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Bambino ace Alonzo de Oliveira finished runner-up in another exciting round of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge (SARMC) Kart Championships in Benoni, recording his first national pole position and maiden victory.

Starting from first, Alonzo took a flag-to-flag victory in Heat 1, fending off several drivers ahead of the chequered flag. Despite starting second for Heat 2, Alonzo made an excellent start to take the race’s lead but was constantly under pressure from Nambian driver Russel Josephat. With the pair squabbling over the lead, Aston Verheul soon joined them before dropping off the back of the leaders a few laps later. Running a touch wide into Turn 3, Alonzo lost the drive up the hill and slotted in behind Russell, where he bided his time waiting to attempt a pass.

Unbeknownst to him, Caleb Lingeveldt was catching him, and as the three drivers approached a backmarker, Russel made contact with the slower driver, allowing Caleb to pass everyone and take the lead and victory. Alonzo, lucky to avoid the incident, would cross the line in second.

A disastrous start to the final heat saw Alonzo, who started third, form part of the inside row of karts that were slow to respond to the starter’s flag, losing three positions before Turn 1. From sixth, he put in a gritty performance to pass several drivers on his way to finish third and record his third podium on the day.

“We had a strong weekend. The pace was there, but unfortunately, we didn’t always capitalise on it. With such a short lap, there is no time to relax, and the slightest mistake or incorrect line can cost you. A backmarker unfortunately ruined my second heat, and then the final race saw us lose out at the start. But second overall is still good, and I’m very happy that I claimed my first pole position and victory at a national. I hope we can continue this momentun into the last round,” said Alonzo.

The final round of the SARMC Kart Championships is scheduled for 30-31 August at Zwartkops Kart Raceway in Pretoria.

Alonzo thanks NBR Racing, S.Y. Meats Wholesale Butchery, Y2K Audio Germiston, MSLB Projects, Motorsport Fanatix and Amigos Portugueses.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Alonzo de Oliveira

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