03 Jul ROK KARTING NATIONAL 22 JUNE 2019 – REVIEW
The third round of the ROK Cup South Africa national karting series, hosted by Killarney International Raceway with support from the City of Cape Town on Saturday 22 June, delivered brilliant racing despite trying weather conditions, just hours after the most destructive storm of the winter so far.
Brief periods of brilliant sunshine alternating with heavy showers made tyre choice for every race little more than a lottery – with which most of the drivers coped better than their pit crews (read parents!).
Even the six-to-nine year olds of the Kid ROK class, dressed in clear plastic ‘space suits’ over their colourful racing overalls, displayed impressive driving skills in the treacherous conditions. Aiden Green won the first race and followed up with two fourths, while championship leader Luke Hill blew hot and cold with 10th in Race 1, a win Race 2 and 10th in Race 3.
The hero of the day, however, was Reese Korzen, who improved from seventh in Race 1 to second in Race 2 and a hard-fought win in the final, taking overall honours for the day from Green and Hill.
Race one in the Mini ROK category for drivers from eight to 13 went to championship leader Muhammad Wally, but arch-rival Nikolas Roos posted a sixth, a second and a win to take the overall honours for the day – and the championship lead, albeit by just two points with 221 to Wally’s 219.
Third overall for the day was KC Ensor-Smith, with a fourth, a fifth and a second, while local hero Lucas Royston battled to 19th in Race 1, took a splendid win in Race 2 but could only manage ninth in the final. He finished seventh overall for the day.
The 125cc OKJ races for 12-14 year olds delivered similarly patchy results due to the unpredictable weather; Tate Bishop won Race 1, finished fourth in Race 2 and sixth in the final, but that was enough to take the honours for the day by just two points from title contender Kwanda Mokoena, who posted a sixth, a second and a third.
Daniele Patrizi finished third overall with a fifth, an 11th and a surprise win in the final, while Joshua Coertze, joint second by just one point coming to Killarney, fell by the wayside with eighth overall after an eighth, a face-saving win and a 12th. Former log leader Leyton Fourie posted a disappointing 11th overall after finishing fourth, 11th and joint 12th with Coertze in the three races, .
That puts new points leader Mokoena in a solid lead going into the final round at Idube in KwaZulu-Natal on 17 August.
There were only three entries in the 125cc DVS or Super ROK class, which uses the same engine as the OKJ class but with the limit set at 16 000rpm for peak power of 28kW. Nevertheless Charl Michael Visser, Zachary Dufty and Joseph Ellerine treated the crowd to three superb dices.
Local hero local Visser made full use of home track advantage to take a convincing win from Dufty in Race 1, while Ellerine was forced to retire. The race gods played fair, however, as Visser fell by the wayside in Race 2, giving the win to Ellerine by just 0.2sec after an epic battle with Dufty.
Race 3 saw all three come home for the first time that day, with Visser leading Dufty and Ellerine across the line – and that’s how the final results for the day worked out as well.
Racing a sophisticated GP 125 kart with a 125cc liquid-cooled TM two-stroke engine and six-speed paddle-shift gearbox in the wet is not for the faint-hearted and it’s no surprise that the three races produced three different winners.
Race 1 saw Kurt Bakewell take the win from Scott Falconer, as pole-position qualifier Kyle Mitchell dropped to third, ahead of Bjorn Roos, Ryan Bakewell and Tato Carello.
Race 2 was a cracker, with Falconer narrowly taking the win from Kurt Bakewell and a charging Dylan Seely, who made up six places from his grid position to finish third, while Miguel Dias climbed five spots to finish fourth ahead of Mitchell and Ryan Bakewell.
The final outing saw Roos taking a hard-fought win from Falconer and Kurt Bakewell – but it was championship leader Falconer who consolidated his position at the top of the points standings by taking the overall win for the day from Kurt Bakewell and Bjorn Roos.