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In what can only be described as a karting baptism of fire, Brandon van der Walt took to the Killarney International Raceway’s karting circuit in an OK-N kart for the first time this past weekend, competing in the opening round of the ROK Cup South Africa’s national karting event.

Made to swim in the deep end of the karting pool, the Pretoria teenager recently changed teams after some average results. Joining WORR Motorsport, Brandon was immediately cast into the spotlight with much expected of him. With some impressive driving this weekend, he surpassed everyone’s expectations, including his own.

His first time in the OK-N seat was on Friday when he spent the entire day getting accustomed to the kart and the OK-N power, which is entirely different from the Rotax-powered Senior MAX kart in which he usually competes.

His eagerness to impress emerged on Saturday morning during the Qualifying Session when he placed sixth, only two-tenths off the third position. He continued to show his talent, battling the midpack to bounce back from ninth to score a top-five finish on debut.

Set for another strong result, an early incident saw Brandon’s kart suffer a damaged radiator, causing an increase in engine temperature and his subsequent retirement from the race. Having completed more than two-thirds of the race, he was classified in 10th.

In another gritty drive, Brandon fought his way from ninth to sixth in the final heat before losing a position in the latter stages of the race. Classified in seventh for the final heat, his combined results saw him finish the day in seventh overall to cap off a courageous debut.

“I am more than satisfied with my first OK-N performance,” stated Brandon. “I surpassed my own expectations today and couldn’t be more grateful to my family and WORR Motorsport for the opportunity to join their star-studded line-up. I’m hoping that with a few more laps and proper coaching from one of the best in the business, I will be up there with the rest.”

Competing across both the Rotax and ROK karting championships, Brandon will return to Cape Town on 22-23 March for the Rotax MAX Challenge (RMC) African Open and the opening round of the South African RMC National Kart Championship scheduled to be hosted over the same weekend.

Published by: Motorsport Fanatix

Picture Caption: Brandon van der Walt

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