|What||Rotax Junior Max Grand Finals Report|
|Where||Sarno, Napoli, Italy|
|When||Saturday 26 October 2019|
Alibhai stars in world kart finals
Ormonde Johannesburg teenager Aqil Alibhai returns home delighted to have ended up twelfth in the world at the Rotax Junior Max Grand Karting Finals in Sarno Italy over the last week. Alibhai, who qualified for his second Grand Finals on the trot by winning the wildcard African Open race earlier in the season, bounced back from a tough middle heat to deliver a great Pre Final race to qualify 22nd for Saturday's Grand Final before putting in a strong drive to 12th.
“What an experience!” an elated Aqil reflected. “It was never easy and we had to work really hard throughout the weekend. “We arrived in Italy a week ago and spent a couple of days testing and setting up the brand new kart we were provided to race by Rotax Max for the qualifying heats and I was happy that the kart showed great pace out the box.
“My first heat went well — I finished sixth with a bumper penalty and in heat two I was up to seventh when I was hit from behind and sent flying — and I mean really flying! “The kart was not the same after that and I struggled home way back in 29th, so the plan was to keep it clean and out of trouble in my last heat, which I somehow managed to do among that mad lot and ended up ninth.
“That put us on a sweet fifteenth place start for our Pre Final, where I had a good run to end up sixth and I was delighted about that, so I was a little disappointed to only start the Grand Final in 21st. “The Final went pretty well — I had a great first few laps and found myself all alone behind the lead pack but just could not catch them in time. “So I ended up 12th out of 72 of the best Junior Max drivers in the world — not bad hey?
"Overall it was an awesome experience and yes let me do the nice thing now and thank everyone who made it happen — especially Richard Blom and Rhyn Goetsch and most importantly my family. “Till next time, over and out!”
Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai
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