The African karting spotlight falls firmly on South Africa this month as the country hosts the inaugural African Karting Cup (AKC).
It will be held from 15 to 17 February 2024 at the Formula-K Kart circuit in Benoni, which will host 40 participants from over 15 African countries. These include including Angola, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Tanzania, South Africa and Zimbabwe. Entry is free.
“The African Karting Cup will be a real nail-biter,” says Cindy Van Der Laan, GM of promoter Rok Cup South Africa. “For the first time in Africa we will be showcasing two classes, OK-N and OK-J as an arrive and drive format. We are very excited to announce that we will also be introducing a mini Rok invitational.”
She says the event will see OK-N competitors vying for a seat at the 2024 FIA OK-N Karting World Cup or a comparable competition.
Cindy Van Der Laan, GM of promoter Rok Cup South Africa.
AKC holds a special attraction due to its format: “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. In an arrive and drive format race, 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. To add to the excitement, the track layout will be kept secret until Thursday 15 February.”
Karting is one of the foundations of motorsport and the starting point for many 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, CEO of Motorsport South Africa, says the majority of drivers who reach the pinnacle of motorsport began their careers in karting.
“Karting in South Africa produces some exceptional talent,” he says “Some big-name drivers over the last few years have included Kelvin van der Linde, Sheldon van der Linde and Jordan Pepper. More recently, three drivers who have launched their international careers and are making waves in the world of motorsport are Jarrod Waberski, Leyton Fourie and Kwanda Mokoena.”
Scholtz says the trio of talented youngsters all started out in karting and spent most of their karting careers racing against each other.
In the AKC event, South Africa will be represented in the OK-N class by Muhammad Wally, Niko Zafiris and Mikel Bezuidenhout. 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; and 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.
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.
* Due to safety concerns surrounding the Formula-K kart circuit in Benoni, a new venue for the African Karting Cup (AKC) has been sourced. The AKC will now be taking place at Zwartkops Kart Circuit from 15 to 17 February.
Free entry for Spectators.