2002 SOUTH AFRICAN KARTING CHAMPIONSHIPS – POULTER AND BRIGGS BRING HOME THE BACON

Poulter was favourite for the title, and has been the 125 pace setter all year, apart from the second round at iDube in July where he was upstaged by Pretoria youngster Marc Murray. As the Mercedes-Benz junior karting team mentor, Poulter (22) is a vastly experienced karter with countless titles to his name. He drew on all his experience to avoid a first-corner whoopsie in race three that claimed two other front-runners, Michael Stephen from Port Elizabeth and the ever-improving Murray. Showing maturity beyond his 15 years, the schoolboy started from near the back of the grid in the final race to place second after a demon start. Two runner-up places in the other two races were enough to ensure second place for Murray in 125 GP, in his Ed Murray Racing CRG. Murray finished ahead of another talented youngster, Jimmy Auby in his Tony's Logistics Birel.

Vorton Racing team captain Robert Briggs was dominant in the Super races to claim next year's Number One Plate with his Tony Kart Vortex. Second and third on the points log, following a season-long battle for supremacy, were Wesleigh Orr (Kart Shoppe Birel) and KZN ace Guy Botterill (Intramech Tony Kart).

The season's toughest Championship war was waged in the 100 Stock Class for drivers between the ages of 12 and 16 years - and is not over. Following Saturday's twelfth - and final - race of the year, Jonathan Vilaca (Red Bull Arrows/PCR) and Wiaan Swart (Hydrenco Birel/PCR) were tied at the top of the Championship log. Following protests regarding robust driving tactics the outcome of the title chase is to be decided in a Motorsport South Africa hearing.

With a total of 31 entries, the 60cc GP Junior category for drivers between the ages of 8 and 12 years was an extremely close affair all year. Following three hard-fought victories this weekend, the title finally went to the Mercedes-Benz Junior Team's Henry Steele in his Allkart Comer. Second and third in the Championship, driving identical Mercedes-Benz Junior Team machines, were Trent Williams and lady racer Tasmin Pepper.

The Formula 100 Class for veteran drivers enjoyed national status for the last time this year. Thus, 2002 winner George Barkhuizen (Dats Arrow PCR) will retain the title as current F100 South African Champion for ever. The year's two runners-up in the class were Dale Garvie (Indo Tony Kart Yamaha) and Tavis Basing (Mac Racetech Kosmic Yamaha).


A marshal helps an unlucky competitor to move his broken kart off the circuit


Marc Murray (125GP)
 


MERCEDES-Benz Junior Team captain Leeroy Poulter clinched the 2002 South African Class 125 GP Karting Championship at the Vereeniging Action Karting Raceway with his Tony Kart on Saturday


Rob Bakewell (front)


Henry Steele (Mercedes-Benz Junior Team Allkart Comer) won the 2002 South African GP Junior Karting Championship at the Vereeniging Action Karting Raceway on Saturday


(Above & Below)
George Barkhuizen (DATS Arrow PCR) won the 2002 South African F100 Karting Championship at the Vereeniging Action Karting Raceway on Saturday


ROBERT Briggs won this year's South African Class 100 Super Karting Championship with his Vorton Tony Kart at the Vereeniging Action Karting Raceway on Saturday


George Barkhuizen


Photo above courtesy of
Steve Wicks
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