The final round of the Investchem F1600 Championship concluded at Zwartkops Raceway this past Saturday with 2023 rookie KC Ensor-Smith showing some incredible pace throughout the weekend.
Ensor-Smith had a great start to his weekend with the second-fastest time recorded in Friday’s opening practice session. He continued improving his performance in the second and third sessions and eventually topped the time sheets. Although he couldn’t secure the pole position on Saturday, the young driver from Witbank managed to record the fourth-quickest lap time, only 0.166 seconds behind the leader. This result once again highlighted how competitive the class is, as the top 11 drivers were all within one second of each other.
During the opening race, however, Ensor Smith lost some ground on the opening lap, having to take to the dirtier outside line of Turn 2. Dropping to sixth, the multiple national karting champion had to fend off the challenge of Nicolas Van Weely for most of the race, something he did successfully to finish just outside the top five. Due to a family commitment, Ensor-Smith could not participate in the final race.
“I’m pretty satisfied with the pace we found this weekend. We were quickest in almost all of the sessions on Friday, and I missed out on the pole by a tenth. But the lap times in this class are very close and have been all season. The tight nature of this circuit also makes overtaking nearly impossible. I’m not unhappy with my season at all, as it has been a strong debut. It took me several rounds to get used to the car and for us to sort out a few niggly issues. We ended the season well, and I must thank Vitro Frameless, African Heating and Master Stairs for the support. Thanks also to my team, especially Claudio from Race Driver SA.”
While Ensor-Smith’s main circuit season has ended, he returns to karting on 28 October for the final Northern Regions Rotax Karting Championship round before heading to Bahrain for the Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals in December.
Issued by Motorsport Fanatix
Picture Caption: KC Ensor-Smith
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