jorn Bert­holdt.

Round three of the 2018 Ro­tax South A­fri­can Na­ti­o­nal Kar­ting Cham­pi­ons­hip will see three ra­ces run for each of the Ro­tax cham­pi­ons­hip clas­ses at Kil­lar­ney. Round four will ta­ke pla­ce at Zwart­kops Kart Ra­ce­way on 30 Sep­tem­ber, the fi­nal na­ti­o­nal of this y­e­ar’s se­ries. The win­ners of the six c­ham­pi­ons­hips will se­cu­re in­vi­ta­ti­ons to the 2018 Ro­tax Grand Fi­nals in Bra­zil at the end of No­vem­ber, w­he­re 360 dri­vers from o­ver 50 coun­tries will com­pe­te in the Wor­ld Cham­pi­ons­hip.

Ree­se Koor­zen

Way­land Wy­man, no 275, is le­a­ding the Se­ni­or Max char­ge this se­a­son.

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