It was a case of neck-and-neck at the Kyalami 9-Hour whereby Xolile Letlaka claimed a third-place finish in the SA GT 1-Hour race.
Along with his teammates Tschops Sipuka and Philip Kekana, Letlaka also raced to second place in the National GT3 class.
The trio’s weapon of choice was the Stradale Motorsport/Into Africa Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo and history was made as the first all-black African team to enter and finish the Kyalami 9-Hour. Being former racing champions, both Sipuka and Kekana were recruited into the team as a homage to the missed international opportunities their respective talents had always deserved.
The team was congratulated on the grid, before, during and after the race as they ascended the podium.
As part of the pre-race grid activities, Letlaka revealed his Africa Race Together Foundation that aims at driving sustainability in national and international motorsport through diversity.
After the race, an elated Letlaka said: “Racing in the Kyalami 9-Hour was an amazing feeling, made even more special with the crowd so strongly behind us. We got a huge cheer at the end which was quite emotional for us. This is how motorsport should be.”
“The car ran perfectly for the whole race after the team repaired it after Tschops’ accident. This result is a testament to the whole Stradale Team as well as Tschops and Philip,” he concluded.
A weary Sipuka summed up his Kyalami 9-Hour experience: “The Lamborghini is an exciting car to drive. The team did their best and worked wonders during the event. Racing at night doesn’t happen very often – you really need an extra set of eyes out there as all your brake markers have disappeared into the night. You need high concentration levels as the last thing you want is to throw the race away in the dying minutes.”
According to Philip Kekana, also known as the township tornado, he had minimal seat time before the race. Once he worked out just how good a GT3 car is, he started to explore its capabilities more and more as the race went on.
“I’m really happy for the team and amazed at just how much support we enjoyed from the crowd. It’s an experience I’ll remember for the rest of my life”, he said.