As most teens around South Africa begin their festive season celebrations, for 18-year-old driving sensation Kwanda Mokoena, pens down meant more time to prepare for a racing moment that could place him in the history books as he heads into the final round of the SA Endurance Championship Killarney 9-Hour race.
The teenager is set to become South Africa’s first Black motorsport champion when he takes on 43 other vehicles racing on 10 December.
Mokoena motors to the front
Following his recent promotion to the team’s Audi R8 GT3 Evo2 by MJR Motorsport, Mokoena will go for gold with co-drivers Andrew Rackstraw from Cape Town, and German factory Audi driver 26-year-old Dennis Marschall.
“I’m very excited to drive the Audi GT3 Evo 2. The step up from GT4 to GT 3 is not as big as the step from a Polo Cup car to the GT4. It will be Andrew’s and my first time in a GT3 so Dennis will be hugely valuable in helping us maximize the car’s performance,” says Mokoena.
It’ll also be Rackstraw’s GT3 debut. In 2021, he raced the AidCall Ligier JS53 in the Killarney 9-Hour race and he also won the F1600 Championship in the same year.
Marschall has also completed the Kyalami 9-Hour for the WRT Audi team, completed in the Audi R8 GT3s in the ADAC GT Masters, and the Spa 24-Hours race.
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It’s been a family affair for Kwanda Mokoena with his uncle acting as his motivator and rival. On race day, 100 points are up for grabs in a winner-takes-all contest against international racers including his uncle, Tschops Sipuka.
Mokoena has shared an Amandla Coal/MJR Audi R8 GT4 with his uncle for most of the year. The two are tied on points when scores from the preceding six rounds are considered.
His father says the time is right for his son’s international debut. “We’re leaving no stone unturned to give Kwanda the very best opportunity to win a historic SA Endurance Championship. It’s the right time for Kwanda to move up from GT4 to GT3. I have invested a great deal in shaping Kwanda’s career and this effort is a further step to prepare him for his international debut in 2023”.