|What||Ginetta Driver Acadamy|
|When||17-19 December 2020|
SA kart star Alibhai impresses on first car outing
Leading South African kart racer Aqil Alibhai has just returned from taking his first steps up to the main circuit with an excellent showing at the Ginetta Junior Scholarship in a freezing cold Blyton Park in England over the weekend. Alibhai, who has twice represented South Africa in the ‘Olympics of Karting’ Rotax Max Grand Finals, showed great pace and only just missed out on the Academy Seat that saw Formula 1 driver Lando Norris into his racing career.
“We went to England to attend the Ginetta Driver Development Academy's Junior Scholarship over the past weekend and I enjoyed a great run and learned so much,” Aqil admitted. “There were 66 drivers chasing the Ginetta Junior Scholarship — one of two fully paid-for drives in the Ginetta Cup, which Lando Norris won to propel him to where he is in Formula 1 today.
"Half the drivers took part in Friday’s program and the rest on Saturday, with the top 25 going through to the big shootout on Sunday. “I was in the Saturday group and made it through in the top 15 ."Then on Sunday we made it through the Top 12 shootout and into the Top Eight. "I had excellent pace and pushed hard throughout.
“How it worked, is we went out with an instructor in the car — they also judge you on how quickly you pick up on advice and then after each run they put you on camera for an interview. To see how we handle the media under pressure “I set the second fastest time in the end, but I had a small off on the grass on my final run and lost a little time. “The instructor said I should push a bit at a point, but I pushed a bit too hard!
"That moment cost me a Top Four slot, which is a pity because I feel I had the pace to take one of the two of the scholarship seats for a fully funded drive. “Still, I learned so much this weekend and we now know I have the pace, so let’s see what develops. “We were lucky to get out of the UK just in time before the latest lockdown, but now we will take a good break before focussing on our plans for the new year."
Issued on behalf of Aqil Alibhai
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