Karting racing Sizzles under the blue skies of Cape Town, with the first round of the MSA WC Regional Championship held on the 13th of February at the Mother City’s Killarney Kart Circuit. With a contingent of 82 enthusiastic Kart racers across the Bambino, Rok, Rotax (centrifugal classes) and the KZ2 Shifter class all chasing Regional and Club Championship honours.
For the Rok Cup SA classes, Mini Rok (8 -13-year-olds) and OKJ (12 – 15-year-olds) there was some of the best racing, ranging from the experienced to the beginner drivers, where it was tight, tough and clean racing, a credit to all of the Kart competitors.
By far the largest class on the day with 19 competitors, this class brings a new opportunity for Karting in the Western Cape for these 8 – 13-year-olds.
Qualifying had the first 10 competitors within 1.0 second with the whole field being separated by just under 3.7 seconds. Experience and age play a large part in the skill range and the top drivers showed their metal around the Killarney Kart Circuit. After qualifying and the 3 heats eventual winner being Reese Koorzen with 2 wins and a third, followed by Ethan Lennon with a fourth, a second and a third heat win after being in pole position after qualifying with a lap time of 46,12. Luke Hill was third overall with 2 x third places, a second in the last heat, followed by Ntiyiso Mabunda with 2 x fifth places and a seventh followed by Luviwe Sambudla finishing in fifth place overall with a second in the first heat, a fourth and then, unfortunately, having some challenges and eventually finishing in seventeenth position in the third and final heat.
The OKJ (Junior class) is a new class and growing in the Western Cape with a large following at National level. This class is recognised as the top junior class competing in the official CIK-FIA World OK Championships. With six competitors lining up on the day the top four were within four (4) tenths of each other during the qualification session.
Jason MacBeath grabbed pole position from Luka Wehrli on the ninth lap with a superfast lap time of 40.86 followed by Luka Wehrli 40.87, which for a junior class (Vortex engine powered) was faster than the senior centrifugal classes on the day.
The overall winner for the day was KC Ensor Smith with 2 wins and a second, followed by Luka Wehrli with a third, a first and a second in the last heat followed by Ethan Stier with 3 fourths for the day.
Mischa Williams, who has been out of the Karting scene for more than twelve months and first timeout Luviwe Sambudla both provided excellent performances as competing in the top Junior class is an enormous step up from the Mini classes. Good luck to them both as well as the other OKJ drivers across the country.
The KZ2 six (6) speed gearbox shifter class is also a new addition to the MSA Regional series within the Western Cape. This class like the OKJ is also a CIK-FIA World Championship class for competitors who are in the year of their 15th birthday. Last year the KZ2 Nationals produced some of the most exciting racing seen in many years across the country. These 6 speed Karts have been until recently, powered by the TM engines (KZ10/KZ10c and R1) with the Vortex RSZ being introduced to all three KZ classes for 2021.
On the day these Karting competitors put on a show of acceleration, speed and were the fastest Karts of the circuit doing just over 91m k/h with Jason Coetzee taking Pole position with a blistering 39.86-second lap. Dino Stermin also broke the 40-second barrier with a lap time of 39.98, followed by Joseph Ellerine (40.61) and Carlo Olivier with a 40.69 lap time.
The day’s top honours went to Dino Stermin with 2 wins and a second-place over fellow Capetonian Jason Coetzee who had 2-second place finishes and a win, followed by Carlo Olivier with 3 third-placed finishes ahead of Joseph Ellerine.
With both Western Cape competitors being relatively new to the KZ2 Shifter class, we can expect to see more Karters from the Western Cape testing and join the KZ2 shifter class in the near future.
FUTURE: MSA South African National Championships 2021:
All of the Rok classes, Kid Rok, Mini Rok, OKJ powered by the Vortex engines with the KZ2 shifter class (TM & Vortex) will be in full force in the Western Cape for the MSA South African National Championship on the 12th &13th March 2021. We can all expect to see the cream of the South African competitors who will all test their racing skills against each other around the Killarney Kart Circuit.
UPDATE: Race Day – Camera System:
The ‘New” camera system supplied by the Rok Cup SA Promoters for this and future events was a fantastic addition to the first MSA Regional event in the Western Cape. The camera system provided the Race Officials with valuable viewing and decision making footage throughout the day’s event.
The nineteen (19) cameras were placed around the Killarney Kart Circuit by the Rok Cup SA Promoters for a full view of the close racing between competitors that worked beautifully being a “winning asset” onthe day explained one of the Race day officials.
A big thank you to Gary for the equipment and for the services of his trusty lieutenant (John Duvill) for the perfectly operated camera system setup, this is going to assist the MSA Officials on race days in reducing race day infringements.
The next meeting will be in Gauteng where the first round of the MSA Northern Regions Championship kicks off in Vereeniging (VKC) on the 27th February 2021, featuring the Rok CUP SA classes starting with the Kid Rok (6 – 9-year-olds), Mini Rok, OKJ and the KZ2 (15+), KZ (26+) and KZ Masters (38+) Shifter classes.
Issued by Rok Cup SA Promotions
Photo credits: @cornevanzyl, @frankysfunkyfotos