Zwartkops Kart Circuit saw the Nissan Charity Cheetah Karting Day take place this past Sunday. It is the eighth running of this event, with Nissan South Africa taking naming rights for the first time. They also had two teams entered in the 14 team strong field.
Joining them were two teams from Jaguar Land Rover, captained by Jaguar SA MD Brian Hastie, a team each from Continental Tire SA and Conti-tech SA, Liqui-Moly SA, BESA Learning Academy, Suzuki SA, NEO Tools, reigning champions INEX Racing, Snake Pit Racing, Auto Trader and a media team sponsored by The Truck Man. The race is held every year by the Clare Vale racing team to raise funds for the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre. This year, the event raised R62 000 for the centre, a new record.
The karts lined up after drawing their grid positions and everyone got ready for the start of the two hour race. It started with INEX taking the lead, closely followed by the Nissan #2 kart.
This turned out to be the theme of the race, with Nissan taking the lead from the second session and holding it until the final session, where the INEX team managed to get to the final flag in first place. The gap between the two karts at the flag was only 19 seconds, and just one lap behind them was the Brian Hastie led Jaguar Land Rover team.
Thanks must also go to PUMA who donated Cheetah Rugby jerseys as prizes, Daniela’s who donated boxes of macaroons as prizes, RunRideDive who donated their time to be official photographers at the event, and Sequill Media who donated their skills and created all the artwork at the event.
Playstation set up six Playstation 4 consoles to keep the crowd entertained while the karts were on track, and MCP Kart Rental donated the costs of one of the rented karts to help raise a little bit more for the centre.
“It is all for fun, but once on the track the men and women compete furiously for that bronze cheetah floating trophy,” says Xavier Gobille, Director for Sales, Marketing and Aftersales at Nissan South Africa. “I commend the organisers for using that competitive spirit to raise money for a good cause.”
The legendary voice of SA motorsport, Roger McCleery, was on hand to MC the prize giving with Nissan SA ambassador, reigning Miss South Africa Ntando Kunene, presenting the prizes. A special trophy, ‘The Spirit of the Cheetah Award’, was awarded to Gobille, who has been involved with the event since the very first karting day.
The day concluded with the arrival of Yeats, the ambassador cheetah, who purred appreciatively while competitors and their families enjoyed having their photos taken with him.
Clare Vale on the event: ”Our Cheetah Karting Day is such a highlight of the year for our team. It’s hard to believe this was the 8th round of our event, with the first one raising the princely sum of R12 400 for the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre.
"The karting day has now raised a total in excess of R300 000 all of which has helped the centre to continue with the incredible work they do to ensure the survival of the endangered cheetah and African wild dog. I love this event, as it gives us an opportunity to not only use motorsport to contribute to a very worthy cause but also to introduce new people to our motorsport passion. I’m very grateful to all our partners, who support us year after year and make the day so much fun.”
IMAGES from RunRideDive