This past weekend saw the best karters from around the continent descend on Zwartkops International Raceway for a shot at a ticket to the Rotax Max Karting World Finals being staged at the International Karting Circuit Paladino of Conde in Paraíba, Brazil from November 26 to December 1, 2018.
With a Northern Regions Regional Round 4 taking place on Saturday, it was the perfect opportunity for Joseph Oelz and the rest of the travelling drivers to get in some valuable track time before the winner takes all event happened on Sunday. Joseph showed some impressive pace on Saturday and after qualifying 6th, he climbed through the field in race 1 to take the lead with 4 laps to go before a coming together with another driver dropped him down to 8th. In race 2 he romped, in classic Oelz style, to victory from lights to flag and in race 3 after leading out during the opening exchanges, he had to settle for P4 after some proper battles at the front end. All in all, a decent dress rehearsal for the next day.
Sunday morning qualifying for the African Open saw Joseph secure P4 ahead of the first pre-final. It was extremely close with only half a tenth separating the top 5 drivers. In the first pre-final Oelz came 5th, before a lights to flag victory in the 2nd pre-final saw him ironically tally a total of 63 points and more importantly secure a front row start for the final and a shot at a ticket to represent his country at the World Finals.
When the lights went out for the final time, Oelz held position in second before making a move for top spot on lap 2. He put his head down and consistently pulled a tenth or two on the chasing pack to take the victory by just over a second while nabbing fastest lap and claiming his well deserved ticket to the World Finals.