Kart­ing his­tory for Kwanda

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

TWELVE-year-old Kwanda Mokoena made his­tory on the week­end when he be­came the youngest ever driver to win a ju­nior level kart­ing cham­pi­onship any­where in the world.

Mokoena, who took ad­van­tage of South African kart­ing shift­ing its min­i­mum kart­ing age lim­its lower for 2016, a year be­fore in­ter­na­tional kart­ing did the same; stepped up to Ju­nior Rok at the be­gin­ning of the sea­son and promptly took the cham­pi­onship with a dom­i­nant per­for­mance at a wet Vereeniging on Satur­day.

Kwanda’s his­toric ti­tle came at the end of a try­ing sea­son, where he missed out on two pri­mary school na­tional kart­ing ti­tles by less than a sin­gle point each.

“It’s been a tough jour­ney for us and it still pains me that we didn’t do two Max­terino Re­gion­als at the be­gin­ning of the year.,” Kwanda said.

“Ro­tax pre­scribes that the Max­terino re­gion­als count to the na­tional points and af­ter dom­i­nat­ing in PE and Vereeniging with solid wins, I lost the cham­pi­onship by 0.25 to come sec­ond in SA. “I also ended sec­ond in the Mini Rok SA Na­tional Cham­pi­onship by just one point!

“But it was a good year too - we still won two ti­tles with Ju­nior Rok and the African Max­terino cham­pi­onship, where I won R10 000 for win­ning the 2016 African Open and I also qual­i­fied 8th in my class at the World Rok Kart­ing Cham­pi­onships in Italy two weeks ago which.

“That was re­ally tough rac­ing against the best of the best in the world, but I learnt so much!”

“2016 was hard work - I of­ten drove nine races in a day, but I was ded­i­cated and to­gether with dad and Thabs my me­chanic, we made it hap­pen.

“There are so many peo­ple to thank — from my Rivo­nia Pri­mary school teacher for mak­ing a plan and al­low­ing me to rep­re­sent SA in the mid­dle of exam time, my me­chanic Thabs; Team Squadra Corse and KGT in Italy and my mom and dad and sis­ter for all their sup­port and trav­el­ling with me far and wide to com­pete in 2016.

“Most of all thanks to RKT un­cle Ett for your help this year, Wayne Mas­ters and Mr Oden­daal and to Motorsport Me­dia for all the fan­tas­tic cov­er­age this year - God bless you all.” — Motorsport Me­dia.

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