What a day for the VW Squadra Corse Performantè team (supported by Wurth products) on Saturday 15 April. The team competed in the ROK National Round 2 in Benoni and walked away with two wins, a second place and a number of other memorable placings.
The team included Luviwe Sambudla, Ntiyiso Mabunda, Enzo Rujugiro and Mahlori Mabunda in Mini ROK; Lwandle Pule in OKJ; and Keagan Masters and Roman de Beer in KZ2.
The qualifying rounds went well for the Mini ROK team, with Sambudla getting his first pole of the season. “He judged the qualifying session really well. He is definitely becoming more calculated and maturing as a racing driver,” says Elijah Gumbi, owner and manager of the Squadra Corse team.
Masters qualified second and Roman qualified fifth in the KZ2 qualifiers but unfortunately, in OKJ, Pule did not have the same run of luck, suffering from a cracked upright on his kart, which was only detected after his qualifiers.
“Luviwe pretty much led start to finish in Race 1. This was quite an achievement, given the fact that the slipstream on the track was so intense at 3/5ths down the straight, where you can pull in the competitor in front of you and possibly even overtake them. For him to stay ahead for seven out of eight laps was incredible. Unfortunately, a small error in the last lap allowed Ethan Lennon and Wian Boshoff to pass him,” says Gumbi.
In the Mini ROK first race, Mahlori Mabunda achieved 5th place and brother, Ntiyiso Mabunda, managed a 10th place while Rujugiro came in 13th.
“In the second race Luviwe scooped a 1st place and in race 3 he bided his time behind Ethan and overtook him on the last lap. We were incredibly proud of his overall win for the day,” says Gumbi.
Ntiyiso Mabunda came 2nd in race 2 and 7th in race 3, giving him an overall 6th for the day. Rujugiro came 13th in race 2 and 17th in race 3, with an overall 14th for the day. “After a very satisfactory 5th place in race 1, Mahlori was involved in a big accident at the start of the second race, forcing him to sit it out. However, his racing courage came to the fore in the final race and he managed a 15th place, with a 19th place for the day,” says Gumbi.
In KZ2, Keagan Masters and Roman de Beer placed first and second and in both race 2 and 3 they came in with 1st and 3rd places respectively. “This gave them a race day finish of 1st and 2nd places respectively. Again, we are thrilled with these results. With these wins we have won two national categories at the same event, which is a first for the team,” says Gumbi.
“In OKJ, Lwandle’s woes were sorted out after the cracked chassis was discovered and he was quickly back on pace, finishing 6th in all three races and 6th for the day. A big pat on the back is owing to him for his persistence and consistency,” says Gumbi.