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This weekend, the Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy will be back in action as the familiar red, black, and white kart liveries take on its competitors in the Rotax-powered championship in the Gauteng region. Zwartkops Kart Raceway, a venue with a rich history in kart racing, will once again be the battleground for the fourth round of the fiercely competitive Northern Regions Kart Championship. As the championship approaches its halfway mark, the tension is tangible, with numerous drivers either leading their respective championships or being in close contention.

Jason Coetzee and Karabo Malemela, the dynamic duo, are set to spearhead the TGRJA challenge in the premier DD2 class again. Both drivers have been in solid form, with Malemela, currently fourth in the championship standings, securing five podiums in the previous six heats. The Capetonian sensation Coetzee has been unstoppable, with five victories from the last six heats, putting him at the top of the championship table. The academy is hopeful for a repeat of their previous success, resulting in a one-two finish for the pair.

In the Senior MAX class, Kent Swartz heads to Pretoria with a six-point advantage over his respective championship rivals, having been victorious in four of the last six heats. Swartz, a rookie in the class, is also the reigning National and Northern Regions Junior MAX Champion and will be looking to add the regional Senior MAX title to his list of motorsport accomplishments in 2024. This weekend, however, Swartz will be keen on taking his first win at Zwartkops in 2024, boasting a best finish of second across both the national and regional competitions at the circuit.

One of South Africa’s top female drivers, Emma-Rose Dowling, returns to compete in the super competitive Junior MAX class. Dowling, who has faced her share of challenges in her rookie season, showed remarkable resilience with a strong pace in Round 2 of the competition, scoring a double podium. Despite missing the previous round due to personal commitments, she and her team are determined to make a strong comeback and secure some silverware this weekend.

Tshepang Shisinwana, the academy’s youngest driver and a former double national karting champion, trails the Mini MAX championship leader by three points and will be motivated to head into the championship’s midway point ahead of the competition. Shisinwana, who has been a regular podium contender, returns to Zwartkops after a double-win in the previous round. While Shisinwana is still to record a regional round victory at Zwartkops this season, the Johannesburg driver has been on the top step in the national competition.

While drivers will take to the circuit on Friday for practice, the action starts on Saturday with a Warm-Up Session (08:30) followed by a Qualifying Session (10:10). Three heats conclude the day’s racing with the first heat commencing at 11:34. Spectators are welcome, and entry is free.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Kent Swartz heads up the Northern Regions Senior MAX Championship

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