Kwanda Mokoena is a professional racing driver and, at the age of 19, already has wins behind his name, including the SA Endurance Racing championship, which makes him the youngest driver to win this trophy.
Kwanda, who was interviewed by the Mail & Guardian’s motoring editor, Lerato Matebese, began his racing career in karting at the age of seven. The following year, he started racing in the regional and national championships, and in the 2013 season he scored two national championship podiums.
In 2015, he won the regional junior class championship and a second overall ranking in the 2016 national championships. Kwanda also competed in the extremely competitive Rotax African Championships in 2016 and says he had to work hard to secure the overall win for the season.
The following season he won the Rock National Championship and the regional championship, opening the door for him to compete internationally. In 2018, he competed in the World Karting Championship in Italy, finishing 10th overall. Kwanda then moved into tin top racing, which he prepared for by practicing on a simulator, assisted by his uncle, Shops Sipuka, who is also into racing. That year he raced a GT4 Audi R8 in the SA Endurance Series.
Kwanda will race in the 2023 German ADAC GT Masters championship and will be driving Engstler Racing’s Audi R8 GT3 LMS at the Hockenheimring Festival of Dreams on 10 and 11 June.
He has set his eyes on the GT4 nine-hour Endurance Series, the 24-hour Le Mans, the 24-hour Nurburgring, the ADAC GT Masters and the GT3 winter racing. He says: “My ultimate goal, for now, is to one day secure a works factory drive in the DTM Series.”
- Pinnacle College, Kyalami, for grades eight and nine
- Homeschooled since 2020
- 2015 Maxterino regional champion
- 2015 Mini Rok regional champion
- 2017 Mini ROK national champion
- 2017 junior Rok regional champion
- 2018 MSA academy champion
- 10th in the junior karting world championships, receiving my Protea full colours for motorsport and Protea blazer
- 2019 Junior max regional champion
- 2022 South African Endurance series Champion
My first international racing event in 2013 and seeing how professionals carried themselves at the race track and getting to experience an international racing event.
To stay focused and keep putting in the hours it’ll pay off one day.
In five years I would like to hopefully be a factory driver for a major manufacturer and turn racing into my full-time career.