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December 13, 2022 3 min read

At the Killarney 9-Hour in Cape Town, which was a part of the Cape Motorsport Festival and featured the final two rounds of the SAGT National Championship and a nine-artist music concert as the Southern African Endurance Series came to a dramatic and exciting conclusion, Kwanda Mokena drove flawlessly to become the youngest-ever SA Endurance Champion.

After winning pole position in their MJR Motorsport/Amandla Coal Audi R8 LMS GT3 Evo2, the 18-year-old Mokoena, along with another young South African hotshot Andrew Rackstraw and Audi factory driver Luca Engstler, dominated the race in Cape Town. They were three laps ahead of title rival Tschops Sipuka, who was driving a Lamborghini Huracan GT3 for Into Africa Mining and finished second overall.
In the first stint, the Lambo's tires had problems, and White was unable to keep up with the Audi's rapid acceleration. In an effort to close the gap and return to the lead lap by the halfway point of the race, White set the fastest race lap. White was one second quicker than the rest of the field during a brief downpour that started shortly after his pit stop, and the youthful charger tried to close the deficit.

Hein Lategan, the third title challenger, finished third in the race in his Black Bull Racing Porsche 911 GT3 Cup. Co-drivers Henk Lategan and Verissimo Tavares gave it their all, but their nearly-perfect Porsche finished four laps behind the Lamborghini.

Mo Mia/Lee Thompson gave an outstanding performance to finish fourth overall (Toys-R-Us Porsche 911 GT3). The team put in a tremendous amount of work after the vehicle's left front corner was severely damaged in a pitlane accident during Friday night's practice session; when replacements were ordered, they arrived at 07:30, and the car was prepared for the race by 9am.

Despite having a damaged control arm, the Bucketlist Racing BMW 340i driven by Heinz Bose, Christopher, and Anthony Pretorius finished fifth overall. The team had to make repairs while the race was still going on.

Unexpected class D winners and sixth overall were Danie van Niekerk and Roberto/David Franco (Graphix Supply World Volkswagen Polo SupaCup). Right-rear wheel bearing repair by Van Niekerk cost the team 30 minutes in the pits. In the last 30 minutes of the race, Van Niekerk and Polo, driven by Johan de Bruyn, got into a significant altercation.

The Kalex VW Polo driven by Karah Hill, Michael Stephen, and Jurrie Swart was the tragic subject of the Killarney 9-Hour tale. With seven minutes remained in the race, the trio had been comfortably in first place in their class and sixth overall for eight hours and 53 minutes.
At the halfway point, the factory Volkswagen Polo GTi SupaCup driven by Daniel Rowe and Keagan Masters came to a stop on the racetrack due to a fuel pump fitting failure. The team climbed back up the standings after being hauled back and rebuilt, losing 11 laps, and eventually placed seventh and second in Class D.

The Gazoo Racing Toyota Yaris GR media car driven by Ashley Oldfield, Mark Jones, Thomas Falkiner, and Jeanette Kok-Kritzinger won the Index of Performance. Toyota executives Leon Theron, Anand Pather, Mario de Sousa, and journalist Sean Nurse then finished second in their sister Yaris GR. The vehicles performed flawlessly, just needing a brake pad change just before 7 o'clock, and thus took eighth and eleventh place overall.


The Backdraft-Lexus driven by Mark Owens, Trevor Graham, and Richard van Heerde won class E after losing a fuel pump an hour into the race and losing a two-lap lead. By outpacing the Team Qhubani Backdraft of Fikile Holomisa, Baphumze Rubuluza, and Xolela Njumbunxa by 11 seconds, they battled valiantly to overcome their 15-lap deficit. It is even the more impressive that the Qhubani squad finished tenth overall because they spent the second half of the race locked in fifth gear.

The first round of the new season in 2023 will begin in March after preseason testing in February.

This is a copy of photos and a summary of an article, the originals can be found here.


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