Motorsport / 9 October 2018, 2:25pm / Motorsport Correspondent
Pretoria - Six new South African Rotax Max Karting Champions were crowned at the Zwartkops International Kart Circuit earlier this month, as Cape Town brothers Charl and Kyle Visser did a historic double to secure the respective high school Junior Max and primary school Mini Max titles.
Vereeniging-based driver Arnold Neveling meanwhile took the DD2 championship, Port Elizabeth’s Michael Stephen won the DD2 Masters category, Durban lad Dominic Lincoln took Senior Max and Jozi kid Muhammed Wally became the first ever SA under-11 Micro Max champion.
All six drivers now join the African Open champions to represent South Africa at the Rotax Max Grand Finals in Brazil on 1 December.
Durbanville’s Visser brothers were, arguably, the stars of the show as they delivered a unique sibling double championship with seven wins out of their eight races on the day.
Charl arrived at Zwartkops ahead on points in the Junior Max championship and despite a slow start as he took fourth in the opening heat while chief rival and another Cape local Joseph Oelz took the win, Visser went on to win the second, third and fourth races to secure the title from the front.
Leyton Fourie took three second places to Kwanda Mokoena’s one as they came home second and third on the day from Oelz, Ethan Coetzee and Tate Bishop as Visser took the title from Oelz, Jozi foursome Fourie, Aquil Alibhai, Mokoena, Jarrod Waberski and Cape kid Bishop.
Kyle Visser went to Pretoria sitting second in the Mini Max title chase, but four dominant race wins later, he walked away as South African champion over Cape home rival Mikhail Fernandez, who scraped home with the championship second after a trying day at the races.
Gauteng kids Jordan Brooks and Joshua de Paiva shared out the second places three-to-one to take second and third for the day from Matthew Morrell, while Visser took the Mini title from Fernandez, who held Brooks off by a fraction of a championship point, de Paiva, Liam de Beer and Jayden Goosen.
There was just as dramatic an ending to the premier DD2 gearbox class, where Arnold Neveling took the day with a couple of wins to secure the title, while title rivals Bradley Liebenberg and Benjamin Habig took the other two wins as Habig pipped Liebenberg for second in the championship.
Multiple SA karting world champion, Masters driver Crisitiano Morgado had a good day in fourth from Cape lads Umpie Swart, Luke Herring and Jonathan Thomas with lady driver Ivana Cetinich next up ahead of Masters duo Marouan Selmi and Michael Stephen in tenth.
Morgado also bounced from well back up to fourth in the overall championship ahead of Herring, Masters rival Stephen and Swart with the four of them split by just four points in the end, as Thomas, Jason Coetzee and Robert Whiting completed the DD2 championship top ten. Morgado however just failed to topple Stephen for the Maters title, losing out by just a few points, with Jonathan Pieterse hanging on to third in the older drivers’ title chase after a first race win, with Pasqual Acquaah fourth in the title race ahead of Brett Brito and Roy Gruer.
Senior Max proved a highlight, with the championship podium literally changing race-by-race, but Durban lad Dominic Lincoln made no mistakes as he drove to a couple of wins and a couple of seconds to take the day and the title, but it was close behind him. Cape driver Jason Coetzee took the other two race wins to fight Jozi lad Wayland Wyman off in the championship chase by a few points, while Shiren Naidoo, Carlo Olivier and Dane van Heerde rounded off the Senior top six for the day. Lincoln took the title from Coetzee, Wyman, Nick Verheul, Pieterse and Naidoo.
The Senior Max results remained provisional at the time of writing.
Under-11 Micro Max went down to the wire — Muhammed Wally had to win the final heat to beat race 1 winner Joshua de Paiva to the title and that’s precisely what he did as de Paiva came home fourth. A couple of thirds, a fourth and that win were enough for Wally to take the title off de Paiva, while Troy Snyman and KC Ensor-Smith taking a couple of surprise wins did not help matters as Wally took the Micro championship from de Paiva, Snyman, Cape kids Reza Levy and Reese Koorzen and Ensor-Smith, who jumped up the ladder to sixth.
The complete South African team to represent the Rotax Max Grand Finals will be confirmed shortly, but the Visser brothers, Neveling, Stephen, Lincoln and Wally will now join African Open winners Morgado, Wyman and Alibhai in Brazil through the last week of November into the 1 December World Finals.