Nationals confirmed, regionals start this weekend!
What Rotax Max Challenge Announcement & Preview
Where South Africa
Community South Africa National
The South African Rotax Max Challenge is set to come out of its Covid corner with all guns blazing as local karting enters a brilliant new era.
And with the national and regional championships back on track, two brilliant brand new world class circuits to race on and record entries for the first post-lockdown regional race meeting at iDube in KwaZulu Natal already this coming weekend, it's now just a matter of lighting that blue touch paper and stepping back five yards...
While Rotax Max has already raced on Benoni’s all-new Formula K circuit in the short pre-lockdown season, there is a wonderful surprise in store with the Zwartkops International Kart Raceway having undergone a R2.1-million transformation through lockdown to not only emerge ready to race, but the Pretoria kart track now also has two unique A and B layouts to add even more variety to the upcountry kart track menu.
But the action starts already this weekend at iDube, where seemingly against all odds, the KZN karting community has welcomed racing back with a record entry for the Camperdown track’s lockdown-busing third round regional championship races as Rotax Max Challenge has also confirmed details of the rest of what promises to be a spectacular rapid-fire hybrid season ahead.
Of course all reigning MSA lockdown protocols will be enforced at times at all events with no spectators allowed, social distancing enforced throughout and face masks worn at all times. Current event lockdown rules limit each kart entered to four pit crew, while drivers briefings will be broadcast on the Rotax Global App and documentation done remotely with no cash payments allowed at the circuit.
The big news and now just subject to MSA ratification, is that the fourteen-heat national championship will start with a four-heat meeting, also at iDube, before a unique double-header on 23 August. That will be followed by three heats each on both of Zwartkops’ new A and B formats, with each running as a separate event in Pretoria on 19 and 20 September, and a four-heat Final at Killarney in Cape Town on 17 October. Ten of the 14 heats will count toward each driver's title tally, so it is now plausible to be champion by racing the Zwartkops double header and either one of Cape Town or iDube.
The nationals will be followed by the Rotax African Open currently pencilled in for 15 November 2020 at the stunning new CIK layout Formula K circuit. The various national and African Open champions still qualify for the so-called Olympics of Karting Rotax Max Grand Finals, which have now been shifted out to 24-29 January 2021 in Portimao, Portugal, to allow all countries to complete their delayed National series.
There will be several initiatives to cut costs in the 2020 SA National Rotax Max Challenge through reduced tyre allocations, while the four-day Zwartkops double-header will be a mini kart fest that is sure to be welcomed by cost-conscious competitors.
Moving on to the various 2020 Rotax Max Challenge Regional Championships, only each driver’s four best regional heats tallied up and divided by four, will go towards their National totals. The various National races will also double up as regional events for the local competitors and that starts this weekend at iDube, which somehow managed to get two rounds in before lockdown.
So this weekend’s action will be the third round of the KZN championship, with a record entry already in place at the time of writing as all the regulars are back along with a pleasing number of new and returning karters. All eyes will obviously be on the top class DD2, where multiple SA Rotax Max world champion Cristiano Morgado is hoping for a bit of better luck to overcome Robert Whiting with Sharad Bantho, Divan Braak and Brent Walden in attendance, while Jonathan Pieterse and Richard Van Heerde can be expected to fight over DD2 Masters.
Brent Walden, Shrien Naidoo and Riley Horner will be the men to beat in Senior Max, while Richard Van Heerde, Shane Foley and Richard Horner are the top dogs in Max 180 Masters. In schoolboy action, it’s a matter of beating Troy Snyman in under-15 Junior Max, which is precisely what Dhivyen Naidoo and Liam de Beer are out to do.
Snyman is also ahead in under-13 Micro Max, where Guido Bidoli will try stop him, while Travis Mingay and Uzair Khan should continue their under-11 Micro Max with Rayn Asmal keen to beat them both. Harry Rowe was top kid in baby Bambino last time out with Rafael da Silva and Kian Snyman among those out to stop him this weekend.
Remember, no spectators are allowed, so watch this space for results and info this weekend and going forward as Rotax Max karting blasts back into flat out action. Bring it on!
Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge
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