Senior MAX rookie Mikel Bezuidenhout’s star continues to rise after an impressive performance during the second round of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge (SARMC) National Championship hosted at the Formula-K Kart Circuit, Benoni, this weekend. Bezuidenhout, still relatively new to the sport, arguably put in his best performance of his brief karting career this weekend, edging out several more experienced national drivers to finish in the top eight of what is turning out to be one of the most hotly contested classes in South African karting.
Bezuidenhout put all his knowledge of the Benoni-based circuit to good use with a solid qualifying performance late on Friday afternoon, setting himself up for a fourth-row start for Saturday morning’s opening heat. An unruly start from a few competitors ahead would see the Pretoria teenager take some avoiding action and drop down the order to 13th before steadily making his way back up the field. Battling several drivers over the remaining laps, Bezuidenhout crossed the finish line in 11th while recording the race’s second-quickest lap time. Several post-race penalties would see the Cosmo-Net MTN-backed driver promoted up the result sheet to ninth.
Starting from a career-best second position for Heat 2, the NBR Team driver would lose two positions at the start. He would spend the early laps fending off his challengers before opening a slight gap to the karts behind. He was, however, unable to close the gap to the front and took the chequered flag in an impressive fourth place at only his second national event. The final heat would see Bezuidenhout suffer a Nose-Cone Infringement Penalty after a tough battle on the circuit to finish 13th. Despite all the challenges, he finished in an impressive eighth position.
“It certainly was a hard-fought weekend. My pace was good throughout both days, and were it not for the Heat 1 start and the Heat 3 penalty, I could have finished higher up the order. I think starting from the front row at a national is just reward for the hard work we’ve put in. Then to take fourth in the same heat was quite pleasing. It has motivated me to push even harder as I believe that podium and win are not too far off. Thanks to NBR Karting for the assistance and to MTN Cosmo-Net and Vivo Mobile South Africa for the support.”
Bezuidenhout returns for Round 2 of the Rand Kart Club Championship at Zwartkops Raceway on 13 May, before the same venue hosts Round 4 of the MSA Northern Regions Rotax Karting Championship on 10 June. The third national round of 2023 is scheduled for Killarney International Raceway on 30 June to 1 July.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix
Picture Caption: Mikel Bezuidenhout
MSA Publishes media releases from a host of different sources on our website as a service to the sport. It is not practically possible to vet/approve every release that is published. Some news items and articles are written by correspondents and do not necessarily represent MSA’s views.