Words: Stuart Johnston Communications
Cape Town karter Jonathan Aberdein goes into the third National Championship round of the 2015 Rotax Max Challenge on Saturday leading the two top categories in the country’s most popular karting series.
The son of former champion saloon car ace Chris Aberdein, Jonathan is topping the points table in both the Senior Max Category and the DD2 Gearbox class.
However, the tight Idube raceway in the KZN Midlands could spring plenty of surprises on August 15. The track is situated on the side of a mountain and essentially has very fast down-hill sections and long uphill hauls, punctuated by some tight hairpins. Local circuit knowledge traditionally plays a part at Idube and here we might well see some of the KZN karters come into play.
In the DD2 Gearbox category KZN’s Luca Canderle and Mitchell Licen are both proven race winners, and both had strong opening rounds in Cape Town before hitting problems at Vereeniging where Round Two was held. Expect current DD2 Champion Bradley Liebenberg from Gauteng to be right back at the sharp edge of the action, with fellow Gauteng drivers Eugene Brittz and Bloemfontein’s Justin Allison are always a threat. And after missing the first round of the championship, KZN driver Benjamin Habig is a very good bet for a win at Idube, after a strong showing at Vereeniging on his comeback drive.
Benjamin is the son of multiple SA Rally Champion Jan Habig.
In DD2 Masters, Ronnie Baptista from the West Rand is the surprise leader of a category that has been dominated for many seasons by Durban’s Cristiano Morgado. Morgado took an unfortunate tumble in Round Two at Vereeniging which sees him languishing outside the top six, but in Round Three expect him to be back up front, especially as Idube is his home-circuit. Nick Verheul from Edenvale is lying second in the series to date, and he has plenty of experience at this difficult circuit.
In Senior Max, a duo of KZN karters are snapping at the heels of series-leader Aberdein. Richard Upton and Robert Whiting are lying second and third in the championship table and both cut their karting teeth at the Idube track, situated near the Lion Park in the KZN Midlands, just off the N3.
Behind these drivers in the championship log is lady racer Ivana Cetinich. Along with the experienced Fabienne Lanz, who is always a potential race-winner, Ivana has been enjoying a fantastic season in karting to lie fourth in the table. Another strong lady contender in this category is Shannon Jackson.
In Junior Max, Joshua Dias of Gauteng leads a pack of Western Cape drivers, as karting is thriving amongst the younger drivers in that region. Dino Stermin (Cape Town) lies second in the title race, followed by Delano Fowler (Cape Town). Jason Coetzee and Sebastian Boyd are two more Cape Town drivers in the top six, and the only other Gauteng driver in the top six to date is Delon Thompson.
In the highly contested Maxterino class, another Cape Town driver leads the pack. Aidan Strydom holds a narrow points gap over Gauteng driver Cameron O’Connor. And in the next four places, the championship log looks like a Cape Town benefit, with Charl Visser, Joseph Oelz, Troy Dolinschek and Tate Bishop all flying Western Province colours.
For more information, contact Jennifer Verheul via e-mail at , or on 082 294 7485