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The 2023 European karting season has been a good one for South African born Luviwe Sambudla. His first race of the year, in the first round of the FIA Karting OK European Championship at Kartódromo Interacional Lucas Guerrero de Valencia, where he debuted in the OK class, was nothing short of amazing.

“Luviwe achieved a P7, two P5’s, a P4 and a P2 in the OK Qualifiers, and brought home a P5 in the Superheat and a P13 in the Final. This shows the strength of character he has and his determination to succeed, even though he was still recovering from two serious injuries he sustained in 2022,” says Mpho Elijah Gumbi, owner of ICAN, the South Africa-based driver management company mentoring Sambudla.

More recently, racing under the Kart Republic banner, Sambudla competed in the Champions of the Future Euro Series at Franciacorta where he achieved a podium finish. “There is no stopping Luviwe. He has his eyes fixed firmly on the first place and has put in the mental, physical and skills training to help him achieve his goal. He has come a long way from the pre-teen competing in OKJ in South Africa less than two years ago,” says Gumbi.

Sambudla is returning to Franciacorta between 6 and 8 October for the FIA Karting World Championship. “Incidentally, Luviwe is racing with the number 33 — F1 Champion Max Verstappen’s number. We have full confidence in Luviwe; he is well prepared for this race, but it doesn’t hurt that he shares this racing number with one of his race heroes. We are hoping this coincidence is a foretaste of what Luviwe could achieve this weekend,” says Gumbi.

Sambudla has certainly not gone unnoticed by in the run-up to the coming championship race, with his name mentioned alongside other young talents in FIA Karting’s preview to the event.

Published by: Allyson Koekhoven

Picture Caption: A steep learning curve for South Africa’s Masters

Photography by: Ican-Management

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