Fireworks Coming to Second National
Vereeniging’s Laserfiche Raceway is gearing up for extreme karting action as the 2018 South African Rotax Max Challenge National Championship heads to the Vaal for its second round Sunday 29 April. It's set to be a thriller too, after a wet first round threw up unexpected results that left several favourites on the back foot, while certain regional rivalries are set to explode onto the national stage after recently passing boiling point.
All the better then, that the flat, fast and challenging Laserfiche Raceway makes for exceptional racing — unlike certain other race series and venues, this combination of wild national karting and a track made for racing is bound to deliver cracking racing this weekend. And while all classes are certain to deliver top drawer action from lights to flag, three classes will bring special interest to Vereeniging — the premier DD2 gearbox and high school Junior Max will once again deliver karting war zones, while under-11 Micro Max takes a significant step up, being declared a full national championship only this past week.
The first round of the DD2 championship proved a clash of the titans at iDube as karting legends Michael Stephen, Arnold Neveling and Cris Morgado made best of their experience to overcome the changeable conditions and they now head to the Vaal keen to maintain their early championship advantage. But that’s not as simple a task as it may seem, with the added attraction of two wild regional spats overflowing to the nationals as Neveling will want to get one back over multiple DD2 champion Bradley Liebenberg following their recent spat at Laserfiche, while Cape youngsters Jurie Swart and Luke Herring are also likely to carry their home tiff up a level.
All of them however have to keep an eye out of a number of hugely competitive rivals, not least of all karting heroine Ivana Cetinich, Durban drivers Benjamin Habig and Daniel Duminy, Cape kids Sebastian Boyd and Jason Coetzee and local rookie Jordan North among them, along with a full grid of other most capable drivers. Stephen and Morgado remain the men to beat in over-30 DD2 Masters too, but never take it for granted that among their elder rivals can’t pull off a major surprise there either.
The testosterone-fraught under-15 Junior Max is another class ready to deliver extreme action, with Jozi lad Jarrod Waberski having made the best of those greasy KZN conditions to head to the Vaal in the championship lead over Cape kid Charl Visser, with Aqil Alibhai, Tate Bishop, Daniele Patrizi and Kwanda Mokoena all right in the game too. Several top Junior drivers however suffered at iDube, so you can expect the likes of Cape chargers Joseph Oelz, Kai van Zijl and Troy Dolinschek; Jayden Els, Leyton Fourie and their Jozi lady rivals Cameron Dias and Tiffany Napier among several others to be hell bent to force their stalled championship charges back on track…
The big news for under-11 Micro Max is that class now carries full South African national championship status — hardly surprising considering it drew an impressive 17 kart entry last time out. Joshua de Paiva has clearly marked himself out as the man to beat there though, with a dominant performance in the opening national and then a good run at the recent Vereeniging regional, but he won’t have it at all his own way either, with a gang of kids including Jozi hometown gang Mohammed Moerat, Muhammad Wally, Luke Hill, Bjorn Bertholdt, Dhiyven Naidoo and Rayn Asmal snapping at his heels, never mind Cape kids Reza Levy, Reese Koorzen and Ethan Stier.
Talking Cape drivers, they appear the kids to beat in under-13 Mini Max, where Mikhail Fernandez leads the chase and Kyle Visser and Joaquin de Oliveira joining the charge from the south. KZN kid Liam de Beer and Jozi gang Joshua de Paiva, Josh le Roux, Reece Fuller, Jordan Brooks, Mathew Morrell, Jayden Goosen, Jagger Robertson and Moosa Kajee are all more than capable of mixing it up front and ready to fight for a win.
Last but not least, KZN karter Jonathan Pieterse leads the Senior Max charge over Cape Town lad Jason Coetzee and Durban SA karting legend Cris Morgado following a tempestuous wet weekend at iDube. Senior is however one class most likely to be turned on its head at the Vaal as a whole gang of drivers look to turn their difficult season starts around. Dominic Lincoln, another Durbanite; local hero Joshua Dias, Wayland Wyman and East London lass Shannon Jackson are all ready to make a difference at Vereeniging…
The Laserfische Raceway is on van Riebeeck Street Vereeniging, next to the Vaal Show Grounds, left off the Boy Louw Street off-ramp heading south on the R59 Vereeniging freeway. Scrumptious food and refreshments are on sale at the clubhouse and entrance is free, so why not make a day of it?