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What Volkswagen Rookie Cup Race Report
Where Killarney International Raceway
When Saturday 16 March 2024
Community South Africa National

Volkswagen Rookie Cup starts at Killarney

Kart racer Dhivyen Naidoo rose to prominence as Volkswagen Motorsport’s Rookie Cup commenced its second season in search of future racing talent at the Killarney International Raceway’s season-opening National Extreme Festival on Saturday. The young Durbanite delivered a grand slam pole position and a double race win in the perfect start to his second season Rookie campaign.

Naidoo took pole from Judd Bertholdt and Jayden Goosen on Friday evening, with instructor Daniel Rowe and Uzair Khan next up from Josh Moore. Naidoo, Goosen and Bertholdt diced up front early in the first race, before Bertholdt slipped off and dropped to the back. That left Naidoo under pressure from former karting rival Goosen

While Naidoo held Goosen off for victory by a second, Bertholdt set the quickest lap in his fight back to third, only to be slapped with startline penalty to drop him back to fifth behind Uzair Khan and Josh Moore. Bertholdt set the fastest lap as he fought back to third, to line up on the front row of the second race.

Bertholdt however posted the fastest lap to claim the race 2 pole from Goosen and Naidoo. Racing with the rookies, instructors Daniel Rowe and Matthew Merton not only took close note of their student’s progress, but Merton’s three-tenths of a second quicker lap time also gave the youngsters a decent target for race 2.

Khan made a rocket start to lead the first race but was soon off the track to leave Naidoo edging away from Bertholdt, Goosen and Moore, mixing it up with instructors Rowe and Merton. Naidoo duly took the win with the rest following in the same order. Goosen in third matched mentor Merton’s race 1 lap, but fellow instructor Rowe once again lowered the target by two tenths. Jayden Goosen held Judd Bertholdt off to claim second overall behind Dhivyen Naidoo, and ahead of and Josh Moore Uzair Khan.

A Volkswagen Motorsport initiative open to young race drivers between 14 and 16 years old with a valid MSA licence, Rookie Cup is designed to deliver a seamless transition for that all-important step up from karting into main circuit racing. Rookie Cup works as a motor racing academy and goes far beyond best racing lines, perfect brake markers and racecraft, with recruits trained in every aspect of racing with an eye to a career on track.

Rookie Cup also trains drivers on fitness and best physical and mental preparation, teamwork and collaborating with race technicians and the crew, data analysis and working with television, the media, and every other racing career aspect. To that end, Rookie Cup drivers take expert guidance from Volkswagen Motorsport professional champion drivers Matthew Merton, Daniel Rowe and Volkswagen Motorsport factory pilot Jonathan Mogotsi taking expert care of every aspect.

Young drivers interested in learning more and joining the Volkswagen Rookie Cup can email with the subject line ‘Ref: VW Rookie Cup’, and Volkswagen’s dedicated Rookie Cup team will be in touch. Volkswagen Rookie Cup now takes a break before returning for its first high altitude round at Zwartkops, Pretoria on Saturday 18 May.

Issued on behalf of Volkswagen Motorsport

Photography by: Abri de Bruyn

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