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Alonzo de Oliviera demonstrated exceptional determination during Round 2 of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge held on May 4 at Zwartkops Kart Raceway. Despite encountering an opening lap incident during the final heat, he persevered and secured an impressive third overall result, keeping himself in the championship hunt.

After several sessions on Friday to fine-tune his setup, the youngest driver at the year’s second Rotax national, Alonzo, translated that hard work into a front-row start for the opening heat. This position set the stage for an exhilarating race.

A cautious start to his opening heat saw the Neil Basilio Racing driver slot into third behind the two Capetonian drivers. While the two ahead tangled, sending one into a spin, Alonzo lost a position to remain third. But a lap later, he caught and passed his competitor to take up second with six laps remaining. Alonzo maintained that position across the finish line.

Starting fourth for Heat 2, Alonzo gained two positions as the most junior karting class filtered through an often slippery opening bend. On the next lap and at the same corner, the young driver of Portuguese descent led the race with two drivers in tow. While able to open up a slight margin over the two behind, he would eventually be caught and passed at the start of the penultimate lap to finish the race as runner-up.

Starting alongside the Heat 1 and 2 winner, Alonzo would make another good start only to spin out at the Turn 1 hairpin bend to avoid a competitor who spun ahead of him. Able to rejoin the race, he was now at the back of the field with the leader heading into Turn 2. As he crossed the line to start Lap 2, Alonzo was 6.299 seconds behind the leader. Determined to make up as many positions as he could, he set after the karts ahead. At the halfway mark, Alonzo had made up two places and another on the penultimate lap to cross the finish line in sixth and cap off a solid day out, despite the final heat disappointment.

“I had a good day but was just so disappointed after spinning out in the final heat. I really wanted to win that one. It was really difficult to pass some of the slower guys at the back and that slowed me down. But I made up some places and we go home with a third place national trophy. Thank you to my team and my family for their support today,” said Alonzo.

Alonzo will be back on track on 25 May for Round 3 of the Northern Regions Rotax Kart Championships set for a return to Vereeniging.

Alonzo is backed by S.Y. Meats Wholesale Butchery, Y2K Audio Germiston, Motorsport Fanatix and MSLB Projects.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Alonzo de Oliveira

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