Young kart driver Shambare faces tough SA test
Collin Matiza Sports Editor
KART Sport Club member, 11- year- old Tawana Shambare, departed for South Africa this week to compete in the prestigious 2023 African Open.
The event will be hosted at Zwartkops International Kart Raceway in Pretoria and is set to determine Africa’s 2023 Rotax karting champions and grant them the opportunity to represent their nations at the Grand Finals in Bahrain this December.
Shambare, who had a successful year placing second in the Motorsport Zimbabwe ROK Cup championship, will be competing in the Under-13 Mini Max class, which includes a diverse number of participants from across Africa, including Namibia, Mozambique, Angola and of course a very strong contingent from the home country South Africa.
Victor Shambare, Tawana’s father and chairman of Kart Sport Club said: “It will undoubtedly be a challenging weekend for Tawana. Not only will he compete in a new class with a different brand kart but it will also be his maiden visit to one of the most technical kart circuits in South Africa.
“ The programme is also very demanding with two days of practice, qualifying on Saturday (today) and then the heats and final on Sunday, so race fitness will play a huge part for the final.”
Unfortunately, the Shambares’ plan to have some early practice on Wednesday was curtailed by heavy rains so Tawana only managed to get out onto the track on Thursday.
However, with five practice sessions under his belt and with his confidence growing, he managed a solid day progressively improving his lap times by the end of practice.
And the youngster is looking forward to this weekend’s event and is itching to get behind the wheel.
“I’m so excited to be able to have the opportunity of racing in South Africa. The circuit is very tough with very high grip levels that are difficult to master but I’m going to do my best and enjoy the experience.” said Tawana.
Kevin Dufty, proprietor of Pole Position Karts, said: “Local karting has been buoyed this year with the establishment of the new kart track at the National Sports Stadium and the successful hosting of the six- round ROK Cup championship.”
Dufty added: “This has generated new excitement for karting in Zimbabwe and given competitors the confidence to race outside the country which is very exciting.”