What do Formula 1 world champions Michael Schumacher, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have in common? They all grew up racing karts! Going by the very enthusiastic response received by the ‘Cadet Kart’ at last year’s Colombo Motor Show, Sri Lanka does not seem to lack in the young motor racing hopefuls either.
Sri Lanka Karting Circuit (SLKC), Bandaragama has inaugurated a training session for young drivers in the country, an ideal springboard for those who are dreaming of making it big in the racing arena. Cadet karts are custom-built for young racing enthusiasts between the ages of seven to 12. However, the response was such that the organisers had to accommodate some teenagers for whom the lure of this sport was impossible to resist!
The young drivers, most of whom tried karting for the first time, learnt the basics such as getting in and out of the kart, how to position their arms and legs, being familiar with the racing lines, entry and exit in a corner, driving with control, etc.
The training sessions are being held Tuesday to Friday from 5.30 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Head of Operations at SLKC, Richaryd Rabot said: “Each child is different and learns the ropes at their own pace but getting an early start is vital for future, long-term success.”
More than 25 youngsters have enrolled in the program so far. The support and the enthusiasm shown by the parents has been very encouraging and bodes well for the future of the sport.
Richard is optimistic about Sri Lanka’s racing talent: “Most of our young drivers are pretty good. Not only is this an extremely fun activity but also a great tool for learning life skills such as self-discipline, patience, camaraderie and sportsmanship.”