Debut Junior podium for feisty Alibhai
Ormonde, Johannesburg kart racer Aqil Alibhai emerged delighted from a challenging debut at the opening round of the Rotax Max Challenge South African Karting Championships at the iDube kart track in the KZN Midlands. Alibhai stepped up to Junior Max at the beginning of the season, but he did not let that or Saturday’s extreme conditions deter him from delivering a fine podium performance with third overall against the finest high school racers in the county.
“Wow - that was a really mixed up day, but ended off with a podium,” a delighted Aqil beamed. “We never quite had the right set-up in race 1 and I struggled to seventh on wet rubber as the track dried. “I started 13th and raced back to seventh, which became sixth after another driver picked up a penalty in race 2 — my tyres were not the best but I managed to set the fastest lap, so I was on pole position for final!
”The final was run in the dry and our set-up was not ideal - I led a little but could not hold them back and I settled for fourth, which was good enough for a podium third on my first ever national race in a highly competitive class, so I am more than delighted! “Thanks so much to my dad and the RKT team - now it's just two weeks to the second regional at Vereeniging where we started with a win, so bring it on!”