|What||Northern Regions Karting Round 1 Report|
|Where||Zwartkops International Kart Raceway, Pretoria|
|When||Saturday 17 February 2018|
Jayden wins but hits trouble at Zwartkops
Reigning Northern Regions Junior Max karting champion and former Mini Max world champion Jayden Els got his Gauteng karting title defence off to a bittersweet start at Zwartkops on Saturday. Boksburg lightie Els qualified on pole position before storming off to win the first race of the day, but a twitched nerve in his back and a technical issue thwarted the King Price CRG driver’s progress for the rest of the day.
“The weekend started great, but then all went south from there” Jayden rued. “We qualified on pole with an incredible time and I had a great first heat - I had to deal with Leyton Fourie along the way but he fell back. I just had to keep Aqil Alibhai behind from there. “Then I pinched a nerve or muscle in my back at the start of race 2 — it was so sore — I was crying in my helmet for the whole race from the pain, so I was very happy to end up second behind Aqil.
“Unfortunately we somehow ended up with the wrong spark plug in my kart and I was excluded, so the pain was double. “I started at the back for the final and worked my way up to the front, but Jarrod Waberski and I collided while I was overtaking him for fifth place at pit corner and we were both out — we were looking good for second or third, but it was not meant to be!
“It was a tough start, but we now know we have the pace to win - we just need to get out front and stay out of trouble, but that’s going to be a little tougher than it seems. “It’s the first national in KZN next with double the number of top guys there and some really tough Cape guys too — we need to beat them all — bring it on! “Thanks to my dad, my family and the team, my sponsors and everyone else who is working to make the King Price CRG the kart to beat in Junior Max this year — see you at iDube!