It was a mixed bag of results for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy (TGRJA) this past weekend (15 April) at the Formula-K Kart Circuit. However, Round 3 of the MSA Northern Regional Rotax Karting Championship served as good preparation session for the upcoming national event at the circuit.
From second place on the Mini MAX starting grid, Reagile Mailula had to settle for third place in Round 3, despite finishing the opening two heats as runner-up behind points leader Caleb Odendaal. In Heat 3, an incident caused him to lose places before crossing the line in sixth. A five-second post-race Nose Cone Infringement Penalty saw him classified in 10th place.
It was a similar scenario for Kent Swartz in the Junior MAX class. In Heat 1, he was narrowly beaten to the line by Wian Boshoff. In the second heat, the pair again crossed the finish in close proximity, but a Nose Cone Infringement Penalty saw Swartz classified in third place. Like Mailula, his last heat was compromised following an incident, seeing him bring up the rear of the field in eighth place. Nevertheless, Swartz still finished the day on the podium in third place.
In the Senior MAX class, the team recorded another one-two finish. KC Ensor-Smith proved to be unbeatable after taking the pole position, with three heat wins and three fastest laps next to his name, making it another full house of points to secure his place at the top of the points table. Olerato Sekudu provided excellent support en route to finishing the day as runner-up to Ensor-Smith, finishing second in all three heats. While he maintained quite a sizeable gap over the rest of the field in Heat 1, Heats 2 and 3 saw him having to fend off persistent challenges from Roshaan Goodman. The duo of Ensor-Smith and Sekudu provided the day’s highlight for the team.
Kian Grottis continued his climb back to the top half of the DD2 points table with three superb results, which included two podium finishes. Starting from third place, he had to settle for fifth, behind experienced DD2 Master competitor Eugene Brittz. In the second heat, he recorded a third-place finish behind the battle for the lead. The day’s final heat was a stop/start affair, with two red flags and the race distance shortened to seven laps. Nevertheless, Grottis kept a cool head despite the carnage around him to finish as runner-up. This saw him finish the day in third place.
The next outing for the team will be at the same venue on 28-29 April for Round 2 of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge Championships.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell
Picture Caption: KC Ensor Smith
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