When the lights turned green to signal the start of the race, little did matriculant Dario Busi know that he will walk away as the champion of this year’s Oettinger Polo Cup.
Hailing from Blouberg, Busi started racing karts at the age of four. Busi says his family has always been involved in motorsport.
“It was just sort of the route that I chose to go with. I wasn’t really interested in sports that much, just in cars and the whole racing side of it. With my family being involved, it made it a lot easier. I raced karts for 10 years and started racing with cars at the age of 14. I just loved this sport for as long as I can remember and always wanted to do it. It has always been a dream of mine to do it professionally,” he says.
He participated in his first Polo Cup last year and started his journey with the universal motorsports team this year.
“They gave me a great opportunity to race in the team for 2020. That is basically why I entered the 2020 season because I felt after winning ‘rookie of the year’ in 2019, I had a really good chance of finishing in the top three of the 2020 championship and I didn’t expect to win it,” he explains.
The first round of the championship started a few weeks before the nationwide lockdown, with the series providing a platform for many of South Africa’s hopefuls and young talents to display their skills.
The 2020 Oettinger Polo Cup reached the Eastern Cape for the first time this season after two rounds at Zwartkops and one at the Red Star Raceway.
Busi says the Polo Cup has a rich history of more than 25 years and produced many successful drivers such as himself.
“It was always a goal of mine to be part of the series because it is the best of the best. At the end of the day, we do this because we love the competition,” he adds.
He says his motivation behind the wheel is that nothing in life is guaranteed.
“That has always driven me to give it my all every time I go out because I don’t know whether or not there will be a next time. I always race like it was my last shot and it has really helped me a lot. I left nothing out there and gave it my all,” he says.
Busi explains that due to the Covid-19 pandemic there has been a decrease in budget. He walked away with a R12 500 grand prize.
“It’s not about what you get as a prize. At the end of the day, you walk away with so much credit to your name and create so many opportunities for the years to come,” the champion says.
While in the process of writing his matric final examinations, Busi says there are plans in the pipeline to race at a higher level next year.
The talented champion will be heading to Stellenbosch University next year. “It is a bit hectic now with exams, but I am confident that something will come up,” he says.
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