*Setotojane duo taking South Africa by storm
*Class P off-road racing live on DSTV Channel 189
Following their impressive showing at the 2018 Toyota 1000 Desert Race in Jwaneng where they were crowned champions in the Class P category-special vehicle, local duo Onkabetse Seemise and Julio Ferreira are kicking up a dust in the South African off-road racing calendar.
Special vehicles are only two-wheel drive, with the drive being through the rear wheels, and there are two classes: Class A and Class P.
In Class P, the cars are smaller than the Class A monsters and engines are restricted to V6, usually around 3 to 4-litres in capacity.
Although they are not as powerful as the Class A cars, they are still extremely quick as they are lighter.
The race cars used here are usually not pricey as the Class A cars which makes it easier for new teams to enter the fray.
The local lads, who finished second at the Bultfontein Africa Racing Off-Road meet earlier in the month, will be back in the tough terrain this Saturday.
Talking about their impressive debut, Seemise who is the navigator in the famed Sand Master nicknamed ‘Setotojane’, stressed that it was an achievement just to be on the podium at their first attempt.
“It was our first time out together as a pair and it was as great achievement to get such results in the Class P and overall fifth finish in the special vehicles category.
“To come in as underdogs and do that well was something special,” an excited Seemise told Voice Sport in an exclusive interview this week.
Indeed it could have been even better for the dynamic duo, who led for most of the race, faltering a single km from the finish line when a mechanical problem forced them to stall the car.
“That’s why we finished second. The fan switch went off and the car overheated. We stalled to allow it to cool down before we could re-start, so we lost valuable time while waiting for the engine to cool down,” explained Seemise, who refused to let the slight setback spoil what he described as an incredibly satisfying result.
Seemise is not new to motorsport and has been involved with the sport since 2008, where he started with Team Scoot as a head technical personnel and head support crew.
He was still part of the popular quad bike crew when they got their first racing car in 2011.
“My first professional race was at the 2014 Toyota 1000 Desert Race with Asante Sebego as the driver. Sadly we failed to finish the race,” he recalled.
His fortunes would however change after meeting Ferreira just before the 2018 Desert Race., where the couple gelled immediately.
“He was my partner at the Desert Race; we won our category and we’ve been winning since teaming up!” Seemise told Voice Sport.
As their focus shifts to this weekend’s spectacle, to be broadcast live on Ignition DSTV Channel 189, Seemise said they have to nurture their winning formula.
He explained that the driver/navigator relationship is vital in off-road racing – or indeed in any racing.
“As the driver, Ferreira has to listen to me as his navigator. There should be trust. Its a relationship between two people with a common goal and thus far we have executed it well.
“I also have to make sure that my notes are up to date, and if everything is in check Setotojane duo will be on the podium again this Saturday,” added Seemise confidently.
He ends the interview by revealing that they are working on re-designing their car to give it a new look.
“We want Setotojane to be exciting new creature in 2019,” he concluded with a chuckle.