A team of eight Namibian Go Kart racers with cars participated in the annual Rotax African Open held at the Zwartskop Raceway in Pretoria South Africa.
A record entry of more than 100 karts participated at the ROTAX African Open for a ticket to participate in the Rotax Max Grand Finals at the Bahrain International Karting Circuit, on December 11-18.
The event was held in an electric atmosphere at the Zwartkops International Kart Track that is 1km long and mostly 8m wide, excellent asphalt surface. Some of the best kart racing seen in a long while with visitors from Namibia, Mozambique and Angola added an international flavor to the continent’s biggest karting event.
The Namibian driver set some good time in their practice runs. The 3 Bambinos, CecilKoorts, Paul Oosthuizen and Basti van Niekerk, were doing lap times of about 1:05 minute for the day with Justus Beulker in the Senior Max class doing 47seconds and Richie Slamet and Ivan Vorster were doing 46 seconds in the DD2 class and Paul Oosthuizen and Jörg Goldbeck 49 seconds.
The Namibians had a practice session with Nick Verheul, current DD2 Master SA Champion. They had a track walk to talk about breaking points, correct lines to drives, and after a full day of practice, all Namibian drivers had an average increased lap time by about 2 seconds.
All three Bambinos from Namibian doing great and showing what talent we have in Namibia. Cecil Koorts doing a 1:02.8 in the final heat, only 1,8 seconds behind the best lap time in the final heat. Amongst 19 participants, Cecil Koorts claimed the 15th, Paul Oosthuizen 16th and Basti van Niekerk 18th.
Justus Beulker came overall 14th in the Senior Max class, claiming a personal best time of 44.015seconds. Unfortunately to a mechanical problem, he could not start heat 2 making him start last in heat 3. However, he had a clear head and raced at the pace of the others.
Amongst 15 participants in the DD2 class, Richie Slamet managed to get an overall 11th place with Ivan Vorster finishing in 14th. The DD2 class is the most competitive class in South Africa! What an achievement for these 2 drivers. Richie Slamet also set up a great performance with a personal best lap time of 42,924 seconds only 0.685seconds behind the fastest lap time of the heat.
JörgGoldbeck came 8th in the DD2 Masters class, with Paul Oosthuizen clinching 7th place, having a 45.332 lap time, being nearly 2 seconds faster than in his last practice session.
Jörg Goldbeck said, “I am very proud of all our participants! This event was not to go and win, it was to come here and show flag. We have proven that we have the talent, but also to see what we lack, and that is definitely a decent racetrack. Only with a descent racetrack, we can maintain and improve the current growth in Namibian Karting.”