Surprise second round Rotax Max Nationals set to stun Pretoria

The second round South African Rotax Max National karting meeting descends on the Zwartkops International Kart Track Saturday 4 May. Originally scheduled to race at iDube in KwaZulu Natal, the venue was changed at the last minute due to licensing challenges at the Camperdown venue.

All of which means that Zwartkops’ Gauteng home boys will be wringing their wrist in joy – it is they who after all hold that local advantage. The KZN lads will still want revenge however, and the Cape karters are competitive wherever they race. So light that blue touch paper and take five paces back. This is going to be war! 

There is of course also the matter that the champions in each class will earn a seat in the South African team at the Rotax Max ‘Olympics of Karting’ Grand Finals in Italy in October. So it’s certainly all to play for. The champions will join last month’s Killarney African Open winners in Italy, so second place is just as important, should the African champions also take any of the titles.

So, with that in mind, it’s all eyes on Zwartkops, rather than iDube this weekend. SA DD2 champion Seb Boyd has already booked his seat to Italy. So that premier league action will see a battle between last weekend’s Vereeniging winner Jason Coetzee from Cape Town (don’t ask!), his regular rivals back home Joseph Oelz, Matthew Wadeley and Ethan Stier, and multiple champion Brad Liebenberg and his local compatriots Nicolaos Vostanis, Karabo Malemlela, Olerato Sekudu, Dusan Radojevic, and Jaden Jacobs. 

Cape drivers also dominated DD2 Masters at their home National. But it was Jozi driver Bjorn Roos who stole the African crown and the trip to Italy. Which now leaves Jared and Michael Jordan, Conor Hughes, Cristian Bouché, and Roy Gruer to fight it out on foreign ground, with Jonathan Pieterse and Grant Veenstra and Roos.

Cape Town ace Charl Michael Visser has his Grand Finals ticket in his back pocket. But that last National was one to remember. Luca Wehrli took three third places to steal a surprise overall win at Killarney from Jonno Wilson and Tate Bishop on a monster 22 kart grid. Visser will also want to win at Zwartkops, but then so will local lad Muhammad Wally, Joshua Smit, Mikel Bezuidenhout, Mauro Da Luz, Roshaan Goodman and Storm Lanfear. Expect fireworks there too. 

Home boy William Marshall was the form lad at Killarney, where he took a double Open and National Junior Max win. That leaves compatriot William Marshall, Keagan Beaumont, Jordon Wadeley and Reese Koorzen to fight it out in the high school class. They must first however overcome Jozi schoolgirl karting stars, Georgia Lenaerts and Gianna Pascoal, Gauteng guys Jack Moore, Kegan Martin, and of course Marshall.

Aaryan Singh came out of nowhere to dominate the Cape Town under-13 Mini Max weekend. But will the Dubai secret weapon be back at Zwartkops, now that he’s already off to Italy in October? Rest assured that Mini regulars, Tshepang Shisinwana, Durelle Goodman, Max Boshoff, Michael Danks, Ruan Lewis, Ronaldo Koen, Rafael de Sousa, Brodi Dowling and Ruvan Maritz will want Zwartkops redemption. More kart warfare indeed!

African Open winner Michael O'Mahoney appears to be the kid to beat in under-11 Micro Max. But Liam Wharton, Matthew Shuttleworth, Jayden van der Merwe, and Adriaan Steyn will no doubt be baying for his blood. Add Slater Smith, Ruhan Victor, Luke du Toit to the mix, and it’s all to play for there too.

Cape kids dominated the baby Bambino races last time out, so will Radhi Harris,  Yaqeen Gamieldien, Caleb Lingeveldt and Ebrahim Khalpey be able to stretch their advantage upcountry? Alonzo De Oliveira, Sebastien Shuttleworth, Aston Verheul, and Caleb Rogers are among the locals and elsewhere out of town youngsters intent to stem that charge.

All of which makes Zwartkops a surprise attraction for Gauteng race fans when the reschedule Rotax Max National comes to Pretoria instead of Pietermaritzburg on Saturday 4 May. With practice action Thursday and Friday, before qualifying that afternoon and dawn to dusk kart wars to follow, Saturday seems a pretty awesome day of entertainment. Diarise it now!


Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge

What:Rotax Max Nationals 3 Preview
Where:Zwartkops International Kart Raceway, Pretoria
When:Saturday 4 May 2024
Community:South Africa National

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