Saturday 9 February saw round 1 of the Northern Regions Championship take place at Vereeniging Raceway. It was a blistering hot day with the action on the track equally as hot.
The days racing started with Micro Max. Qualifying was a closely contested affair with the top 9 covered by less than a second. With pole going to Mohammed Moerat followed by Wian Boshoff in 2nd Dhivyen Naidoo 3rd Kent Swartz 4th and Erich Heystek 5th. Race 1 was won by Mohammed Moerat with Kyle Beukes taking 2nd and 3rd going to Erich Heystek. Race 2 was again won by Moerat in dominant fashion followed home by Luviwe Sambudla and Kent Swartz in 3rd. Race 3 saw yet another dominant performance from Moerat in so doing having a perfect day taking pole and all 3 race wins 2nd across the line was again Sambudla and then also with that securing 2nd overall for the day with 3rd going to Beukes also taking home 3rs overall for the day.
Next up was the highly competitive Junior Max class. Again the racing was hard with a few on track incidents when the racing was slightly too close. Qualifying was once again fairly tight with the top 7 covered by less than a second. Pole went to Leyton Fourie closely followed by Kwanda Mokoena and Ethan Coetzee 3rd Joseph Oelz 4th and rounding out the top 5 Aqil Alibhai.Race 1 saw a race long battle between Leyton and Kwanda with Kwanda taking the race from Leyton with 3rd going to Oelz. Race 2 saw Kwanda taking another win followed home by Coetzee with Leyton taking 3rd. Race 3 saw Kwanda taking yet another win to make it 3 from 3 on the day thus stamping his authority over the field for the day. 2nd was Leyton who in so doing also took 2nd for the day. #rd across the line was Coetzee who with his 3rd also clinched 3rd overall for the day.
So it was on to Senior Max and Max 175. Qualifying in Senior Max was again close with the whole field covered by just over a second. Pole went to defending champion Wayland Wyman followed extremely closely by Dane van Heerde only .003 of a second in 2nd. 3rd went to Shrien Naidoo. 4th Nick Verheul and 5th going to Taiibi Tucci. Race 1 saw Wyman lead from flag to flag but was kept honest by van Heerde 2nd with 3rd going to Naidoo. Race 2 saw a dominant performance from Wyman winning by 4 seconds with van Heerde taking another 2nd with 3rd this time going to Verheul. Race 3 saw an even more dominant performance from Wyman blitzing the field by 7 seconds. This meant that Wyman had the perfect raceday taking pole and all 3 race wins. 2nd across the line for the 3rd time on the day was van Heerde and also taking 2nd overall for the day. 3rd went to Shannon Jackson and with that also securing 3rd overall for the day.The 175 pole and all 3 wins went to Erwin Sterne.
Next up was Mini Max. Here qualifying was not as close as the rest of the classes but this is a result of the gap between new and experienced drivers taking on the challenge of Mini Max. The top 5 were covered by less than a second with the entire class covered by 2 seconds. Pole went to Troy Snyman followed by Bjorn Bertholdt , Matthew Morrell , Mohammed Wally and Taya van der Laan making up the top 5. Race 1 was won by pole man Snyman followed by Bertholdt and Morrell in 3rd. Race 2 was once again won by Snyman this time followed home by Wally some 3 seconds behind with Bertholdt in 3rd right on Wally’s bumper. Race 3 was won again by Snyman giving him the distinction of going unbeaten on the day. 2nd across the line was Morrell with Wally in 3rd. With Wally and Bertholdt tied on points for the day 2nd went to Wally on countback with 3rd being awarded to Bertholdt.
Then it was on to the youngest competitors on the day. That being Bambino. Qualifying was close between the top 2 with the rest of the field a fair way back. pole went to Troy van der Laan with second going to Tshepang Shisinwana 3rd Keegan Beaumont 4th Caleb Odendaal 5th Cristian Verheul and 6th Aiden Beaumont.Race 1 saw some very robust racing with the front runners rubbing towards the end of the race which was won by Tshepang 2nd going to Caleb and pole man Troy in 3rd. Race 2 saw another victory for Tshepang this time followed home by Troy and Caleb 3rd. Race 3 was another action packed race with Tshepang and Troy making contact on the last lap heading into turn 2 or also known as Mercedes. The contact was a result of Tshepang breaking slightly too late and in so doing making contact with Troy. Who had a exciting few seconds wrestling his kart over the grass to regain control. But to be perfectly clear this was nothing more than a racing incident. As we all know this does happen from time to time but that is also how these young warriors learn their racecraft. At the fall of the flag it was a clean sweep of wins for Tshepang that also saw him take the overall win for the day. He was followed by Troy and in so doing taking 2nd for the day. 3rd across the line and also taking 3rd for the day was Caleb. 4th for the day went to Keegan 5th to Chistian and 6th was Aiden.
So it is on to the premier Rotax class DD2 and DD2 Masters. Without a shadow of a doubt the fastest and most competitive class on the Rotax program. Qualifying was as always a very closely contested affair with 4 time national champion Bradley Liebenberg taking pole ahead of Nick Verheul , Justin Allison , Carlo Olivier and Brandon Smith rounding out the top 5. Race 1 saw LIebenberg lead from flag to flag to take the race win from Brondon Smith and Allison in 3rd. Race 2 started with an upset with Liebenberg unable to take to the track with a gremlin putting him out of the race this left the door open for Verheul to take the win over Allison in 2nd with Smith crossing the line in 3rd. Race 3 saw Verheul taking his second win on the day but due to his race 1 problems was only able to take 3rd overall for the day. Coming home 2nd for race 3 was Allison and in so doing took the overall win for the day. A most impressive achievement seeing as this was his first race back in almost a full year of not racing. 3rd across the line was Liebenberg who had the drive of the day having to come from stone last due to his race 2 problems. Smith was 4th across the line and took 3rd overall for the day. DD2 Masters qualifying went to defending masters champion Philippe Chapat with 2nd going to Mitch Coetzee and Carlo Gil in 3rd. Race 1 saw Coetzee take the win from Chapat in 2nd and Gil in 3rd. Race 2 saw Chapat bounce back to take the win over Coetzee with the 3rd place going to Tinahe Ncube. Race 3 again saw Chapat take the win and in so doing take the overall victoru for the day and the perfect way to start his title defense. 2nd yet again went to Coetzee and also taking 2nd overall in the process. But Coetzee has made his intentions clear that he will be no pushover taking into consideration that this is his first race in 6 years. 3rd across the line and also taking 3rd for the day was Gil.
The next regional will take place on the 2nd of March at Zwartkops Raceway where the action is bound to be as impressive as the first round has been. With that said we hope to see you all at the next race.