South Africa’s 2017 karting world champion Jayden Els started karting in July 2011, when he got a kart for this 7th birthday before moving up to the Northern Regions Championship in the 50cc Cadet Class. Jayden was quickly on the pace and ended up second in the 2012 championship
Jayden moved up to the ultra-competitive 60cc Mini Rok class for 8-13 year olds and raced the regional championship in 2013 and 2014 before joining Leeroy Poulter’s Xtreme racing team for 2015. Young Els won the Vereeniging national overall on his way to third in the SA National Championship, which earned him a seat in the Rok World Final in Italy. Jayden made it into the A-Final of 34 from a group of 130 and finished 15th.
2016 was a big year or Jayden as he chased a double the National and Regional title, but it did not come easy. He started on the front of the grid almost every race, but due to mechanical issues and some bad luck, only managed 4th in the National Championship.
Jayden then took the opportunity to compete in the Rotax African Open in the new 125cc Mini Max class for 10-12 year olds and won both pre-final races, but was excluded from the second race on a technicality to start at the back of the grid for the Final race. But he scythed through the field to book his seat to the Rotax World Finals in Italy…
The Rotax and Rok World Finals are very different — fields are far more evenly matched with all kids driving identical equipment with chassis the same manufacturer with brand new sealed engined and controlled tyres — the purest form of racing, but with only one week of practice and only two sessions a day it was always going to be a big challenge.
Finishing just outside the top 10 in all the practice sessions, Jayden’s qualifying races saw him start 10th in the final but in a show of sheer determination, Jayden worked his way to the front in the 12 lap race to clinch the World Title.
On a high, with one regional event left and needing to win all three heats to win the Northern Regions Championship, the pressure was on and Jayden did not disappoint as he won all three races in wet conditions to secure a come from behind regional title too.
For 2017, Jayden steps up to the powerful Junior Max class and despite being just 12 years old, South Africa’s 2017 karting world champion cannot wait for the challenge…
Jayden Els - karting career
2011 Jayden got a kart for this 7th birthday
Started karting in July 2011
2012 2nd in Northern Regions Cadet 50cc Championship
2013 Northern Regions Mini Rok 60cc Championship
2014 Northern Regions Mini Rok 60cc Championship
2015 3rd in SA National Mini Rok 60cc Championship
Joined Leeroy Poulter’s Xtreme Racing
Won Vereenigng national
15th Mini Rok World Finals, Italy
2016 Mini Max 125cc World Champion, Italy
Mini Rok 60cc Northern Regions Champion
4th in SA National Mini Rok 60cc Championship
2017 Junior Max SA National & Northern Regions at 13