|What||Rotax Max International Trophy|
|When||11-13 December 2020|
Motlekar shines in Portuguese Max Kart International
South Africa’s under-13 Rotax Mini Max karting champion enjoyed a very positive last week of racing at the International Trophy in Portugal. Motlekar worked through trying conditions and rough, tough competition to come home fourteenth in Sunday's Final. He used the week to prepare to represent South Africa in the ‘Olympics of Karting’ Rotax Max Grand Finals at the same Sítio do Escampadinho, Mexilhoeira Grande Portimão track at the end of January.
“We went to race the International Trophy plain and simple as a dress rehearsal for the Grand Finals next month,” Ghazi admitted. “But it was a very good weekend and we managed to come home fourteenth in the final. “Most importantly I learned so much this week — the conditions were atrocious for most of Wednesday and Thursday, so we had to work hard to overcome some new challenges. I’d say we succeeded!
“Best of all is that I had a very clean weekend in spite of some hectic action around me. We had no penalties when so many karts were punished and some even excluded in the final stages. So we met our objectives and came home with some excellent fresh knowledge and experience.”
The week started with free practice on gloomy Wednesday and Thursday, where Ghazi quickly acquainted himself with the track and the competition and ended up in the middle of the time sheets. Qualifying however proved a challenge and Ghazi lined up 26th for his first qualifying heat. “I worked hard to climb to 17th in my first qualifying heat and we backed that up with fifteenth in the second race. It was a crazy day — we even had four re-starts through the races!
“The conditions were far better on Saturday and I finally found my feet and raced home tenth in my final qualifying heat.” That was enough to see Ghazi qualify fourteenth for the pre-final off the aggregate of his three heats. “That was a good race — I dropped to 16th, but fought back to twelfth, only to be shuffled back to 16th on that frantic final lap."
Ghazi had good pace in Sunday’s warm up before a wild ride in the Final. “That was a great race — I was in a frantic six-to-ten kart battle throughout and ultimately gained a couple of places and finish 14th overall among the finest Mini Max drivers from all around the world. I need to thank my Squadra Corse team, the guys from Charles Leclerc Kart and my mom and dad for everything as always.
“Now we recharge the batteries for a bit and then it’s practice, practice, practice so I am right on it when I fly the South African flag in the Olympics of Karting. Can't wait!"
Issued on behalf of Ghazi Motlekar
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