david perel racing driver south africa ferrari interview

January 2017. Interview by Marelise Jacobs. Cover: David Perel on the race track - Photography by Xynamic Photography.

With a career that started at the age of fifteen in the Western Province Karting Championship, David Perel had won five Province and National Championships by the time he was twenty-three. His performance in his first ever European season led to an offer from Kessel Racing Ferrari at the Vallelunga race track in Italy and has since signed a three year deal with Kessel Ferrari to represent them in the Blancpain Endurance Series. Perkolate spoke to David Perel about where the love of racing began and how far he wants to take it.

Where did your passion for racing begin, does it run in the family?

David Perel: When I was three or four years old I found some photos of my dad in a racing car. He raced for three years in his early twenties and I always wanted to emulate him. It wasn't until I was fifteen years old, which is very late in motorsport, that I actually got my first taste of racing.

My brother and I raced together till we were twenty-one but eventually he decided to stop as we were paying for racing ourselves and it was becoming incredibly expensive. I continued until I was twenty-four but was also forced to stop because of funding. For the following five years I focussed on the web business my brother and I started and used my savings from that to give racing one more shot.

“...My ultimate dream is to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours, that's why I started racing again...” - David Perel

You have stated before that the Mugello race track in Italy is a favourite of yours, what makes this track more unique than the others?

David Perel: It's very fast, with many of the corners taken at over 200kph and the main straight is very long, you have a lot to think about while you're approaching a hairpin at almost 300kph!

I understand that as of 2016, you are a member of Kessel Racing Ferrari. That must be an incredibly satisfying experience. How and where did the journey start?

David Perel: It was a surreal moment to receive their letter inviting me to a test/shootout at the beginning of the year. I did well enough that they signed me on a three year deal.

There were a few tears shed privately when I received the offer. It's been a long journey, but it's not over yet as I have much I still want to achieve.

What will be the next big step for your racing career, how far do you want to take it?

David Perel: My ultimate dream is to race in the Le Mans 24 Hours, that's why I started racing again. My team competes in Le Mans each year and actually won their category in 2016, so I am hoping that with my performances I one day get the call to race with them at the legendary event.