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Four South Africans, eager to make their mark, returned for Round 2 of the highly competitive and globally recognised Champions of the Future (COTF) Academy Program. This prestigious event, held from 10 to 12 May in Valencia, Spain, provides a unique platform for emerging karting talents to showcase their skills and compete internationally. The program, designed to promote professional kart racing, spans six double-header weekends, three in Europe and three outside the European Union, offering a diverse and challenging environment for the participants.

Maddox Nairn-Mason, the youngest of the South Africans and a former national Bambino champion, competed in the Under-10 category of the Mini 60 class, finishing in an impressive sixth in Friday’s final and eighth in Saturday’s. After two events, the Gauteng driver occupies ninth in the overall standings.

Ten-year-old Capetonian Aaron Mason is also competing in the Mini 60 class. Aaron put in a gritty Friday final performance to record a 15th-place finish but was, however, awarded a five-second time penalty in Saturday’s final to end 25th. With that, he lies 17th in the overall standings.

William Marshall, another driver from the Western Cape, displayed meritorious skill throughout the weekend’s OK-N Junior competition, showcasing his potential as a rising talent in the world of karting. William would replicate his first result from Italy (30 March) by securing the runner-up position in this past Friday’s final before taking another podium (third place) in Saturday’s final. While he remains the only driver in the top five of the championship without a win, his performance thus far sees him third in the points standings.

The only female representative from South Africa, Anastasia Gerasis, is in her first season of two-stroke karting, starting in four-strokes. Hailing from Gauteng, Anastasia competed in the OK-N Senior class and is also an ambassador for females in the sport. Her results saw her finish 26th in Friday’s final and 24th in Saturday’s.

The South African drivers are not resting on their laurels. They are gearing up for the next round of the COTF, which will return to Italy and the Franciacorta Kart Circuit on 26-28 July. But before that, they will be back in action this weekend (17-18 May) at the Vereeniging Raceway, competing in their respective Vortex-powered classes for Round 2 of the National ROK Cup Kart Championships. This local event will serve as a crucial preparation for the international challenge that awaits them in Italy.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: William Marshall

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