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The opening round of the Northern Regions Rotax Kart Championships proved challenging for Senior MAX driver Brandon van der Walt, with the Ice Motorsport driver finishing outside of the top ten at Zwartkops Kart Raceway at the weekend.

Qualifying eighth out of 16 drivers, Brandon was not entirely satisfied with his performance. He explains, “Despite a new chassis, I haven’t quite found the balance I’d like, and we are clearly off the pace of the front runners. We’ll have to see where to improve ahead of the first heat.”

As has become the norm in the Senior MAX class, the racing was feisty and filled with incidents. The opening heat saw Brandon pick up a Nose Cone Infringement Penalty (NCIP) to finish 11th. Another NCIP in Heat 2 would drop him back to 10th after an excellent mid-pack tussle. The final heat didn’t go any better for the Gauteng teenager as he was again involved in an incident that saw him penalised for a nose-cone infringement.

“Unfortunately, it was one of those days when trouble seemed to find me. The class is fiercely contested with a few drivers on similar lap times. So we tend to bunch up, and that’s when accidents happen. It might be the first event that I’ve picked penalties in every heat, which is obviously not ideal. We have a few weeks to prepare for Cape Town, and I hope to find a good setup. Thank to the team for the support,” said Brandon.

The opening national round of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge and African Open are set to take place on 22-23 March at Killarney International Raceway.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Brandon van der Walt

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