Two motorsport personalities that aren’t strangers to the respective racing fold have each received a Minister’s Excellence in Sport Award at the 15th Annual Sports Awards held recently.
Xolile Letlaka and Batshobonke Sipuka also known as Tschops were nominated by Adrian Scholtz, CEO of Motorsport South Africa with the awards presented by the SA’s Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture Nathi Mthethhwa.
The pair became the first all-Black team to win a round of the South African Endurance Series in 2021, taking two wins at the East London Grand Prix Circuit in May and October. Their Into Africa Mining Lamborghini Huracan GT3 saw them scoring the 3rd position in the final SAES championship standings against 103 competitors.
“This award is a victory for motorsport and a victory for change in motorsport. It confirms that when we work together we can achieve great things”, said Xolile. “I’ve been doing my bit and rose to the top and won a few races. Motorsport has given me a platform to advocate unity and diversity across all spheres of the sport as well as showcase the young talent we have in South Africa”.
“It’s a great honour to be recognized for my achievement in motorsport. When I started out, all I wanted was to consistently do the best I could. The Excellence in Sport Award creates a range of emotions when I think back to where I started. Most of all though, I hope my award inspires the next generation of young racers to persevere and show resilience”, said Tschops.
It’s all systems go in the year ahead as the pair will be competing in both the SA GT National Championship and SAE where the goal is simple – to become the first team of colour to win the South African Endurance Championship.
The Into Africa Mining Team hits the track at Red Star Raceway on 2 April for the opening round of both the SA GT National Championship and the South African Endurance Championship.