WPMC Karting – breeding SA’s future race champions
Pick any F1 world champion from the last 20 years and go back to see where they came from. You will find a common thread – all raced karts with great success before embarking on a single-seater career that ultimately delivered Sebastian Vettel, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and the rest to multiple world championships.
Closer to home it’s much the same – pick a top driver – Leeroy Poulter, Mark and Gavin Cronje, Hennie Groenewald, Kelvin van der Linde, Johan Fourie and the rest and you will find that they too came out of racing’s finest breeding ground that delivers world champions every year. The Cronje brothers, Wesley Orr, Cristiano Morgado, Claudio Piazza-Musso, Roman de Beer and a dozen other South African stars have based splendid race careers on their karting world titles.
It isn’t hard to figure that the common thread to building a racing career is a strong start in karting.
South African karting is in excellent health with the newly rationalised blockbuster South African championship running over five rounds to not only find a new crop of SA champions every year, but also to take those drivers to the world finals at the end of every year. And the WPMC’s Karting Section is a major contributor to that process.
The fast yet twisty and challenging Killarney kart track across the way from the main track pits is a thriving complex that supports a specialist karting community and the Western Cape karting championships run over eight rounds throughout the year. The Killarney kart track also hosts a round of the SA championship in April.
WPMC karting presently comprises five Rotax Max racing classes in addition to the thriving WP Clubmans class. Starting with the baby Cadet class for five to eight year old kids, the racing is serious business from the bottom with the babies running on a shortened section of the normally 1000 meter kart track through a link in front of the pits.