Senior MAX rookie Brandon van der Walt left the Formula-K Kart Circuit in high spirits after another impressive performance at Round 3 of the MSA Northern Regions Rotax Kart Championships.
While the results might not have reflected how well he performed, Van der Walt showed impressive race pace throughout Saturday, despite a DNF in the final heat. Initially unable to put a clean qualifying lap together as some drivers tripped over one another to attempt to lap quicker, Van Der Walt recorded the eighth-best time of the session. Starting from the fourth row of the grid and eager to make up for the spoiled early morning session, the Pretoria resident made a solid start to his heat, making up two positions over the opening laps. Midway through the heat, he made up another to cross the finish line in fifth before being promoted another place after post-race penalties were applied.
While Heat 2 would see a disappointing result after losing several positions at the start, Van Der Walt showed tenacity as he set out after the competitors ahead. Able to make up two positions before running out of laps, he took the chequered flag in the tenth place before again benefitting from a competitor ahead’s misfortune. Despite recording a DNF five laps into the ten-lap race, Van Der Walt was on a charge and looking to improve on his ninth-place start. Up to seventh on Lap 3, he soon caught and got involved in the midpack battle. As he closed in on his competitor ahead, an opportunity presented itself to overtake him. Unfortunately, contact between himself and Ethan Bostander would see the pair retire from the race.
“Quite an indifferent day of results,” said Van Der Walt. “Despite a poor starting position, I knew we had good pace and tried my best to extract it from the kart. Heat 1 went well, more than I can say for Heats 2 and 3. Even though the results will reflect an average result and a DNF, the kart felt good. Such a pity about the contact in the final heat, but as I was taught early on if a gap presents itself, you have to take it. Opportunities in such a competitive class are rare. We’ll do a full debrief of the weekend now and start preparing for the upcoming national.”
Van Der Walt extends his thanks to Ice Motorsport and to everyone for their support. Round 2 of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge commences on 28-29 April at the Formula-K Kart Circuit.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell
Picture Caption: Brandan van der Walt
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