Freezing weather greeted the VW Squadra Corse Young Driver contingent at the Gauteng Rotax Regional Round 4 at Zwartkops International Raceway on Saturday 5 June. In spite of the early chill, spirits were high and the team showed a great unity and camaraderie.
“Fortunately the mercury on the temperature gauge rose as the day wore on, matching the competitive nature of our young racers. We fielded Karabo Malamela and Ndzalo Khoza in the Junior Max category as well as Bophelo Molatlhegi and Omolemo Mfana in the Bambino class,” says Elijah Gumbi, owner and manager of the Squadra Corse team.
Nathi Msimanga, who drives in the Polo Cup class for VW Squadra Corse, provided the youngsters with invaluable moral support and advice. “This team spirit underpins the ethos built into all our team drivers and it extends beyond the borders of our own team members to those of drivers in other teams,” says Gumbi.
“Being the fastest in karting doesn’t always win you the race. You need to think carefully, strategise and push yourself hard,” Msimanga told the team as they reviewed videos of their performance.
In the qualifying rounds of the Junior Max, Malamela achieved a 4th position. In races 1, 2 and 3 he came 7th 3rd and 5th respectively and produced an overall 5th for the day, in spite of issues with his kart. Khoza, similarly was consistent for the day with a qualifying heat finish of 8th, followed by an 8th, 7th and 9th in his three races and an 8th place for the day.
In the Bambino category, – Molatlhegi placed 13th in the qualifying heat, with 14th for race 1, 11th for races 2 and 3 and an overall 12th. Teammate Mfana qualified in 14th, came in 13th in the first race, 14th in races 2 and 3 as well as 14th overall.