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February 19, 2023 9 min read

The first race of the MSA ROK Northern Regions season took place at Formula K in Benoni this weekend! It was an exciting day for karting enthusiasts as drivers from around the region (and the country) gathered to kick off the racing season. Despite the cloudy weather, the turnout was impressive with spectators lining up along the track to catch a glimpse of the action. The atmosphere was electric as the drivers prepare to put their skills to the test and compete for the top spot on the podium in their class and get a good start to the Norther Regions championship. Everyone was ready for an exhilarating race filled with high-speed thrills, intense competition, and plenty of excitement, and the weekend did not disappoint. Throw rain into the mix and well…

It was a moderate day at the track, with a crisp fresh start to the morning, damp on the ground and clouds covering the skies most of the day, will it rain was the question on everyone’s lips and that question was answered with a resounding yes about mid-way through the second round of heats, but it did not dampen the spirits and if anything added more electricity to the air.

The first race of the season took place at the Formula-K Raceway.  FK at 1640m about sea-level is the latest & most advanced short circuit in South Africa and easily one of the most spectacular raceways in the world. Thousands of people visit the circuit to experience race meetings, driving experiences and karting. This world class venue, consisting of various track configurations, can provide for a wide range of competitions and events such as this - the first race of the northern regions karting season.

Friday practice was well attended at the track with lots of testing and setup fine tuning happening in pits all over. The drivers brave enough to adopt OK-N for their very first race had a lot of work to do, with engines only arriving the week of the race, there was lots to learn and different engine setups, timings, and carburettor settings to fine tune and test.

Cadet kicked off the first qualification of the ROK classes for the day.


Luhan de Wet secured pole position with a time of 53.971, Raidyn Reddy (56.489) and Kiaan Pillay (57.108) completed the top three on the grid, with Ronald Venter close behind, with a time of 57.411, just three hundredths short of a P3 start. Unfortunately Lwashu Mathebula and Hunter North were deemed to be overweight and excluded from the qualifying results.

Race 1:

De Wet took the win, out in front alone, with Pillay and Reddy rounding out the podium. Venter, Mathebula next followed closely by North. De Wet crowned their victory with the fastest lap of 54.06, 3 seconds faster than the closest competitor to seal the deal.

In Race 2, conditions had worsened but De Wet won again out front, this time followed by North and behind Reddy for their second third place of the day. Venter followed in fourth with Mathebula and Pilay a lap down behind.

De Wet took their third victory of the day, again alone out front, again setting a race fastest lap on the final lap, in further worsening weather conditions. Venter a lap down came in second with Reddy closing out the podium, and behind respectively was Mathebula, North and Pillay.

De Wet won the day convincingly followed by Venter and Reddy tied in second and third with 90 points each. With just a point between them in 4th, 5th and 6th was North, Pillay, and Mathebula.

Kid Rok Class


Logan Billau (Tony Kart) secured pole position with a time of 1:20.166. Kayde Cornofsky (CRG) with a time of 1:20.214, four hundredths off pole, and Diego Antunes (Parolin) with a time of 1:21.060 completed the top three on the grid. The rest of the grid was made up by Riley Van Staden (Praga), Noah Cronje (Tony Kart), Alonzo Dias (CRG), Zac Boshoff (Exprit), Omolemo Mfana (Parolin) and Jenson Dias (Kart Republic) respectively.

In the first race Cornofsky took the lead early and secured the win, as well as the fasted lap (1:19.810) with Billau and van Staden rounding out the podium. Closing out the remainder of the grid was Antunes, just four hundredths of a second behind a podium position, Cronje, Boshoff, A Dias, J Dias and Mfana.

Race 2 was again affected by further worsening of the weather. Billau was back on top for the second race victory with Cronje and van Staden closing out the podium. Antunes, Dias, Boshoff, and Mfana closed out the race respectively with Cornofsky the previous race winner, and leader of this race till he was out on lap 5, and J Dias out on lap 2. Cornofsky again set the fastest lap of 1:44.541.

With slightly better conditions, race 3 was underway, Cornofsky and Billau were back at it but Cornofsky, setting the fastest lap of the race on the last lap held on to the lead with Billau in second just two tenths behind. Van Staden took the final podium position. Antunes, A Dias (10 sec penalty), Cronje, and Mfana following behind respectively.

Billau won the day with consistency and a good pace, followed closely by Cornofsky in second and van Staden in third. Behind them respectively was Cronje and Antunes tied on 87, A Dias, Mfana, Boshoff, and J Dias.

Mini Rok Class


Mattao Mason (CRG) secured pole position with a time of 1:15,979, two hundredths of a second behind him was his teammate Caleb Moss(CRG) with a time of 1:16.002. Declan Jurgens (Riccardio) completed the podium positions with a time of 1:16.338. Taylin Patel (Parolin), Max Boshoff(Exprit), Ewan Venter (Riccaiardo), Manelisi Nkomo (Lando Norris), Sebastian Blignaut(CRG), Angelo Brachini (Tony Kart), Maddox Mason (CRG), Tshepang Shisinwana(Kart Republic), Kayo Cero(OTK), Durelle Goodman (Exprit) completed the grid respectively.

Race 1, Mason #28 took the lead on lap 5 with the fast lap of the race to pass Moss, who had leaped to first at the start, to win the race, with Moss and Patel rounding out the podium. Jurgens, Boshoff, Mason #29, Blignaut, Goodman, Venter, Shisinwana, Brachini, Nkomo (5s Nose Cone penalty), Ferreira, and Cera closed out the race respectively.

Race 2 with the rain really shook things up. Goodman took the lead in front with a stunning first lap from 7th on the grid to second in lap one and the lead in lap 2. Moss was out on the start, leaving the podium to be Goodman, followed by Patel and Nkomo (5 sec Nose Cone Penalty). Mason #28 finished fourth with a Nose Cone, followed by Brachini, Ferreira with a Nose Cone Penalty, Cera, Mason #29, Venter, Shisinwana, Boshoff, Jurgens, and Blignaut. Mason #28 got the fastest lap of the race 1:40.355.

In Race 3 Moss almost got the win on the last lap but unfortunately has a Nose Cone Penalty, pushing him to 4th. Mason claimed victory, with Goodman and Jurgens in second and third. After Moss was Boshoff, Patel (Nose Cone Penalty), Venter, Mason #29 (Nose Cone Penalty), Ferreira, Shisinwana, Blignaut, Cera, and Nkomo (Nose Cone Penalty). Moss set the fastest lap of the race, 1:16.771.

Mason #28 won the day, with Goodman and Patel making up the final podium positions. Jurgens, Boshoff, Mason #29, Moss, Venter, Nkomo, Ferreira, Shisinwana, Blignaut, Cera, Brachini respectively.



Torben Roos (Ricciardo) set a blistering pace with a time of 1:20.728, outqualifying even the new OK-N karts on the grid. Luke Hill (RD) with a time of 1:23.010 and Mahlori Mabunda(Kart Republic) with a time of 1:23.260, and only one lap, completed the top three of the grid. Followed closely by Ndzalo Khoza (OTK), Ricardo Tebutt (Tony Kart), Dhivyen Naidoo (Ricciardo), Chase Khathi(Parolin), Ntiyiso Mabunda (Kart Republic), William Marshal (Tony Kart), and Mohammed Moerat (Kart Republic) making up the rest of the starting grid.

Race 1, the OKN karts found their way out in the front and Tebutt with an impressive drive secured the victory in OKJ with Roos and Moreart closesly behind filling up the podium places. Hill, Khoza, Naidoo, Mabunda M, just 2 hundredths behind – Mabunda N, Khathi, Maphumulo, and Dias filled the remaining positions with Marshal out on lap 3.

Race 2 again affected by weather, was filled with excitement. Roos took the win, with Hill and Mabunda rounding out the podium. Naidoo, Mabunda M, Moerat, Khathi (Nose Cone Penalty), Dias (Nose Cone Penalty), Tebutt and Kohza followed behind respectively. Maphumlo was out on lap 3 and Nel and Marchal on lap 1.

Hill took victory in race three with Roos and Mabunda N, closing out the podium positions. Dias with the fastest lap of the race was in fourth, followed by; Naidoo, Mabunda M, Moerat, Tebbutt (Nose Cone Penalty), Marshal, Khoza (Nose Cone Penalty), Khathi, Maphumulao.

Roos won the day followed by Hill and Mabunda N. Tebutt only one point behind and tied with Naidoo for fourth and fifth, followed by Moerat, Mabunda M, Dias, Khoza, Khathi, Maphumulo, and Marshal.

OKN Class

The new OK-N class qualified and raced with the OKJ class. Niko Zafiris, Michael Pringle, Juandre Nel, and Mikel Bezuidenhout were all at the forefront of motor racing history with this one of the first competitive OK-N races worldwide, a new class introduced by the FIA to simplify karting and increase exposure. Read more about it here.

Michael Pringle (Tony Kart) secured pole position with a time of 1:21.309. Niko Zafiris (Tony Kart) and Mikel Bezuidnehot (Tony Kart) completed the top three on the grid, with Jundre Nel less than a second behind in 4th. Nel felt the heat with being an early adopter - a seized engine in qualifying but with the assistance of Ricky Perdigao of Finely Tuned he was back up and running for Race 1.

In the historic Race 1 Zafiris took the win, with Nel and Pringle rounding out the podium. Bezuidnehout was hot on the heels to finish fourth 8 tenths behind.

Race 2, we already know, is where the weather came into play. Pringle claimed victory in the second race, with Zafiris and Bezuidenhout down the road in second and third. Nel in fourth was out on lap one.

Race 3 saw Nel to third on lap 2, second on lap 3 and took the lead on lap 7, managing to hang on for victory over Bezuidnehout and Zafiris. Pringle came in fourth just four thousand(!) of a second behind third place to Zafiris.

Zafiris secured a historic win of the day with Pringle and Nel on the remaining podium steps. Bezuidenhout finished just a point behind in 4th. A big congratulations and thanks to; the four competitors, Neil Basilio Racing and Ricky Perdigao Motorsports both helping track side, and everyone else involved for ensuring this historic race took place and was successful!

KZ2 and KZ Masters


Pelser (FK), secured pole position with a time of 1:27.849. Disa P and Olivier (RS) completed the top three on the grid. KZ2 pole was Pelser (FK), followed by Olivier (RS) and Dali (OTK), while KZ Masters pole was Dias P, followed by Swanepoel (FK) and Auby (FK). Firedberg and Sunders (FK) completed the Masters grid with Smith (Kosmic), Seeger (Formula-K), Illman (FK), Conradie (FK), and Matthysen completed the KZ2 grid.

In race 1 the masters showed they still have the pace, whilst Olivier took the win, Aubey (M) and Dias P (M), rounded out the podium. The KZ2 results have Oliver first followed by Seeger, Smith, Dali, Matthysen, and Pelser, Illman and Conradie did not finish the race. The KZ Masters results have Auby winning followed by Dias, Fridberg, Swanepoel, and Sanders.

Race 2 and again the weather has an effect. Olivier secured the victory again, followed by Pelser, with Auby(M) only four hundredths behind to close out the podium positions. The KZ2 classification of the results have Olivier winning with, Pelser in second, and Illman in third. Dali, Matthysen make up the remaining positions a lap behind with Smith, Waldo, not finishing the race and Conradi a DNS. The Masters result has Auby winning the race, with Swanepoel second and Fridberg in third. Dias Paul, and Sunders closed out the remaining positions.

With the weather not letting up the third race was cancelled, and the results as follows.

In KZ2 Olivier won the day, followed by Pelser and just one point behind him, Dali to closeout the podium positions. Behind them was Matthysen, Seeger, Smith, Illman, and Conradie respectively.

In the KZ Masters, Auby won the day with Swanepoel and Dias P, closing out the remaining steps of the podium, tied on 61 points. Behind them were Fridberg and Sunders respectively.


The racing was filled with action and drama, with several key moments that kept fans on the edge of their seats. It will be interesting to see how the results of these races will impact the rest of the season. One thing is for sure De Wet, Billau, Mason, Roos, Zafiris, Olivier, and Aubey have all had a fantastic start and put them in a good position leading into the next ROK Northern Regions race on the 11th of March at Vereeniging Kart Circuit. Of course a huge thank you goes out to the official that organized the event, the marshals for ensuring everyone was safe, the timekeeper and everyone else involved.

Result are not official


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