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It was a fantastic second MSA Northern Regions Regional Rotax Karting Championship round for the Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy (TGRJA) this past Saturday (11 March) at Formula-K Kart Circuit, with the team victorious in all four of the classes that they competed in.

The successful weekend for the team sees them heading up three of the four classes on the points table, with a significant improvement in the fourth.

Reagile Mailula won his second-consecutive regional Mini MAX round after starting the day in pole position. In Heat 1, he held off reigning champion Caleb Odendaal to record a lights-to-flag win. The only aspect of the race he didn’t dominate was setting the fastest lap, which crucially saw him starting the second heat from third place. It didn’t take him long to move up to second in the order off the line in pursuit of Odendaal. On the penultimate lap, a mistake by the latter saw Mailula move into the lead. However, the pole starter, Kegan Martin, kept himself within striking distance throughout and made his move for the win on the final lap, with Mailula finishing as runner-up. Again starting from third in the final heat, Mailula initially lost a place to Martin. It did not take the pair long to pass Keagan Beaumont, with Mailula passing Martin a lap later. They kept Odendaal in their sights, but the shortened race did not allow Mailula enough time to challenge for the lead successfully. Nevertheless, his consistency within the top two throughout the day saw him take the Round 2 win by four points.

Emma-Rose Dowling finished her second regional Mini MAX weekend in seventh place. Starting the day from seventh place on the grid, she gained a position in the early laps before heading up the midfield group to cross the line in sixth place. The second heat saw her in a fierce, threeway contest with Taylin Patel and Ewan Venter. She saw off the pair and finished the race in fourth, again leading the midpack over the line. The constant jostling for position resulted in her inability to record a flying lap in clean air, resulting in a lowly start to the third heat. After making her way through the pack, she settled in seventh place in the running order, sandwiched by Patel and Venter. However, a post-race Nose Cone Infringement Penalty (NCIP) saw five seconds added to her time, costing her two positions. She finished the day in seventh place.

Kent Swartz moved into the lead of the Junior MAX Championship following a full house of points on the weekend. From the pole position, he fended off Wian Boshoff in the early stages of the first two heats before taking the wins. The day’s final heat saw him take an unchallenged lights-to-flag victory. Not only did he finish the day 13 points clear of Boshoff, but with the pair tied on points going into the weekend, he now holds a 13-point lead in the championship.

Formula-K Kart Circuit was a happy hunting ground for the reigning Junior MAX champion, KC Ensor-Smith, who leapfrogged three drivers into the lead of the Senior MAX championship. From pole position, all three races followed a similar pattern, with Ensor-Smith seeing off Muhammed Wally in the opening stages before checking out and winning the races by decisive margins. With a full house of points, he now holds a 10-point lead.

His teammate, and former points leader, Olerato Sekudu, now trails him on the points table. Sekudu was entangled in an opening heat midfield battle after he qualified in third place. Although he crossed the line in fifth place, he was reclassified to seventh following a five-second NCIP. In the second heat, he crossed the finish line in fourth place after holding off Ethan Bostander. The final heat saw him finish as runner-up in a one-two finish for TGRJA while keeping Wally at bay. This saw him finish Round 2 in third place, equal on points with Kian Spies, but with a shorter aggregate race time.

Kian Grottis took the DD2 honours by 15 points, dramatically improving his position in the championship. He started the day from pole position but lost places early in Heat 1. However, he gradually made his way back up, taking the lead in the DD2 class before passing Kyle Lawrence for the lead of the combined DD2 and DD2 Masters field just after the halfway mark, going on to take the win. In Heat 2, he saw off Brad Liebenberg and Wayland Wyman on consecutive laps to take his second win. The final heat saw him finish as runner-up to Liebenberg, following a good tussle with Wyman, Lawrence and Hamza Jassat.

Round 3 of the championship returns to the Formula-K Kart Circuit on 15 April.

Published by:  Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell

Picture Caption:  KC Ensor-Smith

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