|What||Rotax Max Grand Finals SA Team History|
|Where||Sarno, Napoli, Italy|
|When||19-26 October 2019|
Big shoes to fill for SA Max Finals team
With this year’s team set to jet to Italy for this year’s event from 19 to 26 October, South Africa’s leading karters have much to live up to at the Rotax Max Grand Karting Finals. Team SA has a proud history in the twenty years of what is often referred to as the Olympics of Karting, which has crowned a long list of South African world champions over the years.
South African drivers won six Rotax world titles in the first six years of the competition, starting with four Senior Max Grand Finals wins for Gavin Cronje in Puerto Rico in 2000, Claudio Piazza-Musso in Malaysia in 2001 and Mark Cronje, who won it at home in South Africa, when the Grand Finals visited the brand new Zwartkops International Kart Raceway in 2002, before Cristiano Morgado took his first title in Egypt in 2003.
Wesleigh Orr then made it six South African Rotax Max world titles in a row with back-to-back wins in the new DD2 gearbox class in Spain in 2004 and Malaysia in ’05, before Leeroy Poulter won the DD2 Final in Italy in 2008. Caleb Williams took the Rotax DD2 title in Egypt in ’09 and then added a Senior Max title the following year, before Cristiano Morgado raced to a trio of Rotax DD2 Masters titles in the UAE in 2011, in Italy in 2012 and in the US in 2013. Jayden Els became SA’s youngest Rotax Max Grand Champion with the 2016 Mini Max title.
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. So this year’s team once again heads to Sarno in the South of Italy with big shoes to fill, but stacked with Rotax Max Challenge’s latest crop of South African and African Open champions, the lads are set to impress.
The team comprises only national champions and African Open winners, or the next in line in each class, with SA champion Benjamin Habig, Jonathan Thomas and Wayland Wyman entered to race in premier DD2, Brett Brito, Jonathan Pieterse and Nic Verheul will race in DD2 Masters and champion Charl Visser is SA’s Senior Max representative. Aqil Alibhai and Troy Dolinschek will fly the flag in Junior Max, Troy Snyman in Mini Max and Reece Koorzen in Micro Max.
The Rotax Max Grand Finals see the six Rotax Max national class champions from over 80 countries, invited to fight it out to crown the best Max karters in the world in the closest and most competitive possible racing every year. The 360 drivers are provided with identical and brand new ready-to-race karts, engines and all necessary equipment free of charge across the six classes, with the racing then run to global Rotax Max regulations, with only minor set-up changes allowed to ensure a level playing field for all drivers in all classes.
Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge
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