With three podium finishes, a near-miss (P4) and a further three drivers in the top 10, the Squadra Corse boys were getting into the groove this season at Round 3 of the ROK Cup NR championships held in Vereeniging on 7 May 2022.
In the OKJ class, Squadra Corse Performantè driver Mahlori Mabunda emulated the consistent competitive spirit typified by his brother, Ntiyiso in Round 2 last month, with a second and two thirds, resulting in an overall P3 for the day.
The Mini Rok category fielded three drivers – Sebastian Dias, Tshepang Shisinwana and Enzo Rujugiro. “Enzo’s progress continues to amaze the whole team. He pulled a P3, P10 and P1, with an overall P3 for the day. We are extremely proud of his endeavours this year. He is truly the epitome of what we expect from a Squadra Corse driver and remains a shining example to all,” says Mpho Eli Gumbi, owner and team principal of the Squadra Corse team.
Sebastian Dias had a very satisfactory P5 and P4 but unfortunately did not finish the final race, which resulted in his overall position for the day being ninth. Shisinwana finished his first race in a disappointing P14 but pulled out all the stops in the next two races to achieve a P6 and P3, giving him overall P6 for the day.
Bambino driver Jenson Dias, racing in the Squadra Corse Young Driver Programme, likewise had a slow start to the day, with a P10 in the first race. However, he also stepped up to the plate and managed a P2 and P4, with an overall P4 for the day’s racing. Teammate Omolemo Mfana drove steadily with a two P7’s and a P9, which gave him a P7 overall.
“The star of the day for the Bambino class, however, had to be Bophelo Molatlhegi who, despite only achieving P9 in race one, went on to win his next race (his first ever win) and came second in his third race. This gave him an amazing second place for the day. What an achievement!” says Gumbi.
“The ability of the boys to bounce back when things are not going according to plan is a critical element in their character development as they forge their driving careers over the years. We instil in them a never-say-die attitude, which together with other complementary upliftment elements, makes them more well-rounded. They are able to cope with disappointments that would floor other drivers, and this is what sets them apart. None of the investment in their driving careers would be possible without the backing of their families and the ongoing support of our principal sponsor – Volkswagen South Africa – as well as our other sponsors, Würth, Ntiyiso Consulting, Ipuma Group, MMQSMACE and Rujugiro Investments,” says Gumbi.