WhatRotax Max African Open Report
WhereFormula K Kart Track, Benoni
WhenSunday 15 November 2020

Snyman, Thompson, Liebenberg & Beaumont top dramatic African Open

South Africa’s Rotax Max team for the ‘Olympics of Karting’ Grand Final in Portimao, Portugal from 23 to 30 January, is all but set following a dramatic day of African Open Action at Benoni’s Formula K Raceway on Sunday. Troy Snyman, Delon Thompson, Bradley Liebenberg, Keagan Beaumont each won their class and the wildcard open. They will now join Sebastian Boyd, Robert Whiting, Nic Verheul, Caleb Odendaal, Ghazi Motlekar, Muhammed Wally and Tate Bishop in Portugal. 

The star of the day was Troy Snyman, who scored an historic double at the Benoni African Open. The youngster won both qualifying heats before storming to take under-15 Junior Max final by over a second. Muhammad Wally fought back from the back of the grid after not racing the heats to beat Tyler Robinson to third. Kian Grottis was fourth from Ethan Stier, Olertao Seduko and Matthew Wadeley. Snyman and Wally will represent South Africa in the Junior Max Grand Finals.

Snyman then did the double as he fought off an early attack from Cape lad Joaquin de Oliveira before clearing off to win the under-13 Mini Max African Open. Ghazi Motlekar took care of de Oliveira to come in second as Luviwe Sambudla ended fourth from Erich Heystek and Mahlori Mabunda. Snyman and Motlekar, who has already secured his Grand Final seat in the SA team by winning the SA championship, won a qualifying heat apiece in the build-up.

There was high drama in Senior Max. Wildcard Delon Thompson won the final to steal the second Grand Final seat alongside Tate Bishop, who ended second on the day ahead of Riley Horner on Thompson’s karting return. The trouble started when heat 2 winner and another comeback kid, Kohen Bam made a move on first heat winner Aqil Alibhai for the lead of the final. Bam was eliminated and Alibhai limped home fifth ahead of Kwanda Mokoena on his return and Daniela Marzoppi.

In another dramatic finish, Keagan Beaumont came out on top of a last lap tussle with Spice Mailula and Mohammed Moerat to take the first under-11 Micro Max seat in the SA Grand Final team. An MSA court will now decide which of Mailula and Moerat will join Beaumont and SA champion Caleb Odendaal in Portugal in January following that last lap shake-out. Wian Boshoff ended fourth in that final from Jordon Wadeley and Joshua Moore.

Bradley Liebenberg was unbeaten on the day en route to claiming yet another premier class DD2 seat for the Grand Finals alongside SA DD2 champion Sebastian Boyd. Brad left Justin Allison, Jamie Smith, Robert Whiting, Nicholas Verheul and Eugene Brittz watching as he stormed to victory by over three seconds. Jonathan Pieterse took the Masters win from Carlo Gil and Philippe Chapat. SA DD2 champion Verheul will take the Masters seat in Portugal.

Jack Moore took a comfortable baby class African Open Bambino win from Mattao Mason, Muziwakhe Thekiso, Caleb Moss, Kai van Rensburg and Crisitian Verheul. 

Sunday’s African Open was preceded by the entertaining penultimate round of the Rotax Max Northern Regions championship on Saturday. Bradley Liebenberg, Robert Whiting and Nicholas Verheul shared out the DD2 wins as Liebenberg took the day from Whiting, Jamie Smith, Verheul, Justin Allison and Masters winner Jonathan Pieterse.

Aqil Alibhai trotted out three Senior Max wins over Delon Thompson. Tate Bishop, Kwanda Mokoena, Riley Horner, Daniela Marzoppi and Kohen Bam were next up. Troy Snyman served notice to his African Open intentions with a dominant three-win show in Junior Max. Muhammad Wally was second from Tyler Robinson, Kian Grottis, Olerato Seduku and Ethan Stier. 

Troy Snyman also took Mini Max honours from Erich Heystek, Luviwe Sambudla, Joaquin de Oliveira, Berlin Robinson and Mahlori Mabunda after Ghazi Motlekar won the opening heat but was out underweight in the second. Keagan Beaumont, Spice Mailula and Wian Boshoff shared the Mini Max wins. They finished in that order overall from Kegan Martin, Jordon Wadeley and Joshua Moore.

Caleb Moss beat Manelisi Nkomo two races to one to take Bambino for the day ahead of Mattao Mason, Matthew Shuttleworth, Jack Moore, Muziwakhe Thekiso and Kai van Rensburg. In other action, Carlo Olivier beat Brandon Smith and Anton Pommersheim to take the day in FKR Shifters, while Jaco Nel edged Rob Bakewell in FKR Masters. Llewellyn Sutherland and Avinesh Francis topped Clubmans and Chad Francis beat Michael Hawcroft to the Clubmans Vets win.

The Rotax Max Northern Regions season wraps up at Zwartkops on 5 December.


Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge

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