Fast-paced Formula-K Kart Circuit (ZA) Sees Dramatic RMC Battles

Columns: Races
From the rural hills in KwaZulu-Natal, the South African Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) saw the series move to the commercial hub of South Africa in Gauteng and the Formula-K Kart Circuit, South Africa’s fastest and longest kart circuit. (Raymond Cornwell)

Hosted at the purpose-built circuit in Benoni, east of Johannesburg, over 28-29 April, the circuit was established at the end of 2019 and forms part of the larger Formula-K Business Park complex. It incorporates a host of business premises while offering various configurations. This year saw a clockwise layout that split the traditional main straight, with a tricky infield section used as the lap's final sector.
The Bambino class competed around a shortened circuit layout customary for the youngest competitors. Luhan de Wet extended his points lead following a one-point Round 2 victory over Adriaan Steyn. De Wet won the first and third heats, with Steyn victorious in Heat 2. De Wet finished the second heat in third place, while Steyn added two runner-up finishes to his points tally. Pole starter Luke du Toit was the other driver to step onto the Bambino podium on the day, recording two third places, split by a runner-up finish in Heat 2. Rookies Sebastien Shuttleworth and Caleb Rogers completed the top five. De Wet also claimed the Motorsport Fanatix™ Driver of the Day Award.
In the Micro MAX class, defending national champion Rafael da Silva had his points lead reduced following Brodi-Cooper Dowling's Round 2 victory. Dowling's points tally consisted of two heat wins and a runner-up finish. Da Silva was second following three fierce contests with Dowling at the front, finishing as runner-up in Heat 1 before turning the tables in Heat 3 to end the day with a victory. A 10-second jump-start penalty cost him the runner-up position in Heat 2, which relegated him to seventh in the results. Rafael de Sousa, who finished the day in third, missed out on a full day on the podium following a five-second Front Fairing Infringement Penalty (FFIP) during the opening heat before recording a second and third-place finish to end his day. Pedro Koen was the driver who advanced to the podium following the individual penalties for De Sousa and Da Silva. He ended the day in fifth, behind Johan Nolte, who recorded a trio of fourth-place finishes.
Defending national Mini MAX champion Caleb Odendaal moved to the top of the points table with a hat trick of wins in the class. Kegan Martin was second on the day, claiming two third-place finishes and a runner-up position. Keagan Beaumont, who started the day in pole position, finished Heat 1 as runner-up while adding two fourth-place results to end his day in third. Taylin Patel, who recorded a podium in Heat 2, was fourth overall ahead of Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy (TGRJA) driver Emma-Rose Dowling. The biggest upset of the weekend saw Reagile Mailula, another TGRJA driver, endure a challenging weekend. After finishing in third, a technical infringement saw him excluded from the opening heat results. In Heat 2, an incident relegated him to the back of the field after contesting for another podium position. However, he finished the day with a runner-up place in the final heat but lost significant ground to Odendaal in the championship.
Wian Boshoff extended his Junior MAX championship lead by a single point after a narrow victory over TGRJA driver Kent Swartz. The pair rotated the top position in the first two heats before Boshoff held Swartz off to a third-place final heat finish. Jonno Wilson, who won Heat 3, completed the day in third overall. Earlier in the day, he finished seventh before completing the Heat 2 podium. William Marshal, who made his first appearance for the season, ended his day in fourth place. Amani Kinyua was fifth.
TGRJA driver KC Ensor-Smith extended his lead in the Senior MAX class after another dominant performance. This came from a similar performance in the recent Gauteng regional round at the same circuit and is a repeat of his superb form. From pole position, he recorded three wins and set the fastest lap in all three heats. Team-mate Olerato Sekudu finished the day as runner-up. Ethan Bostander, who finished Heat 1 on the podium, was third on the day, ahead of Roshaan Goodman and Muhammed Wally.
Former DD2 champion Brad Liebenberg remained on top in the DD2 standings following his two wins and third place in Round 2. Sebastian Boyd ended the day six points adrift on pole starter Liebenberg, with a third place and two runner-up finishes. Nicolas Vostanis rounded out the day's podium with a third-place finish. TGRJA's Kian Grottis, a force at the front throughout the day, completed the day in eighth place following his Heat 3 disqualification. The DD2 Masters was won by Kyle Lawrence, who beat out Eugene Brittz by a single point. Lawrence and Brittz also rounded out the top five in the combined DD2 and DD2 Masters results.
Having reached the halfway mark in the championship, the 2023 SA Rotax MAX Challenge will move to the Killarney International Raceway outside Cape Town in the Western Cape on 30 June to 1 July.

Photocredit: Motorsport Fanatix™


Created by: fmarangon2 - 03/05/23

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