Motorsport South Africa will not hamper its competitors racing under WOMZA umbrella
Following our report on Rotax Max Challenge karting’s shock decision to move across from national controlling body Motorsport South Africa to World of Motorsport South Africa on Monday, MSA contacted Auto to put its side in the decision.
MSA sporting head Vic Maharaj explained that despite the body’s best efforts to find a positive way forward, the split followed MSA’s attempts to remedy the toxic environment in karting. Eternal backroom politics and motorsport legalese between competitors, their parents, race organisers and the like have blighted the sport. Often wholly unnecessary karting legal matters have taken much of MSA’s valuable time of resources of late and the body sought to find a better way.
DID THE WORKING GROUP WORK?
MSA established a Karting Working Group last year headed by stalwart Richard Schilling with MSA Kart Commission head Dick Shuttle, competitor rep Fayaaz Alibhai, legal advisor Hector North and Maharaj charged to find a better way. In spite of the challenges of lockdown, the Working Group met 28 times, with occasional input from Rotax Max boss Ed Murray and also former rival Rok karting head Etienne Roos. The Rok franchise has subsequently changed hands.
There were many concerns from Rotax, most of which were resolved after the Group took heed of the series’ concerns. MSA expected to move forward after all except one of Murray’s concerns were addressed. The Rotax boss remained unhappy about having to share national championship meetings with rival promoters and MSA believes that this concern was the core of the Rotax decision to jump ship.
COST SAVING AT THE CORE
MSA had floated the combined National plan in an effort to save costs at all levels. The Working Group felt that a four-national season with all karting classes, rather than a split eight-race situation as it has been for some years, would save costs for competitors, teams, promotors and race organisers alike.
Maharaj admitted MSA’s regret at the Rotax decision but added that MSA-affiliated Rotax competitors would not be affected. He however stressed that MSA retains the rights to award South African National Motorsport Colours and the body remains the official CIK and FIA affiliated association in South Africa.
Maharaj went on to confirm that MSA would not turn away or hinder any Rotax Max competitors, officials or teams. He also confirmed that MSA would welcome Rotax Max classes that ran within MSA sanctioned events. Competitors are also free to be licensed to both bodies.
ROTAX GOES ITS OWN WAY
The Rotax Max Challenge will however now run independently from MSA under the WOMZA umbrella. MSA has however assured that affiliation with WOMZA and Rotax Max, will not hamper any competitor or other parties’ relationship with Motorsport South Africa.