Rotax Karting championship heats up with conduct penalties and spectacular finishes

With the 2022 SA championship now at its midpoint, the chase for team slots in the SA squad heading to the Rotax Max Grand Finals in Portugal at the end of the year is also heating up.

The 2022 Rotax Max National Karting action at Formula K Raceway in Benoni on Sunday, June 26 delivered spectacular action as racers chased championship dreams.

There was more than just national pride at stake too, as the country’s top karters continued in their tussles to grab a seat in the South African national team poised to visit Portugal for the “Olympics of Karting” Rotax Max Grand Finals in Portugal at the end of the season.

Cape lad Sebastian Boyd made short work of the premier direct drive two-speed gearbox class DD with an utterly dominant performance. He left local lad Jamie Smith to fend off another Cape visitor, Joseph Oelz, two second places to one to occupy the higher remaining podium perch. Brother Brandon Smith held of Gauteng compatriots Kian Grottis, Nicolas Spanoyannis, Divan Braak and Niko Zafiris, while Wayland Wyman’s weekend went south with a heat 2 tech exclusion and Kyle Visser endured a tough day at the races.

Roshaan Goodman.

In the senior DD2 classes, Eugene Brittz took masters with a two-races-to-one victory over fellow Gauteng racer Nick Verheul. KZN racer Jonathan Pieterse made do with a trio of thirds in the races to take the third-place trophy from Cape man Conor Hughes and Alistair Mingay from KZN. Philippe Chapat pipped Mingay overall en route to a dominant DD2 Vets display, with a triple win over Frikkie Cornelius, Derrick Joseph, Johan Kruger and Jonathan Kairuz.

The real action on the day, however, went down in a testosterone- and incident-charged Senior Max, where neither overall winner Roshaan Goodman or second man Tate Bishop managed better than a single second place in the heats. Third man Muhammad Wally took a lucky second-race win to clinch third for the day from Moosa Kajee, Ethan Stier and Olerato Sekudu. Race 1 winner Karabo Malemela was excluded from race 2 before storming back to a sensational final win.

He was classified 11th overall behind Ethan Bostander, Yifan Li, Matthew Wadeley and Corban Spies. The Senior Max angst exploded in the final race, however, when Délon Thompson and Troy Snyman were excluded for the day on conduct misdemeanours, while Bishop also initially incurred a 10th-place penalty on driving conduct. That was later overturned, but Bishop’s Polo Cup rival Charl Visser did not get away with a technical exclusion after heat 2.

Rafael da Silva.

Toyota Gazoo Academy lad KC Ensor-Smith was anoher driver to go unchallenged as he continued unbeaten in high school Junior Max nationals this year. He ended ahead of Erich Heystek and Jayden Goosen in all three heats, while Wian Boshoff edged Mohammed Moerat and Dhivyen Naidoo in a tight tussle for fourth. Jonno Wilson, Nicolaos Vostanis, Ashton Repsold and Ndzalo Khoza rounded off that top ten.

In primary school action, Kent Swartz benefited Aadam Kajee running into trouble to win the middle heat and take the day in u/13 Mini Max. Second-placed Aadam took the first and final races to end up second from karting lass Georgia Lenaerts, Cape kid Jordon Wadeley and KZN lad Travis Mingay, with Durelle Goodman sixth. Fancied Cape driver Keagan Beaumont endured a tough Formula K outing to end seventh for the day ahead of Kegan Martin, Amani Kinyua and Matthew Chiwara.

Rafael da Silva won the final under-11 Micro Max heat from race 2 winner Tayln Patel and opening race winner Emma Dowling. Tayln wound up second for the day on a count-back of results after he and Emma ended on even points overall after three exceptional and hard-fought Micro races. Pretoria lad Cristian Verheul edged Cape kid Aiden Beaumont for fourth with Johan Nolte sixth from Rafael de Sousa, Santi Frade, Matthew Shuttleworth and Franco Gibhard among a highly competitive grid.

Eugene Brittz.

Brodi Dowling cantered to opening and final baby Bambino races, but the second heat proved exceptional as Diego Antunes fought his way to win a multi-kart second race dogfight. Noah Cronje ended up third for the day from Adriaan Steyn, Benjamin Gibhard and Callum du Toit on a day when a few of the karting babies were also rapped on their knuckles for driving conduct! Jenson Dias, Ronaldo Koen, Michael O’Mahoney and Jayden van der Merwe rounded out the Bambino top 10.

Formula K’s Rotax Max National went far beyond great action on track. It happened amid a splendid festival atmosphere at the circuit and around its new restaurant, with live streaming on trackside screens and an eager crowd cheering throughout.

Sebastian Boyd cemented his DD2 title advantage over Jamie Smith, while Brandon Smith and Joseph Oelz improved their chances of a South African team slot in the SA DD2 attack in Portugal. Eugene Brittz extended his masters over Pieterse and Verheul as the three of them look like favourites for another trip to the Gand Finals.

Ensor Smith.

Double champion Tate Bishop benefited the Senior Max chaos around him to comfortably consolidate his Senior Max advantage and it’s all about KC Ensor-Smith in Junior Max. In the primary school classes, Keagan Beaumont still holds a handy Mini Max advantage over Travis Mingay and Jordon Wadeley, but its super close between Rafael da Silva, Aiden Beaumont and Taylin Patel in Mini Max. Noah Cronje has consolidated his Bambino advantage with a view to taking the ticket to watch the Olympics of Karting in Portugal.

There’s no rest for the wicked, and Rotax Max karting is no exception, it seems. With just three weeks to go before both round 3 of the Rotax Max Nationals and the wildcard Rotax Max African Open that also pays the winner of each class a ticket to the Grand Finals in Portugal, all eyes are now squarely on iDube near Pietermaritzburg in KZN over the weekend of July 15 to 17.

Source: MotorsportMedia

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