WhatRotax Max Grand Finals SA Team Announcement
WhereSarno, Napoli, Italy
When19-26 October 2019

Grand Finals squad confirmed for Italy

Rotax Max Challenge SA has announced the South African karting team to compete in the 20th annual Rotax Max World Finals in Sarno, Italy from 19 to 26 October.

South African champion Benjamin Habig, Jonathan Thomas and Wayland Wyman will fly the flag in the premier DD2, Brett Brito, Jonathan Pieterse and Nic Verheul will race in DD2 Masters and champion Charl Visser is SA’s Senior Max representative in the open classes. The school age classes will see Aqil Alibhai and Troy Dolinschek racing Junior Max, Troy Snyman Mini Max and Reece Koorzen Micro Max, with the possibility of one extra South African driver joining the team in each of the smaller classes, should additional seats become available.

In order for a driver to compete in the Rotax Max World Finals, he or she needs to be a national Rotax Max karting champion, or a runner up in one of the six classes. The South African team is made up of the national champions in each class, as well as the winners of the annual African Open, with the only exceptions being when a champion is not available to compete, when the next in line is invited in their place.

Durban's Benjamin Habig won the South African DD2 title to earn the right to represent the country in the Rotax Max Grand Finals. He will be joined by Cape racer Jonathan Thomas and Gauteng lad Wayland Wyman in the 3-man SA DD2 squad in place of African Open winner Bradley Liebenberg, who has a championship deciding GT2 date clash, and SA champion runner-up Dino Stermin has an important exam to write in Finals week.

DD2 Masters champion Michael Stephen, who came so close to winning two years ago, likewise has circuit racing commitments, so his place will be taken by runner-up, Port Elizabeth compatriot and former motocrosser Brett Brito. He will race alongside KZN’s African Open winner, Jono Pieterse and SA Max 175 champion Nic Verheul in the most senior class.

Cape lad and SA Senior Max champion Charl Visser returns to fly the South African flag at the Grand Finals for the second year in a row following his 2018 Junior Max sojourn to Brazil.

A strong South African Junior Team travels to this year’s Grand Finals, with Cape Town's SA champion Troy Dolinschek and African Open champion, Jozi lad Aqil Alibhai racing in under-15 Junior Max. It is Alibhai's second trip to the Junior Max grand Final and he will be keen to improve on making the final last year.

Pietermaritzburg lightie Troy Snyman dominated the South African under-13 Mini Max championship to earn his seat to the 2019 Grand Finals and he is already in Italy racing and preparing for the Grand Final. Last but very much not least, Cape Town’s South African under-11 champion Reese Koorzen will fly the South African Rotax Micro Max Grand Finals in Italy. 

South Africa has a proud history in the twenty years of the Rotax Max Grand Finals, with local karters racing to no less than fourteen titles in the past two decades. Cristiano Morgado has won five times, Caleb Williams, Wesleigh Orr and Leeroy Poulter twice each and Mark Cronje and Gavin Cronje, Claudio Piazza-Musso and Jayden Els have all won at the Rotax Max Grand Finals too.

Rotax Max karting has also contributed hugely to South African racing success, with DTM drivers Jonathan Aberdein and Sheldon van der Linde as well as Kelvin van der Linde, David Perel, Michael Stephen, Devin Roberson, Raoul Hyman and more among the current drivers to have progressed from this karting platform. 

A true global karting event raced in true Olympic spirit, the Rotax Max Grand Finals see only the individual Rotax Max national champions from more than 80 countries around the world racing against each other driving identical karts in each of the six Micro Max, Mini Max, Junior Max, Senior Max, DD2 and DD2 Masters classes. 

Every one of the 360 karts, their engines, tyres, fuel, lubricants and all other components used in the Grand Finals are supplied free of charge, brand new and ready to race by Rotax and its partners to Global Max Karting Sporting and Technical regulations. Only minimal adjustment is allowed to ensure that it is down to pure driver skill to win.


Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge

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