ROTAX MAX NR KART REPORT – Kart legend on form in Gauteng Rotax races
The third round of the Rotax Max Northern Regions Karting Championship drew an encouraging 81 entries to Zwartkops on Saturday, bolstered by several out of town drivers up to prepare for the big Double Header National at the Pretoria circuit in two weeks time. It was however the ‘Doctor’ of local karting, 41-year old Cristiano Morgado who stole the headlines.
Cristiano dominated the premier direct drive gearbox Rotax Max DD2 races, taking all three heats en route to overall honours for the day. Behind him, KZN interloper Robert Whiting beat Jamie Smith two second places to one, to stand on the second step of the podium. Ian Allnutt fought off Wayland Wyman for fourth, ahead of Nicolas Spanoyannis, Niko Zafiris and Divan Braak.
Just as dominant on the day, Nicholas Verheul turned in lap times to match the regular DD2 pace in spite of the penalty of racing in the heavier class for older drivers, as he strutted to a trio of Masters wins over Eugene Brittz and Marouan Selmi each time. Philippe Chapat beat Alistair Mingay to a close fourth, from Tinahe Ncube and Tiago Clemente and Carlo Gil.
In the traditional chain drive classes, Senior Max delivered a cracking show with three winners in three races. Shrien Naidoo did best in the other two heats to take the overall win from race 1 winner Dane van Heerde and Senior debutant, Aqil Alibhai. Aqil stepped up from Junior Max when he returned too heavy for the class following a growth spurt during lockdown.
Cape lad Kai van Zyl ended fourth for the day from Jack Rowe, Tyrone Sterne, Kgalema Mngadi, Hamza Jassat and Wayland Wyman, who fought back with a couple of seconds after losing his first heat result.
Muhammad Wally was another to dominate in under-15 Junior Max as he delivered a trio of heat wins. Tyler Robinson emerged a delighted second after a close fight with Kian Grottis, Nikolas Roos, who had a couple of seconds each side of a retirement, and Juandre Nel. Olerato Sekudu and Luc Williams were next up after out of town lads Jason Macbeath and Dhivyen Naidoo both had troubled days.
Ghazi Motlekar and Troy Snyman fought it out for under-13 Mini Max, winning a race apiece in the opening heats. Snyman was sidelined by an axle infringement in the final to leave Motlekar to take the day from KC Ensor-Smith, Erich Heystek, Lwandle Pule and Luviwe Sambudla. Berlin Robinson was next up from Mahlori Mabunda and Kgabang Mngadi.
Mohammed Moerat was unstoppable in under-11 Micro Max, where the real race for second was settled in Reagile Mailula’s favour, by a hair’s breadth from Caleb Odendaal and Ntiyiso Mabunda. Travis Mingay ended up fifth for the day from Taylin Patel, Owen Williams, Kegan Martin and troubled duo, Hriday Pooren and Enzo Rujugiro.
The baby Bambinos were spectacular as always, punctuated a rowdy following as the future of SA motorsport fought it out. The on form Mattao Mason took all three heats and the day ahead of a tight fight between Muziwakhe Thekiso, Caleb Moss, Rafael Da Silva and Manelisi Nkomo. Maddox Mason was sixth from Ruald Hartzenberg, Cristian Verheul, Harry Rowe and Shayaan Mohamed.
Gimme that engine!
In a most intriguing twist and a Bambino first, the winner’s engine was claimed by a rival as is allowed in the rules, subject to a R15K fee…
Last but not least, Erwin Sterne took Max Masters Clubmans honours from Robert Fulton, Clubmans winner Avinesh Francis, Kurt Schultz, Lionel Black and Michael Hawcroft.
It is now all eyes on the big Rotax Max National Double Header at Zwartkops in Pretoria in two weeks time, where like the past weekends, the weekend is expected to be run without spectators and to all lockdown and social distancing protocols.