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Noah Cronje finished as runner-up on his maiden Kid ROK outing in the MSA National Karting Championship this past weekend (24-25 March) at Celso Scribante Raceway, Gqeberha.

Before this event, Cronje only competed in two regional Kid ROK events. While they yielded promising results, this past weekend marked a significant improvement for the reigning National Bambino champion. After showing good pace throughout Friday, Cronje set the second-fastest time in Saturday morning’s qualifying session, after only his second visit to the Eastern Cape circuit that returned to the national calendar. Cronje had participated in the preceding regional held at the circuit a week earlier.

While Logan Billau opened a sizeable gap to his rivals in the day’s opening heat, Cronje has his work cut out to keep Kayde Cornofsky, an experienced competitor in the class, behind him. The pair jostled for position throughout the race, but Cronje finished Heat 1 as the runner-up. The drawback was that Cronje could only set the fifth-fastest time for the second heat’s grid. Nevertheless, the Sparco-backed karter quickly made his way into second place with Cornofsky behind him. The pair recommenced their battle, with Cronje edging Cornofsky out by a margin of 0.001 of a second to claim his second runner-up finish.

In the day’s final heat, Cronje started in third place, behind Cornofsky. A cat-and-mouse battle ensued for most of the race, but on the final lap, Cronje attempted a pass for second place. Cornofsky defended the move that saw Cronje lose control of the kart and the third position. Cronje finished Round 1 placed second with a one-point advantage.

“We had a solid weekend with a result to be proud of,” said Cronje. “Especially with all the hard work that went into our Kid ROK campaign in the past few months. We laid a solid foundation to build on for the rest of 2023 as we continue to push ourselves to get to the top of the podium. Thank you to everyone who made this weekend possible.”

Cronje’s next outing will be in Round 2 of the MSA Northern Regions ROK Championship on 21-22 April at Vereeniging Kart Club, Vereeniging. His next national outing will be on 26-27 May at Formula-K Kart CIrcuit, Benoni.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell

Picture Caption: Noah Cronje

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