The 2016 South African Karting Championships comes to a head at Vereeniging Saturday 16 July with most classes promising a titanic battle down to the wire to ensure a thrilling end to their championship year. Rest assured that no quarter will be given nor taken with World Final seats up for grabs in the Rotax Max classes and SA’s future race heroes fighting for that vital new entry on their motorsport CVs.

Among the more intriguing bouts on the bill are both primary school karting classes, where two young gentlemen head to Vereeniging holding the best cards in both the Mini Rok and Maxterino 60cc classes. Kyalami lightie Kwanda Mokoena and Cape Town kid Charl Visser sit tied on 224 points in the SA Mini Rok championship chase, while Visser is just a point clear of Mokoena in the Maxterino title fight and both are set to fight to the wire in the Final.

Don’t discount Port Elizabeth youngster Joshua Coertze in the Mini Rok Final — he’s just three points behind his duelling rivals, while Jozi quartet Daniele Patrizi, Jayden Els, Leyton Fourie and Saood Variyawa are all well within striking distance should there be any pieces to pick up. Likewise in Maxterino, Cape trio Troy Dolinschek, Tate Bishop and Kai van Zijl and Jozi lad Joshua de Paiva are all there, ready and waiting for top runners to slip up. Mokoena won both classes in last week’s Vereeniging pre-final races with Visser in close attendance, so it should prove an explosive mini kart weekend on the Vaal…

If the primary school classes are close, then the high school Junior Max 125cc title fight promises to be extreme with the top four split by only four points and two more drivers well within spitting distance behind them. Cape Town lad Sebastian Boyd finds himself just two points clear of Jozi lad Cameron O’ Connor and Mozambican Karl Pitzer tied in second, with Ballito driver Daniel Duminy a further three points behind and Cape lad Jason Coetzee and Jozi kid Blaine Rademeyer ready to surprise. O’Connor, Rademeyer and Duminy were the form guys in the pre-national, making it just as difficult to predict a winner in this one.

Cape lad Dino Stermin holds a relatively comfortable 14-point advantage over Benoni driver Delon Thompson in the Max Challenge 125s, with Johannesburg’s lady karting heroine Fabienne Lanz and Joshua Dias tied a similar distance adrift, but just one slip could change everything in Dino’s quest to back his 2015 Junior title up with the senior gong this year. Another lady flyer Shannon Jackson and Tylan Swartbooi are next up, while iDube winner Umpie Swart should be a factor considering all the points he will score will count and the regulars will have to drop their three worst scores after the weekend.

If last weekend’s pre-final form is anything to go by, Bradley Liebenberg is well on his way to score back-to-back SA DD2 gearbox championships in Vereeniging, although he will have to keep ahead of Masters class man and multiple SA Production Car champion Michael Stephen. Stephen has made a huge impression this year and sits just two points behind Liebenberg on the overall class title, in spite of having to carry extra Masters weight in his kart. Regular drivers in the lighter weight junior DD2 class Benjamin Habig, Justin Allison, Jonathan Thomas and Robert Whiting not far behind, but  Stephen is dominant in Masters ahead of Nick Verheul and Jonathan Pieterse.

Not only will Vereeniging crown all six 2016 SA Karting National Champions, but the the four champions in the Rotax Max Junior, Challenge, DD2 and DD2 Masters classes will all qualify for the 2016 Rotax Max World Finals at La Conca in Italy in October alongside the winners in each of those classes at the forthcoming Rotax Max African Open at Zwartkops.

The Vereeniging Kart Circuit is on Van Riebeeck Street, Vereeniging – next to the Vaal Showgrounds, left off the Boy Louw Street off-ramp heading south on the R59 Vereeniging freeway. Scrumptious refreshments will be on sale at the clubhouse as always and entrance is free — but the racing can be expected to be astounding on Saturday. Sounds like good enough reason for a drive out to the Triangle…