Centurion driver Luhan De Wet scored a hat-trick of podiums at Formula-K Kart Circuit this weekend to place third at Round 3 of MSA’s Northern Regions Rotax Karting Championship.
Nolte qualified fifth on Saturday morning in what has become one of the most competitive classes in the regional championship. Drivers were also challenged with a different layout for the round, with some of the more familiar corners no longer in play. Regardless, Nolte got on with the task and made up a position during the early stages of the opening heat. After running in third for the most part, he would lose the place to Brodi Dowling before finishing in a gritty fourth position while recording the quickest lap time of the race.
Heat 2 would see the E-Ballistic-backed driver start from the pole position but lose several places before starting Lap 2 and being demoted to fourth. Ronaldo Koen quickly caught up, forcing Nolte to drive defensively and lose more time to the three ahead. On Lap 5, Nolte lost the position to Koen to take the chequered flag in fifth. The final heat would see Nolte and Koen again battle for the fourth position during the initial stages of the race. This time, however, Nolte triumphed over his competitor to cross the finish line in fourth to cap off a strong performance despite missing out on the overall podium.
“It was an indifferent day for Johan (Nolte),” said Neil Basilio, Nolte’s driver coach. “While Johan was four-tenths off in qualifying, he showed he had a strong race pace with the fastest lap in Heat 1. Unfortunately, he couldn’t convert his pole position and soon got caught up in the battle for the podium. From then on, he always fought to keep his position, which almost always puts you on the back foot. Still a solid performance, regardless. We will look at the data and see where to improve ahead of the national round in two weeks.”
Nolte thanks the support of E-Ballistic and NBR Racing. Nolte returns to Formula-K Kart Circuit for the second national South African Rotax MAX Challenge round on 28-29 April 2023.
Published by: Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell
Picture Caption: Johan Nolte
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