It is never over until the fat lady sings! Going into the final round of the SARMC 2017 Karting Championship in 6th place and 50 points behind 2nd placed Jurie Swart, he almost had to achieve the impossible. BirelArt team mate, Bradley Liebenberg clinched his fourth DD2 SA title, and having won the Africa Open, had booked his place in the Rotax Grand Finals. This created the opportunity for one of three drivers, Jurie Swart (2nd); Ivana Cetcinich (4rd); Justin Allison (5th) and Benjamin Habig (6th) to perform flawlessly, score maximum points and join Liebenberg and the remaining class SA title champions, at the Rotax Grand Finals which will be held in Portugal from 4 – 11 November.
Habig qualified 6th but managed to finish 4th in Heat 1. More importantly he set the fastest time which put him on pole alongside team mate Bradley. But heat 1 dealt a bitter blow to Swart and Cetcinich when they were involved in an incident, and both finished way down in the much needed points. Habig won the remaining three heats to clinch the overall win for the day. Second overall was the SA Champion Bradley Liebenberg, with Eugene Britz in 3rd. Habig is also currently leading the KZN Championship in DD2.
“I am very excited with this overall victory at the final round of the 2017 SA Championship event, and to qualify for the Rotax World Finals as a member of Team South Africa is the cherry on top,” said an elated Habig. “I had a fairly frustrating start to the year, so this was a great finish and I am honoured to be part of the SA Team alongside Bradley Liebenberg in the DD2 class,” he added. Habig and Liebenberg have been karting in the same class for the last 7 years and been rivals on the track and great friends off the track, treating spectators to close, and clean racing resulting in top finishes. “Having changed to the BirelArt chassis this year has paid off, and the BirelArt chassis will be run at the Worlds.”
Benjamin competed in Italy in 2012, then in Grade 8 at Ashton International College, was a member of the 2014 team in Spain where Team SA clinched the Cup of Nation. He is now a first year B.Com student at University of Pretoria.