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Today is D Day for the inaugural African Karting Cup which is taking place today, Saturday 17 February, at the Zwartkops Kart Circuit in Centurion.

In a special tribute and welcome to all the participants, fans and teams, FIA President, Mohammed Ben Sulayem, sent the following message.

“I am honoured to welcome you to the first ever African Karting Cup. This event is a milestone for African motorsport. It marks the start of a strong continent-wide tradition where young drivers from nine different countries race alongside each other and is a key opportunity for African motorsport to make its mark on the global stage as drivers compete for the opportunity to race at the FIA Karting World Cup.

As you know I am passionate about building a strong future for our sport. I want to double motorsport participation over the coming years and events like this have a key role to play in these efforts both in Africa and beyond. I would like to thank Rok Cup SA for organising and promoting the event and Motorsport South Africa for hosting it. I would like to thank my friend, President of ATCM and Vice President of the FIA for Sports- Africa, Rodrigo Rocha, for the effort he puts into the continent. Thank you for supporting African Karting Cup as a driver, supporter or team. It is dear to me as I founded it many years ago. We wish everyone a very successful Karting Cup.”

This message was reinforced by Rocha who said South Africa was the logical venue for the inaugural cup. “You have the best infrastructure and race officials across the continent and the logistics were already in place,” he says. Rocha also made mention of the incredible motorsport vibe which is so prevalent in the country.

And what a day it promises to be with 40 of the finest participants from across Africa including Angola, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe vying for top honours.

If you missed it previously, Rok Cup South Africa, Cindy Van Der Laan, says in the OK-J class South Africa will have the strongest presence with eight young karters all vying for top position followed by Madagascar and Mozambique. In the OK-N class Mozambique will have the strongest presence with six participants followed by South Africa with four, Madagascar with three, Kenya and Botswana each with two entrants and single entries from Namibia, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

Van Der Laan says many of these young karters, while champions in their own country, have never had the opportunity to race outside their country and compete with different drivers from different countries. “The one thing they all have in common though is they have been karting from a very young age, many have family involved in the sport and they all share a love and passion for karting and an unwavering dedication and competitive spirit for karting excellence.” And as Rocha says all these youngsters dream of being a Formula One champion one day and this is where it all starts. “This is the pathway to F1!!”

Van Der Laan says this inaugural competition is the perfect opportunity for South Africans with young aspirant karters to come out to Zwartkops Kart Circuit in Centurion and join in the fun and give their youngsters a taste of exactly what is involved.

It is also for a great cause. Supporters will not only have the opportunity to see 40 of the finest participants from all over Africa battling it out, but will also be able to lend support to the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA). The CANSA team will be out in full force hosting a CANSA Shavathon at the event. The theme this year is ‘Be Colourfully Kind’. It’s our 22nd year launching CANSA Shavathon and what better way to celebrate than for the karting community to focus on kindness,” says Leillani Geduld, National Manager Corporate Relations and Sporting Events at CANSA.

Entry is free and gates open at 07:00. The official opening ceremony is at 09:30.

For those karting lovers that can’t make it to the track on Saturday the event will be live streamed

Prepared on behalf of Rok Cup South Africa by Cathy Findley PR

Picture Caption:

Caption: From Left: FIA, MSA and Rok Cup SA getting ready for tomorrow’s big race

Rodrigo Rocha, Luke Skipper, Muhammad Ben Sulayem, Robert Reid, Cindy Van der Laan, Valerio Lachizzi, Vic Maharaj

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