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Reigning 2022 MSA Northern Regions Regional Bambino Karting Champion Diego Antunes surprised many with an inspiring Kid ROK performance at the weekend. The Formula-K Kart Circuit, Benoni, hosted the opening round of MSA’s Northern Regions Karting Championship that saw nine competitors take to the Kid ROK grid.


Backed by TrevPar World and for the 2023 season, Antunes got his season off to a strong start after qualifying in third during the morning session. Over the first half of the 10-lap race, Antunes battled Riley van Staden for the final podium position before losing the position, claiming fourth across the finish line. A rain-affected second heat would see the Johannesburg driver again battle van Staden for the third position before Noah Cronje joined the fray for a three-way tussle for position. When the chequered flag dropped, Antunes took third ahead of Van Staden before a nose-cone infringement (a five-second penalty) saw Antunes demoted to fourth.

The final heat would see much of the same, with Antunes having to make up a few more places after a slow start before continuing his battle with Van Staden for the final podium position. He was, however, unable to take the fight through to the final lap and took another hard-fought and well-deserved fourth position. Antunes tied Cronje for fourth place overall (87 points) but was declared fifth on account of Cronje’s better heat results.

“Diego surprised us all today,” said Neil Basilio, Antunes’ driver coach. “He has had very little time in Kid ROK after a successful season in Bambino. His awareness was phenomenal, and he drove as well as I’ve ever seen him drive. Then if you throw in the tricky conditions and a wet race, he blew us all away. I am super proud of the little guy.”

Antunes will return for the national opening round of the MSA National Karting Championship scheduled for a return to the Celso Scribante Kart Track, Gqerberha, on 24-25 March. Antunes thanks TrevPar World, and NBR Karting.

Published by:  Motorsport Fanatix – Raymond Cornwell

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