Crashes, action, drama at Killarney national
Saturday’s third round Rotax Max Challenge South African Championship races may have played out in ideal conditions at the Killarney Kart track, but the WPMC Kart Club weekend delivered dramatic action throughout the weekend with red flags flying to stop races after controversial accidents among much great racing. It was a good weekend in all for local drivers, with Cape kids taking several race and overall wins, not least the Visser lads who won five out of their six races.
Young Kyle Visser never missed a trick as he qualified on pole position and raced to three dominant under-13 Mini Max wins as he turned that championship table on its head. Upcountry rival Jordan Brooks may well have been a closer second were it not for a race 3 nosecone penalty that dropped him to fifth in that race, while another local, Mikhail Fernandez clung onto the championship lead with third for the day ahead of Jozi kid Joshua de Paiva, Cape Town’s Denis Joubert, Michele Patrizi, Josh le Roux, Jayden Goosen, Liam de Beer and Matthew Morrel. Visser meanwhile jumped from fifth to second in the title race from de Paiva and Brooks.
While he did not win the class for the day, elder brother Charl Visser’s first and second under-15 Junior Max race wins saw him take an iron grip on that championship, but he was forced to abandon the final after his rear bumper was knocked off as another Cape kid, Troy Dolinschek took the race win. So Jozi lad Kwanda Mokoena was somewhat surprised to take the win for the day with a second and a couple of thirds in the races, ahead of compatriot Leyton Fourie, Visser and Dolinschek and Nathi Msimanga fifth from Tate Bishop, Jarrod Waberski, Jayden Els, Aqil Alibhai and a troubled Joseph Oelz. Visser now has almost a full race win of points advantage over Waberski, Oelz, Alibhai and Fourie, who all sit within four points of each other in the Junior title chase.
Jason Coetzee was another local driver to turn a championship on its head when he beat Durban driver Dominic Lincoln two races to one to see them jump to the top of that title log. Lincoln was lucky to escape a race 1 nose cone penalty and keep third thanks to being far enough ahead of the fourth placed driver after 0.8 seconds split the first race 1-2-3, but local lad Andrew Rackstraw was less fortunate when he lost his race 2 win via a 5-second nosecone penalty. Dubai lad Liam Crystal was fourth from Nicholas Verhuel, Reece Oellerman, Carlo Olivier, Daniel Duminy, Jonathan Pieterse and Wayland Wyman as Coetzee and Lincoln jumped up from fourth and fifth in the championship to lead from Verheul who stays third, former second man Pieterse and erstwhile leader Wyman.
Muhammad Wally was another upcountry driver to deny the locals as he won three of the four under-11 Micro Max wins to lead Jozi compatriot Joshua de Paiva and local race 3 winner Reese Koorzen home. Koorzen led the first race until last lap and then lost second with a nosecone penalty, but made amends with a lights to flag race 3 win to keep Troy Snyman, who lost the final win by a nose cone penalty in fourth from Kent Swartz, Reza Levy, Luviwe Sambudla, Dhivyen Naidoo, KC Ensor-Smith and Bjorn Bertholdt. De Paiva now holds a comfortable championship lead over Wally, Levy, Koorzen and Snyman.
There was however controversy in the DD2 races after Luke Herring took the day with two race wins over Benjamin Habig, who set a new Killarney lap record and race 2 winner Bradley Liebenberg. The trouble started on the first lap of the final race, when Herring and Jurie Swart tangled in the first 180 and Swart spun to be clobbered hard from behind to stop the race as Swart was evacuated in an ambulance and his wrecked kart cleared. Herring then went on to win the race, which was restarted from scratch.
Local lad Dino Stermin ended fourth for the day ahead of Gauteng veteran Roman de Beer and Cape youngsters Jason Coetzee and Sebastian Boyd, with Masters winner Michael Stephen next up ahead of Robert Whiting, troubled duo Arnold Neveling and Jonathan Thomas, second placed Masters Jonathan Pieterse in spite of nose cone penalties in all three races and the hapless Swart.
Habig meanwhile moved into the DD2 championship lead from Neveling, Herring, Liebenberg and Swart, with everything to play for in the SA Finals at Zwartkops come 29 September. Karting also returns to Killarney for the sixth round of the WP championship 25 August.