The Idube karting circuit in the KZN Midlands was the scene of an historic triumph for women drivers on Saturday, July 8, 2017.
Young Pretoria Law student Ivana Cetinich scored a dramatic win in Race Two of the fastest and most competitive karting class in kart racing. And she was followed home by fellow lady-driver Fabienne Lanz, ahead of three multiple karting and main circuit National champions!
“It was simply amazing, said the petite Cetinich after becoming the first female driver to win a DD2 Gearbox race at National Championship level. What made the victory even more sweet was that this was her first win in karting of any description, since she began competing just a few years ago!
“I was really surprised to be on pole position for Race Two,” she said with a delighted smile. “And even more surprised that I managed to stay there and win the race!”
Cetinich added that the victory was made even more sweet by having Fabienne Lanz finish second.
“Fabienne and I are really good friends and I leaned on her in that first corner,” she said, referring to a fraught start being chased by over 20 of the finest senior karting drivers in the country.
Lanz said the 15-lap race felt like “it was 10 laps too long”, a nod to the pressure she had behind, from the likes of Leeroy Poulter, Bradley Liebenberg and Michael Stephen. “I really pushed Ivana for the lead at the end and she in fact made a slight mistake on the last lap, but she saved it and held on to win. Well done to her!”
Ed Murray, importer of Rotax karts to this country and the founder of the Rotax series here, said that he believes the Rotax National Karting Championship is the most competitive form of any motorsport currently being conducted in South Africa.
“Ivana’s win was a real treat, and doubly so when you see the quality of drivers she and Fabienne had behind them – three National Champions in third, fourth and fifth, in the form of Leeroy Poulter, Bradley Liebenberg and Michael Stephen. Leeroy has competed at Dakar and has won the SA off road championships and won National rally championships. Bradley is a front runner in the GTC2 class in main track racing, and Michael is a multiple National Touring Car Champion.
“You can see how competitive our series is by our results in the Rotax World Championship, where 60 countries take part. We have won 13 World titles there, in the past 17 years!”
The fact that Cetinich and Lanz started on the front row for Race Two was the result of a ruling that sees the grids for races two and three decided by fastest lap time in the preceding race, rather than race results (Race One grids are decided by individual qualifying laps run before the day’s racing begins.)
As far as the overall DD2 results for the day were concerned In this meeting, Round Three of the four-round 2017 South African Rotax Max Challenge National Karting Championship, the overall winner for the day was Leeroy Poulter. Leeroy’s win for the day was the result of two third places and a second.
The other two race winners were Benjamin Habig who won Race Three and Brad Liebenberg, who won the first race. Liebenberg, who arrived at Idube leading the DD2 championship, had to be content with a fourth place in race Two and then an 11th place in Race Three. Bradley actually finished the final race in the top five on the road but was docked 10 seconds due to a bumper infringement.