Karting SA - Features Features

KING KWANDA!

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Every now and then, someone does something sensational in motorsport and Saturday was one of those days at Vereeniging when 12-year old Kyalami primary school kid Kwanda Mokoena delivered a karting masterclass.

Firstly it is a rare occasion when someone even enters to race in three different karting classes in one day, let alone win a race in each of them, but that’s not all that Kwanda achieved in Saturday’s fourth round of the Northern Regions karting championships. Not only did he also win six of his nine races he started, but he took overall victory in two of the three classes entered as he came within a tantalising five points from taking what would have been a record three class victories in one day.

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TRIPLE DUTY FOR MOKOENA

Kwanda1SThis coming weekend is going to be a busy one for Kyalami kid Kwanda Mokoena who plans to race in three classes in a very full day for him at the Northern Regions karting championship at Vereeniging Saturday 2 July.

“It’s the Vereeniging pre-national,” 12-year old Rivonia Primary school lad Kwanda explains. “So all my national friends and rivals will be coming up to race in our regional so they can get ready to take us on in the national two weeks later. “The racing will be even tougher than usual and even if the Cape and KZN kids do not score points, the racing will be wild.” 

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AQIL’S WILD WEEKEND

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South African Cadet karter Aqil Alibhai had a true rollercoaster weekend with a little of everything on his plate as he closed off his British summer karting campaign Buckmore Park.

“It was a crazy weekend,” the Ormonde 9-year old reported. “Friday started well — I was mixing up with the kids and we had some good testing. “Qualifying never went too well on Saturday — I did not drive with the pack and eventually qualified well down and then things never went much better in the first and second heats in the wet.

“The finals went better though,” Aqil admitted. “I managed to qualify fifth for in my B final and then finished fifth too, so I made it into the final and I had a fair race. “It was difficult — one of those race weekends, but I have really learned a lot in the past three weeks,” Aqil admitted as he headed home.

“It’s a lot pf travelling but we are really enjoying it and I’m learning so much.” Alibhai concluded. “Now I’m looking forward to racing back at home in this weekend’s Northern Regions races at Vereeniging — it’s going to be good to race in conditions we are more used to.” Aqil has another busy month ahead with the next British national the following week before jetting back home again for the Vereeniging national a week later.

NORTH’S PORTUGESE FIGHTBACK

North1SSouth Africa’s 2016 CIK-FIA Karting Academy Trophy driver Jordan North delivered a stellar drive in the final of the series’ second round in Portimao, Portugal Sunday, making up eleven places to end up 16th overall after falling foul to some questionable tactics by certain rivals in the pre-final saw him start back in 27th.

“I am very happy with my drive in the final,” Jordan explained. “It was probably the best I’ve ever driven and I am proud to be the driver who made up the most positions in the final. “Still it’s a pity that I ended up so far down in 16th, but I think I did the best I could considering I had to start 27th on the grid. “That’s racing though — we have to take the ups with the downs so I’m happy to take the positives home.”

The weekend started well enough with Johannesburg driver North among the top six in his group for most of Friday’s practice sessions, but things became more difficult as the weekend progressed into Saturday’s pre-final. “There was quite a bit of argy-bargy in the middle of the pack and we realised it was going to be tough, so or objective was to qualify for Sunday’s pre-final and then progress to the final.

“I got through in 21st after a good 11th in the third heat, but the pre-final was a nightmare — I was taken out three times and eventually retired. “The offenders were penalised and the officials apologised, but that did not help me starting the final in 27th instead of a probable 10th, so I was very happy to be able to race like I did in the final.

“Thanks again to dad, MSA and the CIK-FIA Academy for this incredible experience,” Jordan concluded. "We are learning so much every race and now I can’t wait for the next round - bring on Sweden!

AQIL’S FIRST UK RACE WIN

South African Cadet karter Aqil Alibhai won his first kart race in Britain when he drove to B-final victory to see him into the overall final of the fourth round of the British Super One karting championship in Llandow, Wales Sunday. The nine-year old Ormonde, Johannesburg lad went on to end 25th overall in the final as he continued to learn and improve throughout the weekend.

“It was so cool to win my first race in Britain,” Aqil admitted after taking the flag in the weekend’s B Final repercharge to steer himself into the 35-kart final and race against England’s finest. “I am happy with my achievement and we climbing the ladder and learning the moves of the lads here — we had never seen this track before and these guys know it like the back of their hands, so I am very happy to be only half a second off the leaders’ pace.

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