The ROK Cup South Africa 2020 season got underway this past weekend (September 11-13) with the Vereeniging Kart Club hosting a national and regional championship double-header. Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic the ROK Cup calendar was revised with national and regional events combined. The opening round double-header saw a large field of competitors entered and would also serve as qualification for entry to the ROK Cup Superfinal event scheduled for Italy next month.

KID ROK (6-10 years)

The championship commenced with the junior category on Saturday that saw Troy van der Laan (#45 Expirit), came out on top claiming three wins, with Tshepang Shisinwana (#30 FA), Keagan Beaumont (#77 BirelArt) and Aadam Kajee (#27 Parolin) sharing the other race victories between them. Van der Laan’s performance sees him head up the national championship standings (190 points) over Shisinwana (177 points) and Beaumont (176 points). Aiden Green (#3 Kosmic – 174 points) and Joshua Moore (#650 Ricciardo – 172 points) are fourth and fifth respectively.

MINI ROK (8-13 years)

Extremely competitive, the Mini ROK class sees Kid ROK graduates step up into a class that regularly provides for close racing with mere hundreds-of-a-second separating the majority of the 25 strong field. KC Ensor-Smith (#68 Tony Kart) crossed the line first in every race but was denied a clean sweep after suffering a nose-cone penalty (five seconds added onto a competitor’s race time) in the final heat. Despite his penalty he still attained a second-place finish. As a result, Ensor-Smith (207 points) leads the national championship over Luviwe Sambudla (#55 FA – 156 points), Jayden Goosen (#53 Kosmic – 151 points), Joaquin de Oliveira (#32 Parolin – 150 points) and Hriday Pooren (#15 BirelArt – 142 points).

In the Mini ROK U/10 Championship (8-10 years), Luke Hill (#57 RS Kart), the reigning National Kid ROK Champion, leads out Ethan Lennon (#50 TonyKart), Reagile Mailula (#79 Praga) and Caleb Odendaal (#75 Parolin).

OK-JUNIOR (12-15 years)

The OK-Junior class was another closely-contested affair, with a number of talented karters with international experience vying for the national title. Like Ensor-Smith, Aqil Alibhai (#14 Kosmic) dominated the class with five victories and a second-place finish. Alibhai (207 points) tops the championship ahead of the 2019 National Mini ROK Champion and only other race winner in class, Nikolas Roos (#25 Kosmic – 180 points). Ndumiso Bungane (#69 Expirit) and Naidoo Dhivyen (#98 BirelArt), both on 163 points, jointly occupy the third sport with Mohamed Wally (#99 Expirit – 128 points) taking the fifth position on the points table.

KZ2 (15 and older)

Multiple-karting champion, Bradley Liebenberg (#12 BirelArt) left Vereeniging with the overall championship lead when he won all three of Sunday’s race heats to add to his two podiums on Saturday. Liebenberg (194 points) ties Connor Rogers (#10 Tony Kart) on points but with an extra race win takes the overall win. Brandon Smith (#29 Ricciardo – 179 points) who took the only other victory on the day lies in third. Fabienne Lanz (#96 Expirit – 177 points) takes fourth ahead of Keagan Masters (#18 Tony Kart – 158 points).

The next round of the championship will be confirmed in due course as the scheduled 30-31 October date proposed for an Idube national clashes with the Extreme Festival.