Reflecting on a particularly successful year in 2018: we saw all the countries’ top kart racers competing for the 5 full-on MSA National Championship titles. Ultra-competitive and healthy numbers fought it out for the all-important invitations to compete in Brazil at the 19th running of Rotax Max Grand Finals – the Olympics of karting.
South Africa has a proud history of success in RMCGF events and we trust that this year’s team will bring back some silverware.
The premier DD2 Gearbox class has grown significantly with 32 karts on the grid at the iDube round signalling that it is time to separate DD2 and Masters - see details below.
The Rotax African Open event at Zwartkops saw competitors from as far afield as the UAE and our neighbouring African countries fighting over the all-important RMCGF Invitations. Large highly competitive fields were the order of the day with more than 20 karts each in Junior Max and DD2 classes. The youngsters in Micro Max showed the world how it is done when five of them tried to cross the finish line at the same time!
Tighter control over technical matters and post-race checking has been well received and we have seen the most amazing races and look forward to greater things in 2019.
The achievements over two decades of EMR Rotax and the associated clubs/race organizers, dealers and teams are significant but as a team we have looked closely at what detailed changes will grow the participation and enjoyment in SA National events from 100 competitors per event to a targeted 120 in 2019 so this is what the team has come up with:
- Broaden the appeal to both the very young and the older and heavier competitors.
Club racing in our view is for guys that have no ambitions of doing Nationals and as a place for beginners to hone their skills. By providing a new and serious National BAMBINO class for young kids and similarly MAX 175 for the heavier or older competitors, we believe that National racing will grow while club racing should also benefit - by attracting the serious competitors away from Clubmans and leaving this class for “clubbies” using older equipment and for beginners. We also aim to attract past competitors back to karting who are either too heavy or more mature and not wanting to knock heads with a teenager any longer.
- BAMBINO CLASS:
Formerly known as Cadet, the class has enjoyed a technical makeover - developed in 2017 and tested with great results in 2018.
- Providing a National Championship will help grow this very important introductory class for youngsters and exists in all regions, so large fields are anticipated at Nationals.
- The improved C50 engine spec. has resolved the reliability and parity issues and this has proved its worth in 2018. Close, affordable racing amongst the experienced kids is the order of the day.
- NB there is no change to engine (as malicious rumours suggest) and the exact same Comer C50 will be used in 2019
- Age: from the year of the 5th birthday for club racing and we recommend from the year of the 6th to the end of the 9th birthday for National Championship events. Larger kids will move to Micro Max when they are ready while the smaller ones can now enjoy an extra season at National level in a BAMBINO without being pressured out of the class by age.
- Only sealed engines (EMR approved Bambino Service Centres) will be allowed. Safeguards to ensure economical and close racing will include an engine buy-out/buy back system where any competitor can buy the winning compettitors motor as raced directly off the kart at the end of the race day for R 15 000 including VAT - details will be published shortly.
- Big Prize: While the winner gets National accolades EMR will offer a complete, new BAMBINO kart OR a Rotax Micro Max engine to the winner of a RAFFLE at the final round of the championship wherein the names of all drivers that competed in at least 2 club/regional rounds and 2 of the SARMC National Rounds will be drawn from a hat. So, not all the emphasis will be on winning – being part of the SARMC is what counts!
- Low entry costs: BAMBINO class will enjoy reduced entry fees in 2019 and one set of Mojo C2 tyres should see you through the whole season!
BAMBINO remains the formula of choice world-wide for this age group. It uses the appropriately sized chassis at 77cm wheel base, sensible all up weight at 70kg and with less than 3 bhp it is the safe and affordable choice for these very young children
- The very popular Micro MAX, Mini MAX, Junior MAX, Senior MAX and DD2 gearbox classes all remain unchanged (same weights and ages as 2018) and all continue to enjoy National Championship status in 2019 and RMCGF tickets for National Championship winners.
- New MAX 175 class (Heavy Senior Max Class): this will become a stand-alone National Championship class and will cater for serious but heavier (average South African male competitors 85kg in his shorts and over the age of 16 as well as older over 32 years old – any weight) competitors. MAX 175 uses the exact same engines and tyres used by Senior MAX and Clubmans but at 175 kg.
- Local club/regional championship classes - for example KZN’s Max 180 or WPMC Clubman’s - will get off to flying start in Max 175 in 2019 while leaving the Clubman’s class for the less serious competitors using older equipment.
- MAX 175 National Championship will have a ticket to the 2019 RMCGF for the first driver over 32 years of age (NB: this will be a DD2 Masters seat and run at the international weight limit)
- This class is expected to enjoy a lot of local support at National events, so rapid growth is expected.
- DD2 class weight will be reduced by 2 kg to 174 kg and remain the same in all other respects. The SA Champion will receive an invite to the 2019 RMCGF
- DD2 Masters: we recognize the need to cater for typical 85 kg South African competitors and older - over 32 years old competitors as importantly they to have the desire to see the chequered flag first.
- DD2 Masters will become a stand-alone class at Nationals in 2019 and will enjoy far greater local support at Nationals as well.
- The minimum weight of DD2 Masters class will be increased to 180kg
- Younger drivers (over 16 years old) weighing more than 85kg in their shorts will be allowed in the DD2 Masters class
- Regional Championships can agree to run a compromise weight if DD2 and DD2 Masters if they wish to run together
- DD2 Masters’ highest placed driver over 32 years of age will win a ticket to compete in the 2019 RMCGF
The SARMC Series 2019 will start in Cape Town, followed by Port Elizabeth, iDube and the final at Zwartkops. The African Open will be in Vereeniging for the first time! The dates are in the process of being finalised with MSA and will be published shortly.
To ensure stability in the SARMC series, the 2019 regulations will see only the new National classes added and for the rest the 2019 regulations will be the same as the 2018 regulations. Please note:
- the ages will NOT change in any classes other than BAMBINO where the top age moves back to the end of the year of the 9th birthday
- contrary to rumours there is NOT a new engine for BAMBINO in 2019 - the same COMER C50 as currently raced in SA is what will be used for 2019 and the foreseeable future.
- the circuit closure – two weeks prior to a National - will stay in place for the SARMC series.
Thank you for your support in 2018 and happy MAXXING in 2019