Mokoena takes title to close Junior career
Kyalami karting sensation Kwanda Mokoena ended his junior karting career in yet another brilliant showing as he delivered a triple victory to wrap up his seventh karting title at the tender age of fifteen at the Northern Regions Karting Finals at Zwartkops on Saturday.
“I enjoyed saying goodbye to my Junior karting years as best I could at Zwartkops,” Kwanda smiled. “Three race wins out of three and the Northern Regions Junior Max title is a great way to finish — thanks so much to everyone in the Squadra Corse team, to my dad and my family who have supported me every inch of the way. “All seven titles are for you guys — without you I would never have achieved what I have.
Mokoena sprang to prominence in 2015 with double Gauteng Mini Rok and Maxterino 60cc championships, before taking a Maxterino Africa Open and a shock under-16 2016 Northern Regions Junior Rok title at just 12 years old. Kwanda also drove to second in both the national under-12 Mini Rok and Maxterino championships that year, before making good the following year with the 2017 SA Mini Rok title. He then took the 2018 SA Rok Cup OKJ title and has now added the 2019 Junior Max title to the list.
“I like to think of myself as every driver’s worst nightmare on track because of my ability to drive hard and win,” Kwanda admitted. “But then it is just as important to be my rivals’ best friend off track, but crucially, I never quit. “It has not always been easy — I lost the SA Maxterino title by two-tenths of a point in 2016, but then I set my mind on winning the championship in 2017 and won most of the nationals to pull it off.
“I am proud of my junior karting achievements — from being the youngest kid to ever win a Junior Rok championship to ending up in the top ten in the World Finals in Italy, competing against 170 of the world’s best drivers including ex F1 drivers, Ruben Barichello, Juan Pablo Montoya and Emerson Fittipaldi’s sons and to earning my South African Protea Junior Colours, it has been an incredible ride.”
So, remember the name, Kwanda Mokoena. Ever humble, Kwanda will move up to senior karting in 2020, but he also has designs on stepping up to main circuit racing soon with the intention of making good abroad and represent South Africa at the highest level of Motorsport…