Fowler, Sherratt, Maciver & Stephen win to complete SA Rotax Max World Final squad
Delano Fowler, Jordan Sherratt, Chad MacIver and Michael Stephen secured their seats in the South African team for the 2015 Rotax Max Karting World Finals in Portimào by winning their classes in the Rotax Max African Open at Zwartkops International Kart Circuit on Sunday. They will now join the SA champions in each class in a formidable team that will hopefully continue the tradition of creating new South African karting world champions in Portugal.
Stellenbosch lad Delano Fowler (TonyKart) emerged winner of a dramatic 125cc high school Junior Max final when Benoni lad Delon Thompson (Kosmic) was docked five places after crossing the line first following a dramatic final lap. Thompson was leading Fowler six laps into the race when they were knocked back to sixth and seventh respectively, 3 seconds off new leader, Bedfordview’s Cameron O’Connor (Birel) who was later passed for the lead by Ballito pilot Daniel Duminy (Kosmic).
Thompson then put his head down and fought back, setting a string of fastest laps and towing Fowler along with him to see the two start the final lap in third and fourth before Thompson grabbed the advantage in a dramatic final tour move to lead Fowler, O’Connor, Duminy and TonyKart drivers KZN lad Dominic Lincoln and Mozambican Karl Pitzer home.
But officials deemed Thompson’s last lap pass on O’Connor and Duminy illegal and handed him a 5-place penalty and gift Fowler thw win and the seat at the Rotax Junior Max World Final in Portimào, Portugal alongside SA champion and Cape local rival Dino Stermin who took the class title a few weeks back.
Randburg lad Chad MacIver (CRG) secured his ticket to Portimào by winning a close fought African Open DD2 gearbox class over Ballito driver Benjamin Habig (TonyKart) and Cape charger Umpie Swart (Birel) in a hard-fought battle that saw the trio covered by less than a second throughout. Pretoria pilot Eugene Brittz (CRG) was fourth from Michael Buccholz and Justin Allison.
There was a surprise in the DD2 Masters class for older drivers in heavier karts when Port Elizabeth’s multiple SA Production Car champion Michael Stephen (CRG) took a wildcard entry and proceeded to dominate the class and secure a World Final berth where he will race with among others, Brazil’s Masters qualifier, Williams F1 star Felipe Massa, Durban’s four-times world kart champion Cristiano Morgado and SA DD2 Masters champion Potchefstroom driver Ronnie Baptista.
Stephen took both pre-finals before disappearing into the distance to take a 3-second final victory over Pretoria duo Nick Verheul and John van Wyk with Marouan Selmi, Jennifer Verheul and Mozambican visitor Danielson Texeira rounding off an all-CRG top six.
Things were a little less dramatic in the Senior Max 125cc final, where Umhlanga kid Jordan Sherratt (Birel) raced to a comfortable win over Sandton lass Fabienne Lanz (Formula K) and Midrand driver Michael Buccholz (CRG). The trio finished in the same order in all three heats with Durban’s Luca Canderle (Intrepid), Cape Town kid Umpie Swart (Birel) and Durban driver Robert Whiting closing off the top six in the final.
Sherratt will now fill the third Team SA DD2 seat at Portimào alongside SA champion Bradley Liebenberg and DD2 winner MacIver on 8 November.
A fifth ticket was handed to primary school Maxterino 60cc winner LJ Mginqi who took honours in a fraught final over Anthony Pretorius, Cameron Dias, Jarrod Waberski, Zaeem Goolam and Kwanda Mokoena with all six Topkart drivers within a second at the finish. Mginqi will spectate at the World Finals.
Image: Jared van Bergen