An Interview with Elijah Gumbi
Team Principle Elijah Mpho Gumbi; fell in love with motorsport after he witnessed the death of Ayrten Senna on TV during the Imola Grand Prix in 1994.
In 1999 he joined the Mercedes-Benz Academy as a trainee racing driver but it was whilst working with Paolo Piazza-Musso, with whom he partnered for 12 years where he gained experience in entry level motorsport.
Why a career in racing?
I fell in love with motorsport when I witnessed on TV the death of Ayton Senna at the Imola Grand Prix in 1994
How did you get involved?
Two special people in my life assisted me in getting into motorsport, Jenny and Steve Lenehan had an opportunity for me to be part of the Mercedes-Benz academy, from there I never looked back.
How did the idea of a racing team come about?
Again I was blessed with a very special people, the Piazza-Musso family who are famous in South African Motorsport. I gained valuable experience over a 12 year partnership with close friend Paolo Piazza- Musso, who showed me the ropes in the world of entry level motorsport and business side.
Who would you like to work with?
It is important that the people we work with have the same vision as we do in wanting to develop the youth and grow the sport. Motorsport being a financially driven sport means sponsorships are important, we are more than happy to work with anyone who is happy to assist the team in this regard.
What does the future hold for you and your team?
We are working on improving the team in every aspect so that we can win the South Africa title, after that would be winning a world title in karting.
On the development front, which is very important to Squadra Corse we plan on placing a young mechanic or driver on the international scene.
Ultimately in terms of development in motorsport, we want to be the go to motorsport academy in South Africa.
The big plan is to own a F1 team and play an integral role in promoting F1 in Africa.
What would you need to achieve this?
Backing from the Private and Public sector both financially and with services.
- 2002 - 2004: Jnr Manager Kyalami kart Circuit
- 2004 - 2008: Head Technician Alcari 185cc converting of exotic cars
- 2008 - 2011: General Manager Piazza Motorsport
- 2011 - 2012: Business Development Executive at NEK Group
- 2012 - date: Entrepreneur at Squadra Corse - Motorsport Racing Team