The 2016 Western Cape Karting Championship burst into life on Saturday with spectacular close racing, multiple winners in many classes and a pleasant surprise or two along the way.

Topping the bill, the quickest Rotax DD2 gearbox class did not fail to disappoint with reigning SA and WP champion Jonathan Aberdein (TonyKart) taking a narrow overall victory with wins in the opening and final heats, although former WP champion Jonathan Thomas (Partners CRG) overcame a brilliant middle heat battle to defeat Julian van der Watt (FA Kart) and Tristan de Nobrega (Race Driver CRG) after Aberdein hit trouble. Still Aberdein won the day from Thomas, van der Watt, de Nobrega, Chris Vrettos (CRG) and Luke Herring (RKT Kosmic), who fought back to end second in the final heat after a difficult morning.

A full grid of Junior Max 125cc high school karters delivered action of the top order and despite Jason Coetzee (RKT Kosmic) taking fairly easy first and third heat wins over Dario Busi (Automan Birel) and graduate Maxterino 60cc champion Aidan Strydom (TurboTech CRG), a rain squall, a pile-up, a red flag and a restart saw to a brilliant two-part middle heat won by Busi from Strydom and Coetzee. All of which meant Coetzee took the day overall by a point from Busi, Strydom, Sebastian Boyd (Boyd Freight Kosmic), Daniel Duminy (Kosmic) and an improving Simon Simpson-Heath (SAKRA Kosmic).

Joseph Oelz (Clear/GoPro Zanardi) won the first two 60cc primary school Maxterino heats from Tate Bishop (Kosmic) and Charl Visser (Battery Energy Zanardi) in the first and Visser and Kai Van Zijl (CRG) in the second race before Visser improved another step to stand on top of the podium in the finale from Oelz and Troy Dolinschek (Makita Kosmic). So Oelz won the day from Visser, Bishop, Dolinschek and impressive Cadet graduates Jason MacBeath (Kosmic) and younger Visser brother Kyle (Battery Energy Zanardi).

Little Paul Malcolm delivered a splendid surprise to take the second and third — and his first — under-eight year old Cadet race wins to win the day overall from race 1 victor Joaquin de Oliveira and Reza Levy (Jive). Reese Koorzen was fourth from Joshua Smit and Ethan Stier.

Junior Max champion Dino Stermin (Designer Trims RKT Kosmic) picked up his erstwhile battle with Delano Fowler (Suprocom TonyKart) in the Open 125cc Senior Max class, although Fowler did not have an answer for his old rival in a weekend that saw Stermin take a trio of wins with Nicholas Jacobs (SAKRA Zanardi) picking up third overall behind Fowler and ahead of Lukas Nel and Arnold du Toit after Hylton Peters hit trouble after strong starts in each of the three heats to end sixth.

Super-quick lady racer Isabelle Fowler (Suprocom TonyKart) upset the Cape Clubmans applecart when she delivered three fine race wins to take the day from Andrew Thomas (Blake Bros Topkart), Marco Viegas, George Schwager, Jody van Rensburg and Andre van der Merwe who stood in for son Kian who fell ill on the day.

All in all, Saturday’s opening Western Province Kart championship delivered a great day’s racing to set up what is sure to be a fine season ahead. The next round of the WP Kart Championships returns to Killarney on Saturday 5 March.