LADY LUCK CRUEL TO KWANDA

Kwanda Mokoena sThey say that mama warned you about days like this, but Lady Luck and just one and a quarter national championship karting points caused 12-year old Kwanda Mokoena to slip from being the Kyalami Kid to the Heartbreak Kid at Vereeniging on Saturday.

Kwanda headed to the SA National Karting Championship Finals at Vereeniging in an excellent position to score an historic double title in the primary school 60cc Mini Rok and Maxterino classes, but he lost out by just 0.25 points in the Maxterino championship and by a solitary point in Mini Rok.

“I did my very best, but it was not enough” Kwanda rued after taking three of the four Maxterino race wins to take the overall victory for the da in that class. But stopping to tighten a fuel cap left loose in race 2 saw him plummet to the tail of the field and allow his Capetonian title rival Visser to take that vital race win and turn the title odds against Mokoena, who ended up just a quarter of a point behind in the final championship standings in spite of dominating the last two races of the day.

“Congratulations to Charl — he was more consistent through the season,” Kwanda admitted. “I won seven races to his three, but Charl was more consistently on the podium.”

But there was more disappointment for Kwanda, who also lost out to PE lightie Joshua Coertze in the Mini Rok title by all of a solitary championship point. Mokoena put in a steady performance with a third and a second in the first two races, but an early incident in the Final saw him fighting back through the field only for Kwanda to be bumped off again by an overeager driver he had just passed and finish 14th. That race would be dropped from Mokoena’s score card, but the points lost cost him the chance of the Mini Rok title.

“Again it was unfortunate, but congratulations to Joshua,” Kwanda concluded. “Saturday was not my best day, but I am young and I have many more race wins and championships ahead of me — I must now put this all behind me and move forward — this experience will only make me stronger.”