With assistance, from the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, the South African Formula Vee Association have been able to expand their Development Program, to three cars, with the current Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000 Champion Kearn Francis, and Dayview Mogane, joining the regular Formula Vee development driver Benny Phetla. Francis and Mogane, made their debuts, in this highly competitive, 1300cc Volkswagen powered single seater series, at the Zwartkops Raceway on the 23rd of August and will be tackling the Wesbank Raceway, at Gosfoth Park, when the category holds it’s first National event at the new circuit, on the 6th of September.
Phetla’s introduction to motorsport, came when he took an interest in the race cars, while working as a part time gardener at Anthony Taylor’s parents home. Soon he was assisting Taylor and Taylor’s team mate Jaco Swanepoel, with the preparation of their Formula Vee racing cars, regularly travelling around the country, with the team, to the various events they were competing in.
With assistance from Taylor, Phetla then made the transition to competitor, in 2001, racing a Sting Vee. Unfortunately, that car was written of at a race in Cape Town, in October 2002 but mentor Taylor has now secured a Rhema Vee, for Phetla. In this car, Phetla has already competed at four race meetings, including the Formula Libre race at the opening of the Wesbank Raceway. Francis will also be racing in a Rhema Vee, at the Wesbank Raceway, while Mogane will be behind the wheel of an Alley Vee.
For Francis, his first involvement with motorsport, came as a stand in driver at a corporate Indoor Karting Event and he promptly went on to win both races. The motorsport bug had bitten and he soon joined a three man team, for the Kombi-Kart Indoor Challenge and this team went on to win the Champion of Champions Challenge. In 1996, he was fortunate enough to be selected from a group of 150, to become one of the four drivers in the Bankfin/Toyota Formula 100 Karting Development Program. With the introduction of the Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000 Development Category, Francis made his circuit racing debut in 1999, before taking the title in that category, in 2002.
Mogane’s previous involvement in motorsport, has been limited to assisting in the preparation of an Off-road racing vehicle, his Formula Vee debut at Zwartkops, was therefore also his debut as a competitor, in motorsport. This lack of previous racing experience, puts him at a distinct disadvantage and he faces a steep learning curve, before he will be able to compete on equal terms, with the likes of Phetla, Francis and the other regular Formula Vee competitors, that race in this category.