Downhill All the Way – Inspiring Youth Using an Old Oil Can

Not every motorsport race is about winning; sometimes, it’s the taking part that really counts, and the impact that a team can have simply by participating. The Red Bull Box Cart Race, held on Sunday, 06 November in Cape Town’s historic Bo-Kaap district was a great example.

The famous pastel-coloured houses and cobbled streets of Bo-Kaap formed a serene (but also bumpy) backdrop for the ultimate box cart event, with a large crowd turning out to cheer on the home-made pocket rockets as they hurtled down the specially designed 600m course.

In a great example of repurposing, the Squadra Corse team of Lance Shisinwawa and Thabang “Tubs” Siima plus driver Baksi Komane approached Motul for assistance, and that’s how their box cart came to be constructed from a Motul oil drum – with the famous red and white colours making it into the finished design. Although winning was never the aim, Squadra Corse recorded an unofficial tied third place.

“For Squadra Corse, the Red Bull Box Cart Race was an opportunity not to go faster, but to spread our message of hope further, and to connect with more Western Cape communities,” explained Elijah Gumbi, founder and owner of Squadra Corse. “Ultimately we want to inspire young people to believe that even if life sometimes seems like an uphill struggle, they can make a positive difference,” he added.

Squadra Corse was founded in 2012 and has achieved a dominant position on the South African go-karting scene. Their drivers have won multiple titles over the last decade, yet they do not consider their successes on the track to be their greatest achievement.

Their development programmes are focused on helping youngsters get into go-karting, and to reach their dreams both on the racetrack and in life. Squadra Corse aims to provide industry-leading service offerings in terms of driver, engineer and mechanic training, workshop support and race logistics.

They are achieving these ambitions at the same time as creating permanent employment opportunities for historically disadvantaged South Africans (HDSA) and uplifting youth with focused skills development training.

With the emphasis on having fun whilst sharing their vital message of hope, the Squadra Corse team at the Red Bull Box Cart Race was inspired by the unique design of their cart to come up with a very appropriate race motto: “I-CAN, U-CAN and together “We-CAN” make a difference in our communities, families and social environments, to encourage each other and also be a great example to others of what can be achieved.”

“When Squadra Corse approached us for assistance with building their box cart, we were only too happy to help,” commented Mercia Jansen, Motul Area Manager for Southern and Eastern Africa. “We are always looking for new ways to support community engagement and upliftment, and the Red Bull Box Cart Race also gave us a valuable opportunity to further interact as a brand with motorsport fans in the Western Cape as we continue to build Motul’s presence in this key region,” she added.

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