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Rotax drivers will get their first taste of competition at the Highveld this weekend as the Northern Regions Rotax Kart Championships begin in Pretoria.

While some may have entered a few other events already this season, this weekend sees the official start of the Gauteng-based regional Rotax championship, where competitors compete over eight rounds at three different Gauteng circuits. The championship is run according to a single, simple, and comprehensive set of regulations backed by Motorsport South Africa, the sport’s official national sporting authority.

Zwartkops Kart Raceway will host the opening round and is known for its challenging layout, with several tight corners, fast sweeping bends and long main straight. It hosted the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in 2002 and is the only circuit in South Africa that sees competitors drive under a bridge. Co-located at the Zwartkops International World of Motoring, it is also home to the Rand Kart Club.

While a few newcomers will join the grids this season, several drivers, including three national champions, have moved up in class. Adriaan Steyn, last year’s National Bambino Champion, will compete in Micro MAX, while 2022 and 2023 National Micro MAX Champion Rafael da Silva will participate in Junior MAX. Kent Swartz, crowned last season’s National Junior MAX Champion, will try to mix it up with the Senior MAX brigade in 2024. Another notable entry is multiple National DD2 driver Bradley Liebenberg.

While Qualifying and three race heats await the entrants, so will some extreme temperatures. Pretoria continues to face a heat wave, with Saturday’s temperatures expected to reach around 35 degrees. Regardless, it promises to be an exciting and action-packed event, with some of the best drivers in the country vying for the top spot on the podium.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Junior MAX drivers slotting into their grid positions at Zwartkops

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