Mdakane joins Toyota's GTC racing squad
Johannesburg - Toyota Gazoo Racing SA has announced that experienced track racer Mandla Mdakane has joined its Global Touring Cars (GTC) squad.
Mdakane joins Michael van Rooyen in a second GTC Toyota Corolla, sporting the sleek new bodywork of the recently-minted Corolla Sedan.
In a virtual announcement last week, TGR SA said the Mdakane name has become synonymous with track racing in South Africa, with Mandla following in the footsteps of his father, Hamilton. The Johannesburg driver has been racing since the age of 4, and having started in karts, worked his way up through the ranks.
Born in 1993, Mdakane was naturally drawn to the race track, thanks to the exploits of his father. He quickly made his mark on the local circuit before making the move to Asia in order to race in the 2013 AsiaCup Series. This was followed by a stint in the Formula Masters China Series, during which he had the opportunity to race on world-renowned circuits such as Sepang and Shanghai.
Mdakane joined the local GTC championship and raced with the Altron/Nexus team during 2019. Competing in the extremely competitive GTC2 class, he finished fifth in the championship, before being called up to the Toyota Gazoo Racing SA GTC squad to race alongside Van Rooyen.
The Rustenburg Rocket, as Van Rooyen is also known, became the first racer to campaign an official Toyota entry since Charl Wilken and Mark Cronje competed in Class B of the SA Production Car Championship back in 2002. Wilken won the championship that year, and Van Rooyen came close in 2019, taking the title fight to the final round, where he narrowly missed out on the championship crown.
The Toyota team are looking forward to an exciting season, despite the delayed start due to the pandemic.