Kwanda shifts up a gear

2017 kart­ing champ keeps foot on the pedal to con­tinue fine form

Daily Dispatch - - Sport - ROSS ROCHE rossr@dis­

It has been an­other su­perb year in kart­ing for East Lon­don born ju­nior kart­ing ta­lent Kwanda Mokoena who picked up a num­ber of im­pres­sive wins and ti­tles over the 2018 sea­son.

Ar­guably, the 2017 South African na­tional kart­ing cham­pion’s big­gest vic­to­ries were when he tri­umphed in the MSA RokCup Na­tional in the OKJ 125 se­ries at Kil­lar­ney and then fol­lowed that up with the Ro­tax Ju­nior Max 125 na­tional ti­tle in Cape Town ear­lier this year.

Af­ter the Cape Town suc­cess a thrilled Mokoena said: “I came here to do my best and I had promised my team I would win af­ter win­ning this years MSA Academy RokCup Na­tional Cham­pi­onship in PE two weeks ago.”

This early suc­cess then set him up for an as­sault on kart­ing’s big­gest event, the RokCup World Fi­nals that were tak­ing place this year in South Garda, Italy.

Com­ing up against karters from 52 dif­fer­ent coun­tries is a daunt­ing task in it­self, but Mokoena showed his class to make it to the last 34 driv­ers for the A group fi­nal.

In the fi­nal, an ac­ci­dent pretty much put paid to any chances he had of tak­ing the win. When it hap­pened, he was in 11th place then dropped down to 16th, but de­spite the huge set-back Mokoena con­tin­ued go­ing, push­ing his beaten and bro­ken kart past chal­lengers to fin­ish in an im­pres­sive 10th place.

“I was in the air over an­other kart mid race,” ex­plained Mokoena.

“It looked like it was all over, but I kept my foot down in the air, foot on full gas, bent axle, bent sprocket, water leak and still came from 16th to 10th."

In all it has been an­other year of growth for the young 14-year-old karter and he should be happy with his ef­forts.

A run-down of Mokoena's other tri­umphs over the last few years, in­clude his first SA ti­tle last year.

In 2016 he was the North­ern Re­gions Ju­nior Rok champ and Max­terino African open cham­pion and in 2015, he claimed wins in both the North­ern Re­gions Mini Rok and Max­terino Cham­pi­onships.

This shows the im­pres­sive pro­gres­sion of the bud­ding ta­lent over the past few years.

Mokoena will be back in the place of his birth soon, as every year he heads down to Cove Rock for the De­cem­ber hol­i­days where he spends time with his fam­ily and grand­par­ents.

When chat­ting to the Dis­patch a few years ago Mokoena ad­mit­ted that he loved com­ing to East Lon­don, es­pe­cially be­cause it’s his home town.

Pic­ture FACE­BOOK

GOOD SEA­SON : Kwanda Mokoena is rack­ing up awards in yet an­other su­perb go-kart­ing sea­son

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