All the top guns, from allover the world, were here at South Garda Karting Track in Lonato, Italy to compete for the Vortex Super Rok title. There were 68 competitors in the Super Rok category of which 6 of us were from South Africa.
We were quickest on Friday morning and were in the top 5 for the rest of the weekend. Qualifying is very important as we get split up into groups and go through elimination rounds. So a quick time is vital to be able to start in the front of the grid and to stay out of the mid pack crash zone. It started raining as it was our turn to go out for qualifying. I was in group 1. It was so slippery I thought I would be way down the field. To my huge relief, we qualified 5th in our group. It had started raining a lot after our qualifying, so group 2 was totally in the wet. So we qualified 5th overall out of 68 competitors. I felt so blessed and knew that I will be starting on the faster lane of the track and the races should be fine.
The first heat went well. The start was brilliant as I made my way through to 3rd position. I then found a good, comfortable pace and finished 4th. The start of the 2nd heat was also great as I made one position and another further down the lap into 3rd position. 2 laps from the end the engine cut out. This meant that I finished 30th and put me way back on the grid for the final.
So we fiddled with the wires to see if it was that. One team member in the camp said it might be the fuel pump, so we changed it and thereafter the engine ran fine, never cut out again.
At the last minute we decide to change a setting at the back of the kart as the track conditions have changed and some adjustments were necessary to stay on pace. I don?t think I prayed so much for anything else before?the one bolt which holds the engine in place was damaged from people who used it previously, which we did not see, stripped at this critical moment?
So we needed to change the engine mounting at about 3 or 4 minutes before our race? we were busy missing our last heat in order to qualify for the final, which was on Sunday of which only the top 34 best finishers of the 3 heats qualify to compete for the World Title. My class was on the grid and I prayed for a miracle and never gave up. We got the miracle as the race never started until we got there.
The time went so slow, my heart was pounding and finally I sat on the grid, overwhelmed, everyone looking. I want to say thanks to all the Italians from our tent who helped, the owner of PCR and all the fellow South Africans who helped as well. I am so grateful for them.
So for the 3rd time the start was good. This race felt so quick as so much was going through my mind. I was praying that my kart would stay together as the previous heat it did not. To my relief we finished the race in 5th position. I was so exhausted after that heat. Unfortunately the 2nd heat pushed us right to the back of the field, but that is racing I suppose, it happens.
So we started 21st out of the 34 competitors who have made it to the Final on the Sunday. My fellow South African Team mates started 17th (Ian Young), 22nd (Philip Viljoen), 23rd (Alex Jacovides), 27th (Shaun La Reservee) and 33rd (Ernie van der Walt). So we were basically all together on this. The start did not go according to plan and for the first 8 or 9 laps I was dodging one accident after another. It was chaos trying to get through the field. Eventually I was in 14th position, but the front bunch had pulled too big a gap for me to catch up within 10 laps. So we ended 14th overall for the race.
I would like to thank my Sponsors, team and all the wonderful people who have helped me in every way before and at this event and to all my friends, fans and family for their support. It is really so much appreciated.