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A technical infringement ruined what was potentially a strong result for Senior MAX driver Mikel Bezuidehout at the weekend. Bezuidenhout, a rookie in 2023, competed in Round 3 of the MSA Northern Regions Rotax Karting Championships, finishing 11th overall at Benoni’s Formula-K Kart Circuit.

Qualifying saw the Johannesburg teenager lap fifth quickest, but due to a Nose Cone Infringement Penalty (NCIP), his best lap was invalidated, and he dropped to sixth. Eager to capitalise on his third-row start, Beuidenhout got off to a flyer passing three competitors to take up the third position, where he would go on to finish. Another NCIP would see five seconds added to his race time, demoting him to eighth.

Heat 2 would end in disappointment. Despite a strong performance, he was disqualified from the results due to a technical infringement (underweight). He had this to say after the disqualification, “It’s very disappointing to receive a DQ. We were fine all day, and now suddenly, we are 2 kgs under. It’s strange, but we must take it on the chin and focus on the final heat. I’ll start from the back now, so it should make for an exciting race.”

The final heat would see another impressive performance. Starting last, Bezuidenhout made up three positions over the opening lap before setting his sights on the competitor ahead. On Lap 6, he passed another two drivers to lead the battle for the midpack. Despite his best defensive driving, he could not keep Scott Falconer, a former national GP 125cc Shifter Karting Champion, at bay and crossed the finish line in seventh to cap off a somewhat topsy-turvy day of results.

“While I am pretty happy with my general performance, it wasn’t easy. The opening heat was one of my best since starting karting, but the nose cone penalty robbed me of my first podium. The Heat 2 DQ was not helpful, and we are still trying to understand how we were suddenly underweight. Despite taking third on track in Heat 1, I can honestly say the final heat was the most enjoyable. Starting from the back, you can only go forward, and once you make a pass, you see the next driver ahead, which motivates you further. As I said, generally happy and grateful to the NBR Racing team. I want to thank those who support me, especially MTN Cosmo-Net and my new sponsor Vivo Mobile.”

Bezuidenhout returns on 28-29 April for Round 2 of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge at Formula-K Kart Circuit.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell

Picture Caption: Mikel Bezuidenhout

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