2014 seems to have favoured the South African motorsport teams in their international competitions.
Over the weekend, SA was represented in the 2014 Rotax Max Challenge Grand Finals in Spain, where they were put up against 58 other countries who were also participating.
They won the Nations Cup which went over six-days finishing ahead of rivals Australia and host nation Spain.
Durban-born Cristiano Morgado, four-time world kart champion finished second in the DD2 Masters Category to cap a highly successful week for the SA team.
Mikko Laine of Finland won the title and Morgado was promoted to second place overall, after Martin Pierce of Ireland.
This is a fantastic achievement, as the championship is made up of over 270 drivers from close to 60 competing countries, and all these drivers are either national or regional-open champions.
The final day of this competitive championship in international karting, SA had no less than six drivers make it through to the finals in the four World Championship categories.
Ed Murray of Rotax SA expressed his expectations ahead of the finals on Sunday. “This is the most competitive squad of drivers we have fielded for many years. Morgado’s result was truly outstanding.
“But the rain definitely hampered Cris, and all our guys, who nevertheless excelled. Unfortunately racing in the rain is always a lottery, as there is only one dry line, so overtaking results in lots of incidents for which drivers can pay a heavy price,” he said.
However, torrential rain which lashed the circuit saw all of our South Africans battle in the final rounds, competing against northern hemisphere drivers who have vast experience at setting up their karts for wet conditions.
Another Durbanite, Jordan Sherratt (15), qualified the quickest and won of his elimination heats. However, he was dogged by bad luck with some desperate driving from his rivals who forced him into the back of the field in two of his heats. The rain wasn’t any help for the youngster, as he was knocked in the opening lap.
“This world championship bodes well for all the younger talent we are nurturing in our local Max Challenge series, and proves once again how competitive we are as a world karting nation,” said Murray.
In the Senior Max category, Capetonians Eugene Denyssen and Luke Herring shared the fifth row of their final event, after they shared a similar fate as that of Sherratt. Herring was knocked to the back whilst Dennysen moved a couple of places down. Herring finished 17th and Denyssen 25th.
SA youngsters continued to represent the nation as Bradley Liebenberg and Benjamin Habig from KwaZulu Natal participated in the DD2 Gearbox category. Liebenberg finished 14th while Habig dropped out of the race after numerous incidences.