Gugu Zulu, one of South Africa's most successful motorsport drivers would have turned 41 today. Zulu died in 2016 when he suffered respiratory problems while climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
The veteran driver was part of an expedition, that included his wife Letshego, as part of an initiative in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Zulu will be remembered for his racing exploits in rallying and circuits around South Africa. He dominated his rally class, winning the championships in 2007, 2009 and 2010. He later competed in top tier S2000 in the Volkswagen Polo.
In a 2011 interview with Drum Magazine, Zulu said his career highlights were "being a stunt driver in the 2005 film Lord of War starring Nicholas Cage and racing against US racing driver Marco Andretti (son of racing legend Mario Andretti)."
'Gugu was larger than life' - Maps Maponyane
Gugu Zulu profile:
- Born May 13, 1978;
- Volkswagen, Audi and BMW driving instructor;
- Began racing in 1999, after graduating from Isondo Racing Academy;
- Won the Vodacom Isondo Sports 2000 national championship, winning 13/16 races with two second places;
- In 2001, Sarel van der Merwe took him under his wing and gave him the second seat in the inaugural Sasol Steam Team;
- In 2001, he also won the Guinness Achievement Award and Wesbank and Goodyear Star of Tomorrow awards;
- In 2002, his lap times matched those of Sarel van der Merwe;
- In 2003, he joined the SA national rally championship, losing the championship race by one point;
- In 2004, he raced overseas in the Skip Barber Dodge Racing Series;
- In July 2005, he joined the now-defunct Car Torque TV presenting team;
- In August 2007, he was appointed as the commercial manager for the South African A1 team;
- He was affectionately known as "the fastest brother in Africa".