The action for the VW Squadra Corse team (supported by Wurth products) continued at the Idube Race Track in Camperdown, Durban during the ROK National Round 3 on 26 June. Keeping up their previous momentum, Mini ROK category drivers Luviwe Sambudla, Ntiyiso Mabunda, Enzo Rujugiro and Mahlori Mabunda, produced similar and improved performances to those seen in April’s National ROK Round 2.
The team also included Lwandle Pule in OKJ; as well as ex-South African National champion Keagan Masters and ex-World Champion Roman de Beer in the KZ2 class.
Luviwe Sambudla qualified in pole position, Ntiyiso Mabunda qualified in second, Mahlori Mabunda qualified in fourth and Enzo Rujugiro qualified in ninth. “It’s a great achievement to have all drivers in the top ten. In heat one Sambudla led from the start of the race to just before the finish, when Ntiyiso Mabunda took first place, for his first-ever National win. Sadly, Ntiyiso had a very bad crash in the second heat, which destroyed the rest of the day for him,” says Elijah Gumbi, owner and manager of the Squadra Corse team.
Heat 2 was restarted after Ntiyiso’s accident was cleared and his brother, Mahlori, stepped up for the team. “He was lying second, behind Luviwe, for 11 out of the 12 laps but was unfortunately overtaken on the last corner of the 11th lap. It’s noteworthy though, that we had a first and third for that heat. In the last heat we achieved a 1-2 finish with Mahlori driving hard to achieve a second-place behind his teammate,” says Gumbi.
“We ended the day with first and third podium places. At this stage, all signs point to Luviwe taking the championship for the year and we are more than thrilled. Enzo also showed his colours, improving ten places from Round 2, with an overall 7th for the day. He’s showing great improvement and especially on a track like this which has with some exceptionally fast sweeping corners, hills and intimidating blind crests,” added Gumbi.
Gumbi says that the team’s OKJ class contender, Lwandle Pule, produced some surprises, driving a fantastic race to finish fourth overall.
“Unfortunately, the drivers in the KZ class had engines that didn’t suit the track and we couldn’t find the right configuration, unlike our competitors who found a package that works. As hard as we tried we couldn’t hit back in that race, but watch out when we bounce back at the last round in Vereeniging, where we’re aiming for the KZ title!” says Gumbi.