|PHOTO CREDIT: motorsportmedia.co.za|
The Rotax Max Grand Finals is seen by many as the Olympics of Karting, where the six Rotax Max national class champions from over 80 countries come together to fight it out to crown the best in the world every year.
2019 South African and KZN DD2 champion, Benjamin Habig from Ballito leads the elite DD2 gearbox team alongside Cape Town driver Jonathan Thomas and Wayland Wyman from Benoni in Gauteng. Pinetown KZN driver Jonathan Pieterse, Port Elizabeth racer Brett Brito and Pretoria’s Max 175 champion Nic Verheul will race in the over-30 DD2 Masters class and SA and WP champion, Durbanville lad Charl Visser will fly the flag in Senior Max.
SA and WP champion Troy Dolinschek from Cape Town and African Open winner Aqil Alibhai out of Ormonde in Gauteng will fight it out in under-15 Junior Max, while Pietrmaritzburg’s SA under-13 Mini Max champion Troy Snyman and SA under-11 Micro Max champion Reese Koorzen from Cape Town will race in those respective primary school classes. The South African Rotax Max Grand Finals team comprises only national champions and African Open winners, or the next in line in each class.
Run-on the most level possible playing field, the Rotax Max Grand Finals produce the closest and most competitive possible racing. Each of the 360 drivers to qualify is provided with identical and brand new ready-to-race karts, engines and all necessary equipment across the six classes, with only minor set-up changes allowed. All equipment is provided free of charge by Rotax and its global Max Karting partners and racing is run to global Rotax Max regulations.
There is additional pressure on the team, knowing that South Africa has proud history of success in the twenty years of the Rotax Max Grand Finals — South African karters have won fourteen Max world titles over the past two decades — Cristiano Morgado is a is a four-time champion, Caleb Williams, Wesleigh Orr and Leeroy Poulter have each brought two titles home apiece and Mark and Gavin Cronje, Claudio Piazza-Musso and Jayden Els are also Rotax Max Grand Final champions.
The team gathers at Sarno near Naples in Italy on Saturday 19 October in time to receive their new karts and racing equipment, before they are allowed time to fettle their new machinery in testing. Then it’s straight into qualifying before a series of heats that will see the 33 top Rotax Max drivers from around the world into the finals in the classes, with the winner of each final crowned champion a week later on Saturday 26 October.