|What||ROK OKJ Karting National Report|
|Where||Vereeniging Kart Track|
|When||12-13 September 2020|
|Community||South Africa National|
Alibhai dominates OKJ kart national
Ormonde lad Aqil Alibhai made Vereeniging’s ROK OKJ karting national his own on the weekend as he stormed to five wins out of six races and ended second in the other heat. Racing against the top high school karters in South Africa, Alibhai set his kart up for race pace, but still qualified second for the first race. He took the lead at the off and basically had things his own way for the rest of the meeting.
“That was the perfect weekend!” Aqil admitted. “We had great pace throughout, starting with race 1, which I managed to control throughout to win by 2.8 seconds. "Race 2 was a little more work but I was in front when I needed to be and the third heat was very close, but I still managed to complete the hat trick, albeit by just seven-hundredths of a second!
“I led early on in race 4 in spite of having to come from fifth on the grid and that was a great one "The gap was even closer at the flag, but I was 0.65 seconds behind that time, with the top four covered by a second. “I then I had another fairly easy run to the race 5 win — I led every lap of that one after again moving ahead from fifth on the grid. “I had to work for the final win though, but that was another good scrap.”
That gives Aqil a handy 27-point championship lead, which we now looks to preserve. There are a few other facets of the past weekend that young Alibhai is more than happy about.
“Firstly, we're racing against the cream of the crop of my age group in South Africa and OKJ races on control engines. "We are handed our identically tuned engines before the race and that guarantees an even playing field as there are nobody can touch the engines, as happens in other series where some guys always seem to have an incredible power advantage.
“And secondly, I was never the fastest kart on track all weekend. “We qualified second, I never set the quickest lap in any of the races and thus was not once on pole position,” Alibhai concluded. “But we won five out of six and ended second in the other race, so I truly am delighted with the result!”
There’s no rest for the wicked, as they say. Aqil now prepares for national championship Rotax Senior Max action in another six-race challenge in in this coming weekend's Zwartkops’ double header. He may be making his national debut in the open class there, but Aqil certainly arrives in Pretoria on the front foot...ENDS
Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai
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