MasterDrive Driver Search for the win!
Simola Hillclimb in May. Winner, Shuaib Dhansay

The MasterDrive Driver Search completed on a high this year with its winner securing first place in his class at the Simola Hillclimb in May. Winner, Shuaib Dhansay, impressed not only with his driving skills that placed him first in his class but with his positive attitude in the face of unexpected contingencies.

The General Manager of coastal regions at MasterDrive, Eugene ‘Gino’ Nourse, says the conclusion of the MasterDrive Driver Search is evidence of the positive impact the initiative has on motorsport. “Its goal is to create opportunities for those that would not necessarily be exposed to by participating in a world-renowned event as the first step in their career.

MasterDrive was proud of Shuaib’s achievement and his can-do attitude when tackling not only the Hillclimb but the unexpected challenges inevitable during an event of this magnitude. It was a gratifying moment to see Shuaib stand in the first-place spot on the podium,” says Nourse.

Dhansay says the Simola Hillclimb was a once-in-a-lifetime experience as well as a learning opportunity. “It was an amazing experience where I learnt plenty. What one thinks they know about competing in an event like this only scratches the surface of what you really know.

“It was also an honour to participate in the Hillclimb with people I’ve watched on TV. It’s a completely different atmosphere as a participant versus spectator. While my class was small, this didn’t lessen my victory. It was an honour to stand on the podium where many famous drivers stood before me.”

Before getting behind the wheel Dhansay says nerves are quickly abated. “Despite the spotlight focused on you, once you fire up the engine, the training from the MasterDrive Driver Search immediately kicks in and nerves disappear. As soon as you drive off the line, all you can focus on is the skills learnt.”

Dhansay expressed his appreciation for the commitment of the team in aiding his success. “After an unexpected challenge we had a very short time span in which to fix it. The team worked together to be ready in time for my final run up the hill which was done with just a few minutes to spare.”

Dhansay says the MasterDrive Driver Search was not just a competition but a life-changing experience. “It is not just about driving but it also plays an important part in your self-development. Next on the agenda is to look forward to new opportunities.

“I want to express my appreciation for all involved including Race Driver South Africa (RDSA) and Performance with Page. Lastly, thank you to both the Cape Town and Johannesburg MasterDrive team members and for never losing faith in me. If I was not working with such a supportive team, I would not have had the chance to accomplish my dream,” says Dhansay.

Nourse says MasterDrive looks forward to the next Driver Search and continuing to promote the entry of more young drivers into the sport. “The 2024 MasterDrive Driver Search was a great success and we keenly anticipate next year’s initiative,” says Nourse.