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Rookie Mikel Bezuidenhout continued his improved form as he impressed with a podium result on 25 March as the newly introduced OK-N class competed in its first MSA National Karting Championship at Celso Scribante Raceway, Gqeberha.

Having competed in the OK-N class only at the regional level during the MSA Northern Regions ROK Karting Championship at Formula-K Kart Circuit a few weeks earlier, Bezuidenhout was back in the hot seat at a circuit that had returned to the national calendar after an absence of four years. After several practice sessions on Friday, Bezuidenhout went out on Saturday looking for a solid qualifying session that would see him start up the grid despite only five competitors.

While qualifying in fifth for the opening heat, Bezuidenhout could not keep up with the pace set at the front and was left battling for the final podium position. Finishing third, Bezuidenhout recorded his best result of the day. Heat 2 would see another 10 laps of the Eastern Cape Circuit, with the Johannesburg teenager claiming a hard-fought fourth position. The final heat would see the Tony Kart driver finish fourth again and be awarded the final overall podium to end the weekend positively.

“Generally happy with my result. A podium finish is always great, and considering I’m still fairly new to all of this, I’d say we had a successful weekend. Despite the high tyre wear, I enjoyed the fast-flowing nature of this circuit. I can see why it has been included on the national tour. While I am still getting to grips with the characteristics of the OK-N and how to extract the best performance from it, it certainly is fun to drive. It’s very different from my Senior MAX. With more practice and training, I can be even faster and a regular contender for podium placings. Thank you to the team and all the officials who made this event a success. I look forward to returning to the circuit one day,” said Bezuidenhout.

Bezuidenhout thanks MTN Cosmo-Net and the team from NBR Racing. Round 2 of the national championship resumes on 26-27 May at the Formula-K Kart Circuit, Benoni. Bezuidenhout will, however, be back on the circuit on 15 April for Round 3 of the MSA Northern Regions Rotax Karting Championship.

Published by:  Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell

Picture Caption: Mikel Bezuidenhout

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