|What||WPMC Karting Round 1 Preview|
|Where||Killarney Kart track|
|When||Saturday 10 February 2018|
All change as season starts 10 February
The 2018 South African karting season kicks off with the opening round of the Western Province championship at the Killarney Kart Track Saturday 10 February, where old rivalries will be rejoined alongside fresh competition as several drivers step up to new classes, an age group above.
There’s a new look to the WP series, with the old Maxterino 60s discontinued and a trio of classes — Rotax Micro Max and Mini Max and Vortex Mini Rok taking care of the 7 to 13-year old age group and all three counting towards its own WP and ultimately, national championships. Rotax Junior Max now caters for the junior high school age group, while karters 15 years or older are left with the open Rotax Senior Max and Rotax DD2 classes to choose from. The under-8 Cadets continue as the nursery of WP karting and Clubmans remains an excellent grassroots option for the lady or gentleman kart racer.
Battle lines will no doubt be drawn on Saturday, with among the fiercest of rivalries moving up a notch or two in the fastest DD2 gearbox class, where 2018 WP champion Umpie Swart will have more than his fair share of competition aboard his EMR CRG. Not least of all will be Swart’s new no-team-orders teammate, WP Junior Max champion Jason Coetzee, whom Umpie spannered to a most impressive performance in last year’s Rotax Max World Finals in Portugal.
Jason’s old arch rival, SA Junior champion Sebastian Boyd also steps up to DD2 aboard a Boyd Boss freight Kosmic as another major draw card alongside Andrew Rackstraw (CRG) and Masters pair, Gary Lennon, Ernst Viljoen, possibly all mixed in with one of possibility the Cape’s leading international racing stars turning up to sharpen his skills in a kart again and another reigning SA kart champion also in the mix. Should be a humdinger!
Jason Coetzee (Kosmic) should also be the man to beat in Senior Max, where he will have the full attentions of Andrew Rackstraw (CRG) to deal with, while Jade and Storm Lanfear, Ziyaad Ibrahim and Reece Oellerman are all in with a shout.
Junior Max is set to be another key Cape karting battleground, with class regulars Charl Visser (Charl Electric FA Kart), Simon Simpson-Heath (Kosmic) and Kosmic-mounted brother and sister, Storm and Gabi Lanfear likely to be the drivers to beat. They will however have a gang of new youngsters to the class snapping at their heels as the likes of SA Maxterino champion Tate Bishop (TPB Kosmic), WP Mini Max champion Joseph Oelz (FA Kart), Kai van Zyl (Unlimited Auto CRG), Troy Dolinschek (Makita Kosmic), Maxterino refugee Denis Joubert (SAKRA Kosmic and yes, that’s Denis’ grandson and Deon’s lad) and Tristan Galp (SAKRA Kosmic) ready to take it to their more experienced class rivals.
Mini Max for drivers of 12 years old and younger is another class set to thrill with a throng of Cape kids chasing hard for the titles SA and WP left behind by Bishop and Oelz. Expect fraught action between the likes of WP Micro Max champ Joaquin de Oliveira (FA Kart), Kyle Visser (Charl Engineering FA Kart), Seleka Racing brothers Andre (Kosmic) and Kyle le Riche (CRG), Lucas Royston (CRG) and Mikhail Fernandez (SAKRA Kosmic).
The rival under-13 Mini Rok class is another key WP karting battleground, where reigning SA Under-10 Mini Rok champion Kyle Visser will be out to take the overall Cape title this year, but he will first need to defeat a formidable field including the likes of WP Micro Max champion Joaquin de Oliveira (FA Kart), WP Cadet champion Joshua Smit (S&S Kosmic), karting lass Mischa Williams (CRG), upcountry visitor Nikolas Roos (RKT Kosmic) and African Open Micro Max winner Reese Koorzen out to add the SA and WP Mini Rok titles to his pedigree.
SAKRA duo Paul Malcolm (Kosmic) and Conner Rensburg (Top Kart) take on namesake trio, Ethans Deacon (CRG), Stier (Stier/Adrenaln CRG) and Lennon (Kosmic) in under-11 Micro Max. but they first need to deal with another third-generation karting star, Armien’s grandson and Ebrahim’s lightie, Reza Levy (Monstapop CRG) and reigning WP Cadet champion Joshua Smit (S&S Kosmic).
The smallest class in Cape karting, Cadet caters for under-8-year old kids racing on a shortened version of the Killarney Kart track. There the likes of Luan Mostert (AMV/DSD/Donadio), Ian Joubert, Matthew Smit, Eric Norman and Rayan Karriem (OS Outsourcing) will fight it out for king of Cape kindergarten karting honours this year.
Last but not least, the Cape karting Clubmen will see the regulars out to set up their classes for the year ahead by virtue of their individual pace this weekend, but expect action in front between Jody Van Rensburg (Star Security) who narrowly beat Andrew Thomas (Blake Bros.) to the overall and Class A title last year with veterans Mario Ras and Johan Hamman likely major factors this year. Harry Georgiou, Robert Peche, Wayne Abegglen, Charles Matthewson and Terry Watt will be back in action, joined by Michael and Jarred Jordan, Jacques Haasbroek, Wesley Angel and Andre Steenkamp on Saturday.
Racing starts just before noon with three heats per class, there is good food available at the Kart Café in the clubhouse in the pits and you can take it with salt that the racing will be exceptional across the board along with entertaining and informative commentary all in a cool atmosphere in the pits. Find the Killarney Kart Track at the end of the circuit’s southern entrance off Potsdam Road in Milnerton.