Hot, Hot, Hot! The pressure was on in the 8th and final round of the 2018 KZN Regional and Club Championships with double points up for grabs, the pace was hot and it was a super hot Spring day with 35 degree temperatures. The line-up was great, and the Motards added spice to the race day.
Troy Snyman continued in his quest to clinch both the Regional and Club Championship by putting in a sterling effort taking three wins on the day after qualifying on pole. Snyman has matured as a driver throughout the National Series as well, and has a bright future ahead of him. Snyman bagged 90 points on the day, and once the drops for the season are applied, he had a comfortable lead over Dhivyen Naidoo. Naidoo has had an exceptionally good season as well, and was always ready to ounce when there was opportunity and notched up valuable points during the season by taking a few overall wins. Uzair Khan and Travis Mingay have both had very consistent runs throughout the year, gaining valuable experience with every race day, resulting in a mere 12 point difference at the end of the season – Khan clinching 3rd overall and Mingay 4th. Mingay qualified 2nd and this is a great way to end the year boosting his confidence for 2019. Ross Wuite finished 5th and Keira Naidoo in 6th. Another young lady – Holly Pieterse – had good results when she raced, but unfortunately did not do all the events dropping her slightly down the leader board.
The Max 180 Challenge saw overall honours go to Richard van Heerde who succeeded in defending his KZN title and clinched the Club Championship with two wins and a 2nd place in the double points event. Second only 16 points back was Clinton Gauld. Third place in the KZN Championship was clinched by Mohammed Bhabha, who unfortunately had a nose cone infringement and received a 5 second penalty and dropped him down the results. He only beat Richard Horner by 4 points in the Club Championship once the drops were taken into account. James Steward finished in 5th in both championships, with Allan John Rice, Alan Johnston, Beverly van Heerde, Dean Rice and Eric Marzoppi making up the top ten. Hats off – or helmets off – to Stan Whiting who double duty yet again, in the spirit of racing for for the day. Stan competed in the Max Challenge as well as in the DD2 Masters class. Andre Horareau also found himself being penalised for being underweight, and started the final heat of the day at the back of the grid. Everyone is trying to get into shape and have Summer bodies, but this was a bit of a disappointment for Andre who, otherwise had a great day.
Newly crowned SA Senior Max Champion Dominic Lincoln was denied a clean sweep of wins as a determined Shrien Naidoo put his head down and stuck to his lines in the final heat of the day, a little side pod bashing which caused Lincoln to spin onto the grass. In the end it was a hat trick for Lincoln as he added the KZN title and Club title to his SA title. Pieterse was second in both the championships followed by Shrien Naidoo in 3rd. Brent Walden has had a steady run during the season, and finished 4th with Riley Horner in 5th and Robert Whiting in 6th. Rob has also been doing some double duty for part of the season – all signs of good sportsmanship. The Junior Max competitors, Andrew Bremner and Nicolas Wuite who run with the Senior Max class, finished 1st and 2nd respectively, and we hope to see this class grow in 2019 giving them full KZN Regional Status.
Benjamin Habig clinched the KZN DD2 Championship with three heat wins ahead of Rob Whiting who has been snapping at his heels all season, always ready to put up a strong challenge and maximise on the slightest opportunity. Once the drops came into play, Habig had done enough to defend his KZN title for the third consecutive year by a convincing margin, but Whiting took the Club Championship as Habig had to skip an event for a quick trip to Brazil where the Grand Finals will be held in two weeks’ time. These two 2nd year TUKS students have competed on Regional, Club and National level and managing to participate in this premier class and is testimony to their love and commitment to the sport. Going into the final round Bantho and Shane Foley was only separated by two points, but once again when the final scoring was done, Sharad finished 3rd overall in the Club Championship, but it was Foley who took the 3rd place in the KZN Championship. Ryan Wilde clinched the 5th spot, followed by Cody Sherrat, Devon Clarke and Daniel Duminy and Riaz Bhabha.
Competition amongst the DD2 Masters drivers was rife this year, and Jonathan Pieterse managed to defend his KZN title ahead of Cristiano Morgado followed by Alister Mingay. Once again scoring changed with the drops for the season, and it was Alister who clinched 2nd overall in the Club Championship, dropping Morgado to 3rd for the season. Mohammed Bhabha finished in 4th spot with Simon Wilde taking the 5th position despite not competing the whole season.
The Motards are fast becoming a firm favourite at the KZN Karting Club events, and we look forward to growing this code of motorsport at the Club. Karl Etzel, younger brother of Hein Etzel, was victor of the day, he qualified ahead of Big Brother and went on to not only out qualify Hein, but took a hat trick of citories. Marc Nel finished 3rd for the day, Brett Sharp 4th, Craig Dunnington 5th and Logan Pieterse 6th. But as we love the Motards, the group has brought with them some new dynamics, and the Kart bug has bitten. We will see all the whole Etzel family compete in the 4 stroke event next Sunday as well as Marc Nel. We hope that once they have experienced this different type of adrenaline they will be enticed to also participate in karting. We may have a future champion or two waiting in the wings.
As the sun set on the picturesque Idube track for the 2018 karting championships a little colour was added to the festivities at the prizegiving. Three of the KZN Kart Club members form part of Team SA who will be participating at the Rotax Grand Finals in Brazil. Club Honours was awarded to Benjamin Habig (DD2), Cristiano Morgado (DD2 Masters) and Dominic Lincoln (Senior Max) for their achievements. Morgado is a multiple World Champion; this will be Habig’s 3rd participation at the Rotax Grand Finals, and Lincoln will have his first taste of international competition.
With many of the competitors in exam mode, the braai after the event was a small but vibrant event, and the social side of the club is just as important as the competitive side. With this in mind, we hope that these social functions will become more popular with our families especially at the beginning of the year when our newer members need encouragement on the track and an opportunity to see the flip side of karting – competitors on the track, and camaraderie, fun and friendship off the track.
The Club’s Fun Day and AGM will be held on Saturday 8 December, and that’s exactly what it will be – a FUN DAY. Bring a long a friend and let them experience the excitement of just taking a kart around the track. This is an outing for the whole family and our Karting Community’s bigger circle of friends.
Details of this event will follow shortly on the KZN Facebook Page.