The weekend of 11 September was a jubilant one for the Squadra Corse team as they carried off two of the 2021 ROK National Championship titles. Keagan Masters carried the winning banner for the team in the MSA KZ2 Championship and 13-year-old Luviwe Sambudla did the honours as National Champion in the Mini ROK category.
“These are stellar performances from both Keagan and Luviwe and we are exceptionally proud of them. This has been an unusual year for motorsport, with the constant changes from one lockdown level to another impacting on practice dates and times. So to have achieved two National Championships out of the four categories in which we compete is a huge and extremely noteworthy feat,” says Mpho Eli Gumbi, owner and team principal of the Squadra Corse team.
Gumbi says that Sambudla has been on a comprehensive driver excellence trajectory in his first year in the Mini ROK category and this is evidenced in his consistent improvement from one race to the next. “His head has definitely been in the game and he has focused his energies on winning the championship and preparing himself for next year’s international race circuit. I have no doubt in my mind that, given his development in recent months and his ability to apply the practical knowledge he has gained from his local and international mentors, he is ready for this next challenge in his driving career.”
Masters, with 13 years of motorsport racing under his belt, has not only been one of Sambudla’s mentors, but has also found the time to hone his already-excellent driver skills to bring home this recent title. In addition to the 2021 ROK KZ2 category winner’s trophy, he also boasts National Championship wins in 2013 (Junior ROK), 2017 and 2018 (Global Touring Car 2) and 2019 (GTC Premier Series). He has twice been awarded Protea Colours and has finished third in both the National Saloon Car Championship in 2016 and the Formula Ford 16 Championship in his debut year in 2015. Gumbi says that the team’s success is due to several synergistic factors that include superb support from its sponsors, a physical and mental skills training programme that strengthens driver reaction times and overall fitness, and a carefully orchestrated mentorship programme. “Obviously, the drivers need to adopt a winning attitude and be willing to adapt to the changes required to improve their race skills, but all of the ancillary elements, together with uncompromising support from their families, are critical to their successful growth into champions.”