The Birelart South Africa team had a baptism of fire at the first round of the 2020 Northern Regions Rok Cup, which took place at Zwartkops Raceway last weekend (22 February).
Mattao Mason put in a competitive Kid Rok qualifying lap, which would have given him a 3rd row start. Unfortunately, Mattao (together with five other drivers) received a penalty which dropped him a few positions back. Although his start was compromised, Mattao crossed the finish line in a solid 8th position. He took 6th in heat two and did well to take 7th in the wet, in race three.
Caleb Odendaal had a tough weekend in Mini Rok, although it is prudent to point out that at only 7 years old, he is one of the youngest drivers in the class. He qualified 13th and ended the first heat in 12th place. Caleb got caught up in a lap one incident in heat two and was relegated to the back of the field. He eventually crossed the line 16th. Caleb recovered in the final heat to finish 12th and took 13th place in the overall standings.
Joseph Oelz made a welcomed return to OKJ with a great set of results. He qualified 5th and finished the first heat in 4th place. Joseph had an exceptionally good drive in race two. Whilst lying 4th, Joseph saw that an altercation between the two competitors ahead of him was imminent. He patiently stalked them and sure enough, they touched, running wide into turn one. He pounced, catching them off guard and launching himself into 2nd place. He held this position to the flag. Joseph took another podium in heat three and ended the day 2nd overall.
The day started off well for Anthony Pretorious, who qualified on the 2nd row of the grid and had a good first race, crossing the finish line in 5th place. Unfortunately, his good form didn’t hold as he began to experience a technical gremlin in race two. He nursed his kart home to finish 10th. Unfortunately, the team were unable to sort out the problem between heats and Anthony didn’t finish the final race. He was classified 10th overall.
Dhivyen Naidoo experience mixed results, qualifying 12th on the OKJ grid. He put in a steady performance in heat one, finishing in 7th place. Dhivyen was in the right place at the right time in heat two when he was able to avoid a three kart pile up to take the chequered flag in 4th. The final heat of the day was red flagged and the drivers were forced to line up on the grid so that they could be briefed on proper start procedures. Once released, Dhivyen couldn’t get his kart started and was forced to retire from the race. This dropped him to 14th in the overall results.
Bradley Liebenberg had a good day. He qualified on pole position and won the first two heats. He finished 2nd in final heat, which, marred by heavy rain, saw only 11 drivers finish the race on the lead lap. Bradley took the overall win for the day.
Shrien Naidoo had his work cut out for him, after failing to qualify and having to start from the back of the grid. He drove his heart out, working his way up to 11th place. Shrien finished 16th in race two, before showing his wet weather skills to take 12th in the final heat. He ranked 14th in the overall standings.
Jamie Smith started the first race from 10th place, but his race was cut short due to a technical glitch. He made a fantastic recovery in race two, passing 8 competitors to come home in 15th place. He took 15th in the final heat, ending the day 19th.
Issued by: Motorsport Marketing Services