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Action all the way in spectacular dry and wet season opener

What    Rotax Max Challenge MSA National Karting Round 1 Report
Where    iDube Kart Raceway, Camperdown, KZN
When    Saturday 4 March 2023
Community    South Africa National

The 2023 MSA South African National Rotax Max Challenge Karting championship kicked off with spectacle, drama and racing of the finest order at the undulating, fast, and challenging iDube in the KwaZulu Natal Midlands on Saturday. Changing dry and wet conditions, multiple winners and the regular electric atmosphere highlighted a great day of racing.

Senior Max was the race of the day as a broadly interprovincial 22-kart grid fought it out through three wild heats. Local lad Troy Snyman took the early race 1 advantage from pole man, Cape lad Charl Visser, but mid-race drama saw a reshuffle. That allowed Gauteng racer Muhammad Wally to take the opening win from Snyman and Visser. Snyman then left Visser to fend and Wally and Jozi’s SA Junior champion KC Ensor Smith off in race 2.

Snyman did the same again in the final heat, as the results showed Smith second from Visser after several drivers picked up penalties for dislodged nose cones following a wild final few laps. So, home hero Snyman took the day from Visser, Wally and Ensor Smith. Ethan Bostander was best of the rest from Olerato Sekudu, Dhivyen Naidoo, Corban Spies, Matthew Wadeley, Yifan Li and Storm Lanfear.

Four-time DD2 champion Bradley Liebenberg served notice of his designs on a fifth title. He took control from KZN Masters legend Cristiano Morgado on the first lap of the opening heat and never looked back. Morgado ended second for the day from Masters rivals, another local man Jonathan Pieterse and Kyle Lawrence. Third in race 1 and second in the second heat, Cape lad Sebastian Boyd did not start the damp final to see Wayland Wyman up to fifth from Kian Grottis and Dusan Radojevic.

Kent Swartz and Uzair Khan shared the Junior Max wins as Swartz took a dramatic high school day sadly marred by an unfortunate incident. Swartz dominated heat 1 from Jonno Wilson as Khan rose to third. Cape driver Reese Koorzen took the second heat only to be excluded on a technical infringement. That left Khan to take the win from Jordon Wadeley and Georgia Lenaerts. The wet final entertained as Swarts moved ahead of Wilson to take the win from Pascoal, Wilson, Mauro Da Luz, and Khan.

Unfortunately, Matthew Chiwara collided with a recovery vehicle after the finish of the final Junior Max race. Chiwara was rushed to hospital with multiple injuries. Matthew was reported conscious and stable on Sunday morning. The incident will be investigated by MSA. On behalf of the entire motorsport community, Rotax Max Challenge wishes Matthew a speedy and full recovery.

In the primary school action, Reagile Mailula started his season on a positive note with a fine pair of under-13 Mini Max wins. He passed  Keagan Beaumont for the first race win after Caleb Odendaal and Kegan Martin slipped back early in the first race. His antics earned Odendaal a double penalty for a loose nose cone and driver conduct, to allow Emma Dowling onto the podium.

Mailula and Odendaal both passed Beaumont en route to completing the second heat podium. Odendaal then dominated the wet final from Kyle Spies, Beaumont, Franco Gibhard, Dowling and Mailula in seventh. That was enough for Reagile to take the day from Beaumont, Odendaal, Spies, Downing and Martin.

Under-11 Micro Max champion Rafael Da Silva picked up where he left off with first and sodden final race wins to take the fay from Brodi Dowling and pole kid and heat 2 winner, Cristian Verheul clearly benefiting dad Nick’s new dedicated manager role. Second in race 3, Matthew Shuttleworth was fourth from Aiden Beaumont and Ronaldo Koen in a splendid day of Micro racing.

Little Luhan de Wet made no mistakes as he stormed to a fine trio of baby Bambino wins over Adriaan Steyn each time. Ronald Bodhi Venter    came out on top of a close dice for third ahead of Caleb Rogers and Carter Cedras to close off a spectacular day of racing across the board.

The second round The 2023 MSA South African National Rotax Max Challenge Karting championship goes down at Formula K at Benoni, Saturday 29 April, but not before two Gauteng and one Cape and KZN regional apiece.

Issued on behalf of Rotax Max Challenge

Photography by:  Andre Laubscher

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