WhatRotax Max Challenge Karting 2019 Announcement
When24 October 2019
CommunitySouth Africa National

Rotax Max Challenge innovation for 2019

Two decades on, South Africa’s karting mainstay, the SA Rotax Max Challenge thrived to new highs through the 2018 season as the country’s top karters fought it out for five fully-fledged MSA South African National Championship titles in a season that delivered ultra-competitive racing. 

Every round of the 2018 SA Rotax Max Challenge attracted full grids of karts chasing the prize of an invitation to compete in the Olympics of Karting – the 19th running of Rotax Max Grand Finals in Brazil in December, where this year’s team plans to bring back even more silverware from an event where South Africa has developed a proud history over the years. 

2018 a success
The jewel in the SA Rotax Max Challenge crown, the DD2 Gearbox class grew significantly to 32 karts on the 2018 iDube national grid, hinting that it was perhaps time to separate DD2 and Masters into two classes going forward, while Zwartkops’ Rotax African Open attracted competitors from as far afield as the UAE and neighbouring African Countries to fight for Grand Final Invitations. Ultra-competitive 20-kart plus Open fields took to the track in both Junior Max and DD2, while Micro Max saw five kids try cross the finish line at the same time.

Tighter technical control and more thorough post-race checks were well received over the past season, helping ensure a truly level playing field, but several innovations are now set to further broaden SA Rotax Max Challenge karting’s wider appeal following more than 20 years of significant karting success for the series; its associated clubs, race organisers and dealers in South Africa.

SA Rotax Max Challenge is targeting both the youngest and the oldest (and heaviest) karters through two exciting new Bambino and Max 175 national championship classes from 2019: “We will expand to include two crucial new national championship classes from 2019", series founder and boss Ed Murray explains. “Rotax Max 175 will attract older and heavier-built competitors – from new karters to more serious clubmen to experienced drivers keen to race without knocking heads with wild teenagers. 

Better Bambino 
“The other novelty will be a national championship Bambino class for the first time. “The class formerly known as Cadets enjoyed a technical makeover in 2017 and went on to deliver great results in 2018, so by taking Bambino national for the first time will not just help grow this vital introductory class in all regions, but we are confident that it also will attract large fields at national championship level.”

The worldwide entry age karting formula of choice, safe and affordable Bambino class will race a 77cm wheelbase frame at 70kg and caters for kids from their fifth year in club racing and recommended from 6 to 9 years old at national level. Powered by traditional EMR-approved Bambino Service Centre-sealed C50 engines re-engineered for best reliability, Bambino race engines will be drawn out of a hat; frontrunners’ engines will be swapped out and an engine buy-out/buy back system will be in place to ensure parity.

Smaller kids can now also race an extra season in Bambino without the pressure of age rules pushing them up, while larger stature drivers can progress up to the significantly quicker Micro Max sooner. Bambino entry fees will be reduced for 2019; new tyres will not be required and all drivers qualify for a year-end raffle to win either a complete new Bambino kart or a Rotax Micro Max engine for their use in the following season, either valued at R35K, to keep the emphasis more on competing than just winning.

Big man’s Max 175
The all-new stand-alone national championship Max 175 class will race Rotax Senior Max spec engines and tyres at a minimum of 175kg to cater for serious drivers over 14 years of age who weigh 85kg or more in their shorts, alongside drivers of any weight who are 32 years or older. 2019’s top over-32 Max 175 driver will earn a DD2 Masters’ seat at the 2019 Rotax Max Grand Finals.

DD2 will see the class weight reduced by 1kg to 175kg for 2019, while DD2 Masters will become a stand-alone class racing on its own at a heavier 180kg at national level. DD2 will also be open to younger drivers who weigh more than 85kg for the first time, while the highest placed over-32 DD2 driver will earn a ticket to compete in the 2019 Rotax Max Grand Finals.

For the rest, the ultra-popular Rotax Micro, Mini, Junior and Senior Max classes all remain unchanged for 2019 as they continue as MSA National Championships along with the winner’s prizes of Rotax Max Grand Final tickets. 2019 MSA national karting regulations call for a class to race four events in three different MSA regions, with a minimum of 12 starters at each event, eight of which, drivers must compete in three of the events in order for that class to crown its leading driver as a MSA National Karting Champion. All SA Rotax Max Challenge Classes readily meet such standards.

The 2019 South African Rotax Max Challenge Series will commence in Cape Town before moving on to Port Elizabeth, iDube and then the Zwartkops final, while the African Open will race in Vereeniging. More at


Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge

For further information please contact

Click on thumbnails to Download images