As the Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy (TGRJA) readies for the second round of the South African Rotax MAX Challenge (SARMC), anticipation is high among motorsport enthusiasts. This upcoming event at Zwartkops Kart Raceway in Pretoria will see six skilled drivers from the academy compete across four classes against some of the nation’s top Rotax karters.

Leading the charge in the DD2 class is Jason Coetzee, who is determined to build on his early lead in the national championship following a win in the initial round. His academy teammate, Karabo Malemela, faces a tougher climb from fifth place in the standings but remains optimistic after a solid performance in the Northern Regions Championship.

Kent Swartz, the reigning National Junior MAX Champion, had a rocky start to the 2024 National Senior MAX Championship due to an eventful first round. He sees this weekend’s race as a pivotal opportunity to realign his championship aspirations, leveraging his recent regional success to challenge his rivals effectively.

The journey doesn’t get easier for TGRJA drivers Reagile Mailula and Emma-Rose Dowling, who after a low-scoring start in the National Junior MAX Championship, face a steep path to contending for the title. They both hope to replicate their commendable regional championship performances at the national level in a fiercely competitive field.

In the Micro MAX class, Tshepang Shisinwana, standing second in the national standings, is the academy’s lone contender. With a strong showing in the initial round and recent regional successes, he is well-positioned to vie for the top spot at Zwartkops.

The champions of the national championship will earn spots in the prestigious Rotax MAX Challenge Grand Finals, sometimes dubbed the “Olympics of Karting.” Here, Team South Africa’s finest will represent the nation in Italy, competing against the global elite of kart racing.