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The Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy (TGRJA) team is well-prepared for its second season of national competition, with the opening round of the MSA South African Rotax MAX Challenge set to commence on 3-4 March at the Idube Raceway, Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal.

For the new season, the team’s challenge will be spearheaded by essentially the same successful line-up, with a few changing classes and the addition of a new driver.

Reagile Mailula remains in the Mini-MAX class, where he finished in ninth place in 2022. However, he made steady progress throughout the season, and 2023 could see him challenge for the title. His performance in the recent opening round of the MSA Northern Regions Regional Rotax Karting Championship suggests that he will be a driver to watch out for. Emma-Rose Dowling moves up from the Micro-MAX class and wants to cement her reputation as South Africa’s fiercest young female competitor.

The team’s Junior-MAX campaign will see Kent Swartz join the line-up as the sole TGRJA competitor. This will be Swartz’s debut season in the class, having finished third in the Mini-MAX standings in 2022. Swartz was in great form at the aforementioned regional before joining the team, where he finished second overall, which included a maiden victory. He will be an exciting new prospect for the year ahead.

Olerato Sekuda will strive to improve on his 2022 fourth place in the Senior-MAX class and be an early contender for championship silverware. The team’s campaign in this class is bolstered this year by reigning Junior-MAX champion KC Ensor-Smith. Ensor-Smith dominated the Junor Max field in 2022 and is eager to continue his hopes of a third consecutive national title.

Kian Grottis heads up the DD2 class title challenge, where the team will only field one entry this year. Grottis, who suffered some unfortunate results, finished 2022 in fourth place and is eager to improve and become a regular podium contender.

Official practice for the season opener starts on Friday, with Saturday seeing the business end of the weekend, with a qualifying session and three heats around the picturesque iDube Raceway.

Published by:  Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell

Picture Caption:  Emma-Rose Dowling

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