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A unique four-generation racing story

Kyalami’s inaugural race meeting is set to be a huge day for Franschhoek Bridge House schoolboy Giordano Lupini, who sets off to the Grand Prix Circuit to make a little South African racing history over the 21-23 October weekend.

Giordano Lupini
Giordano Lupini

Fourth-generation racer Giordano (16) who usually races in the Western Cape Bold Marine GTi Challenge, will pack his Monroe Racing RSA/Bakkie & Car magazine Volkswagen Golf 1 GTi onto the trailer and head upcountry straight off Saturday’s Killarney regional races to continue a unique relationship between the Lupini family and the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit, when he races in the 111 Saloons/Superhatch races at the brand new fourth-generation circuit.

Giordano’s great-grandfather Gigi entered his Scuderia Lupini Cooper Maserati in the first-ever national championship meeting at the then brand new Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit in November 1961, where Gio’s grandfather Mario had raced his Alfa Romeo Giulietta in the inaugural races a few weeks earlier. 

26 years later, Giordano’s dad Michele raced in the first races of the interim third generation Kyalami track aboard a Group N Opel Kadett and again in the first race of the revised third version a few years later. Now Giordano will race at the inaugural meeting of the fourth version of the iconic raceway alongside his dad, who will also complete in the Volkswagen Media Challenge on the weekend. Grandpa Mario will be a special guest at Kyalami.

Scuderia Lupini, the team that represents the four generations of the family in motor racing, also celebrates 90 years in motorsport at Kyalami. Patron Gigi Lupini raced a car for the first time in Italy in 1926 before competing in the great Mille Miglia in 1927, ’28 and ’29, which year he was on the podium in the 5-litre class driving a Buick. Gigi later moved to South Africa, where Scuderia Lupini and several members of the Lupini family have been a regular feature of SA racing since the early 1950s.

Gigi Lupini and his Cooper Bristol
Gigi Lupini and his Cooper Bristol

“The Kyalami weekend is a big deal for South African motorsport,” Giordano conceded. “But it’s an even bigger weekend for me – I feel so honoured to go there to celebrate four generations of racing with my dad on track and with my grandfather there to watch,  too. “I have some big shoes to fill, but I can’t wait to race that great circuit and tackle legendary corners like Sunset, Clubhouse, the Esses and more.

“I have some special thanks – to our sponsors Monroe, Bakkie & Car, La Vie da Luc, CIR Construction, Bob-Ric Motors, acciDent Guru and Vidar for helping make this happen and to my dad, my race engineer Shaun Ludwig, my manager Reynard Gelderblom and everyone else who has contributed to my season so far and to the chance of making this great weekend happen. “We truly appreciate all of your contributions.”

Read more about the four generations of racing Lupinis on the Scuderia Lupini Facebook page and watch for opportunities to win tickets to celebrate four generations of racing at a historic day for South African motorsport at the inaugural meeting of the new fourth version of Kyalami.