The African karting spotlight will be placed firmly on South Africa next month as the country hosts the inaugural African Karting Cup (AKC) from February 15 to 17 at the Formula-K Kart circuit in Benoni.
40 of the finest participants from over 15 African countries including Angola, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe will compete in this event, organisers said.
Cindy Van Der Laan, promoter of Rok Cup South Africa, says the event will see OK-N competitors vying for a seat at the 2024 FIA OK-N Karting World Cup or comparable competition.
“The African Karting Cup will be a real nail-biter. For the first time in Africa we will be showcasing two classes, OK-N and OK-J as an arrive and drive format, and are very excited to announce that we will also be introducing a mini Rok invitational,” Van Der Laan said.
AKC holds a special attraction due to its unique format and the sheer thrill it offers.
“It’s a unique format offering two classes namely OK-J and OK-N with a total of 40 competitors plus the Mini Rok invitational event.
“What is so exciting is that this is an arrive and drive format race, where all 20 competitors per class, OK-J and OK-N, will have the same OTK chassis brand and Vortex pool engines drawn randomly. This definitely evens out the field and allows the most talented competitors to stand out and shine,” Van Der Laan added.
To add to the excitement, the track layout will be kept secret until Thursday Feb 15th.
Karting is without doubt the foundation of motorsport and the starting point for any talented youngsters to first learn their craft and hone their skills in the playground of motorsport.
South Africa boasts a cadre of skilled karting talents who actively compete at the FIA level in Europe. Among them are Ethan Lennon, Enzo Rujugiro Luviwe Sambudla and Nikolas Roos.
Adrian Scholtz, the Chief Executive Officer of Motorsport South Africa, agrees saying the majority of drivers who reach the pinnacle of motorsport began their careers in karting.
“Karting in South Africa produces some exceptional talent. Some big-name drivers over the last few years have included Kelvin van der Linde, Sheldon van der Linde and Jordan Pepper to name just a few,” Scholtz said.
“More recently, however, three drivers who stand out having recently launched their international careers and are making waves in the world of motorsport are Jarrod Waberski, Leyton Fourie and Kwanda Mokoena.”
South Africa will be represented in the OK-N class by Muhammad Wally, Niko Zafiris and Mikel Bezuidenhout and in the OK-J class, Sebastian Dias, Wian Boshoff and William Marshall will be competing.
African competitors to watch in the OK-J class include Zaydaan Savania from Zimbabwe; David Ivan Andrianjafy, Matheo Rajomarison and Andi Nathan Rajoelison from Madagascar. In the OK-N class the participants to watch are Jaedon Masiyanise from Zimbabwe, Jacobus van Dyk and Darius Kotze from Namibia, Martin Thyyge Noeigaard and Krrish Vadgama from Kenya and Roy-Bako Baurch from Nigeria to name a few.
Following the event, winners of the OK-N class will head to Europe for the global FIA Karting World Cup while the OK-J driver winners will receive automatic qualification into the 2025 African Karting Cup. The winner of the Mini Rok invitational will win a qualified drive for the prestigious Super Final which takes place in October in Italy.
“There is no doubt that for anyone with grand dreams of Motorsport – karting is the place to start and the AKC is the ideal competition to see just what talent the African continent has on offer,” Van Der Laan concluded.