Power performance by TGRSA Junior Academy at Formula-K

The Toyota Gazoo Racing Junior Academy (TGRJA) drivers left the Formula-K Kart Circuit holding several trophies after an impressive outing at the Gauteng Kart Championships on 22 October.

Emma-Rose Dowling stole the show on Saturday following three impressive Micro MAX wins. Despite not starting from pole position, she beat out some more favoured competition to claim the overall spoils. Her three wins now see her having been victorious five times this season, with four of those wins recorded at the Formula-K Kart Circuit. With a round remaining in the championship, the blue-eyed racer has put herself in contention for the regional title.

Reagile Mailula took the Benoni Circuit by storm this weekend after he qualified in pole position and took two of three Mini MAX heat victories on the back of some recent form. "Spice", as he is affectionately known, had battled through some early-season inconsistency scoring the odd victory and podium. As of the previous round, he has shown renewed confidence and has become a regular podium contender. His performance this weekend has been his best so far, allowing him to battle for the runner-up championship position with the title already sewn up.

With KC Ensor-Smith away on international duty, Sa'aad Variawa was left to fly the TGRJA Junior MAX flag, and he did! After qualifying in the second position, the teenager claimed a podium finish (third) in Heat 1, his second of the season. The second heat, however, would see him tangle with a fellow competitor and drop down the order before a host of penalties to competitors would see him finish in sixth. The final heat, though, would see the Johannesburg youngster claim his maiden victory in the class to end his day in second overall.

The Senior MAX class was again closely-contested and saw TGRJA's Oleratu Sekudu claim an overall podium result despite a dreadful start to his day. Deemed underweight at the scales after qualifying, Sekudu would be disqualified from the session and forced to start at the back of the grid. Starting from 11th, he put in a sublime performance, carving his way through the field to finish just off the podium in fourth. Courtesy of a quick lap time, Sekudu started Heat 2 from third, a position he would successfully defend across the finish line. Another third-place finish in the final heat would see Sekudu take the third overall result and join Dowling, Mailula and Variawa on the overall winner's podium.

Kian Grottis was unfortunate to finish fourth overall and miss out on an overall podium result. At a  circuit that hasn't been a happy hunting ground for the DD2 rookie this season, he narrowly missed the pole position on Saturday morning. Starting from the front row for the opening heat, he would battle some more experienced drivers to finish third while recording the fastest lap. From the pole position for Heat 2, another hotly-contested result would see him finish third again before a frustrating final heat would see him cross the finish line in fifth.

"I think we've had a pretty decent day," said Leeroy Poulter, TGRJA Team Principle. "Two winners on the day in the junior classes is very satisfying and shows that our academy system is paying dividends. Sa’aad and Ole drove well to finish on the podium in two very competitive classes, and Kian, I thought, was a touch unlucky as he had great pace all weekend. With a round remaining, some championships are still up for grabs, so let's see how things turn out in two weeks."

Zwartkops Kart Raceway will play host to the final round of the championship on 5 November 2022.