Motorsport runs deep in the Rowe family, and it was no surprise when Port-Elizabeth born Daniel Rowe swapped his toy cars for the real thing years later.
“My grandad was involved in motorsport way back and raced for Scribante as well as his own team. My dad then also raced and was very successful. He was teammates to Derek Irving and raced against many other great drivers and was a regional champion. I learnt a lot from them, and it was only natural then that I started in Karting and then racing in the regional and national championships,” he said.
29-year-old Rowe, a professional biokineticist who now lives in Cape Town, races for Volkswagen Motorsport South Africa in the SA Endurance Series, where he will be racing on Dunlop tyres.
“Out on the track, those are the best times for us as drivers, with all the support teams that make things run smoothly. The VW team is very fun with loads of banter, but at the same time we are very professional and focussed. There is a very strong relationship between our teammates, and while we’ve had some ups and downs, the team always pulls together. Team spirit is very important, and this is one of the things I love about sport, and I’ve been involved and played tennis and football and other sports. Together, we get things done,” he said.
Rowe and his teammate Jonathan Mogotsi will be competing in the 2023 Endurance Series kicking off in March at the Zwartkops Raceway in Pretoria.
“I’m looking forward to the battles on track, and the adrenaline rush before qualifying for races. I must also give a nod to the fans that come through and make the atmosphere around the track special,” he said.
Reflecting on his journey that got him here, Rowe said the hardest race he had done was in India.
“We raced in 35–40-degree Celsius weather with almost 100% humidity against rivals in much faster cars. But we managed to help the India team win the Driver and Team Championship. But of course, there are also highlights, and mine would be performing well with Signature Motorsport finishing second and third in the Polo Cup overall Champ, and second in Juniors,” he said.
With tyres one of the most essential parts of the vehicle to keep him safe, Rowe said he prefers a low noise tyre with good pattern and tread for wet weather and off-road driving.
“I’d like to share one quote that’s kept me going in my professional and personal life, whether there are good days or bad days, and that’s keep trying until you get it right. Be optimistic and keep trying. It’s what I’ll be doing out on the track this year,” he said.