The penultimate round of the 2021 ROK Cup National Championship was hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Kart Club on June 25-26 where competitors put on an entertaining display of racing around the iDube Raceway in Camperdown.
KZ2’S Fabienne Lanz was back to winning ways while Dhivyen Naidoo surprised all as he took the overall spoils in OKJ. Mini ROK once again put on a karting extravaganza with Squadra Corse drivers dominating the results, while Kid ROK’s Jack Moore cashed in another winner’s cheque, his third of the season. The battle for the Bambino title hotted up as Santiago Frade took the overall result and put his name in the hat for national championship honours.
Defending KZ2 champion, Fabienne Lanz, picked up exactly where she left off at the iDube circuit in 2020 by taking pole position on Friday afternoon. While Lanz fended off the challenges of several drivers, including both home town favourites, Scott Falconer and Shrien Naidoo, she finished the day on top after claiming two victories and a second-place finish. Naidoo was the only other winner on the day, taking his maiden win in the class. A second place in the final heat would see Naidoo finish second overall ahead of Falconer who claimed a double-podium from his three heats. Josh Coertze, the championship leader heading into iDube, finished fourth overall following a challenging weekend for the Gqeberha youngster. Round 1 pole-sitter, Keagan Masters, finished fifth overall, followed by Roman De Beer and Bjorn Roos.
Local driver Dhivyen Naidoo was the surprise overall winner on Saturday ahead of championship leader Nikolas Roos. Roos, who has dominated the class all season, started from pole for the opening heat but soon found himself in the tyre barrier on Lap 1 following contact between himself and Troy Snyman. A red flag resulting from another incident several laps later would see Roos back out on track for the restart albeit seven laps back. Despite Snyman taking the chequered flag in first place, the KZN driver was disqualified from the race result with Naidoo taking the victory. Snyman would bounce back by winning the remaining two heats ahead of Roos and KC Ensor-Smith. Ensor-Smith would be classified in third overall ahead of Lwandle Pule, who scored his maiden class podium in Heat 1. Uzair Khan finished fifth overall on debut with Tyler Robinson sixth, claiming a personal best finish of second in Heat 1. Jayden Goosen finished seventh overall ahead of Taya van der Laan and Troy Snyman.
Luviwe Sambudla took a second consecutive overall win in the 2021 Mini ROK Championship with a near whitewash of the class. Sambudla took pole and two of the three wins on offer. Fellow Squadra Corse driver, Ntiyiso Mabunda, took the only other victory on the day.
The opening heat would see an in-form Sambudla break away and open up a comfortable lead over the rest of the field, only to lose the race on the final lap to Ntiyiso Mabunda by one hundredth-of-a-second. Behind them, a battle for the final podium position developed between Caleb Cotterel, Wian Boshoff, Sebastian Dias and Mahlori Mabunda. Dias and Mahlori Mabunda would benefit from contact between Cotterel and Boshoff in the final turn. Berlin Robinson went on to take the win in Mini ROK U/10.
Heat 2 would see a horrific crash after contact between the leading duo of Boshoff and Ntiyiso Mabunda with Ntiyiso Mabunda able to walk away despite being heavily winded. A red flag would see the race halted while medical staff attended to the driver. After the restart, a frantic battle for the lead ensued between Boshoff, Dias, Mahlori Mabunda and Sambudla with Boshoff eventually retiring on Lap 2 with an electrical fault. That left the remaining three to duel it out for the next 10 laps. Sambudla managed to stay ahead but Dias passed Mahlori Mabunda on the final lap to secure second. Further back Josh Moore took a well-deserved fourth ahead of Mini ROK U/10 heat winner and championship leader, Mattao Mason who claimed fifth.
The final heat would see Dias, arguably the surprise package of the weekend, start on pole ahead of Mahlori Mabunda, Cotterel and Sambudla. Sambudla, however, took the early lead before a red flag again brought an end to the race. The restart would see Moore join the leading quartet with the five drivers running bumper-to-bumper. Contact between Moore and Cotterell would see Cotterel drop to the back of the field. When the chequered flag came out, it was Sambudla who edged out Mahlori Mabunda and Dias. Moore scored an impressive fourth with Boshoff making up eight places to finish fifth. Robinson took sixth and the spoils in Mini ROK U/10.
The overall results saw Sambudla on the top step alongside Dias in second and Mahlori Mabunda in third. Moore placed fourth ahead of Mini ROK U/10 overall winner, Berlin Robinson.
Jack Moore continued his dominance of the Kid ROK class by taking a hat trick of wins (and his third first-placed cheque of R3500) ahead of Rafael da Silva who finished as runner up during every heat. While Da Silva took pole, it was the younger of the two Gqeberha-born brothers that would benefit from some strong starts and consistent race pace. Capetonian Kai van Rensburg challenged for the podium placings throughout the weekend, scoring two thirds and a fourth place. The only other driver to score a podium was Troy van der Laan who placed fourth overall ahead of Maddox Mason in fifth, Aaron Mason in sixth, Ewan Venter in seventh and Max Boshoff in eighth.
In only the second round of their championship, the three Bambino heats were a nail-biting affair between mostly two drivers, Michael Danks and Santiago Frade. The pairing would challenge for the win in every race with Frade eventually coming out ahead with two wins to Danks’ one. Pole sitter Rafael de Sousa drove valiantly to score two podiums with Kayde Cornofksy taking the last podium available. Andoni Pinto slowly improved his pace over the weekend and showed much promise along with rookie Zac Boshoff. Overall results saw Frade take first, Danks take second and De Sousa take third. Cornofsky finished in fourth overall ahead of Pinto and Boshoff.
The promoters of the event would like to thank the KZN Kart Club for their hospitality, along with all the officials, medical staff, media and marshals that made this event such a huge success. They furthermore extend their congratulations to all the winners and thank everyone who participated. They further urge everyone to stay safe during these perilous times and hope to see you all at the final round soon. Details regarding the date and venue will be distributed at a later stage.
Published by: Raymond Cornwell
Picture Caption: Jack Moore – Kid ROK
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