Comes the holidays, in this so strange year, and parents across the Cape are looking for kwaai stuff for the kids to do.
Two dads lucked onto a brilliant experience for their laaities, in the form of a day at the karting track. You can just imagine how excited Muraad Bell, 12, and Connor February, five, were the night before.
Dads Shahiem Bell and Sean February are both movers and shakers in the Cape petrolkop world, so Bobby can just imagine their excitement too.
In short, both boys got to get kitted up like racing drivers and pilot proper karts at Killarney (with the throttle turned down a bit for safety).
Bobby Nitro spoke to Brad Wadeley, the manager of EMR Kart Sports, which organises the Rotax racing karting series.
Brad says: “We do these demo days to get new blood into the sport, as karting is one of the best kept secrets out there. Mostly you’ll find entrants have a dad or uncle who started in karting.”
The SA Rotax Max Challenge Karting Series includes kids from age seven all the way up to toppies over 32 years.
Brad adds: “Karting is a wonderful sport, especially for children, as it teaches some valuable life lessons. Kids learn to deal with winning and with losing graciously, they learn to be humble and to roll with the punches. Of course, there are the obvious skills they develop, like focus and concentration, dedication as it takes a lot of time and effort.”
Young Muraad had the time of his life, and says: “The thing I liked most was the speed, especially on that back straight. Being low on the ground in the karts makes it feel as if you are driving at 200km/h. I already sold my Xbox to buy a trampoline because I love doing flips. But if my Daddy says he will get me a kart, I will sell my trampoline to help him get it.”
Dad Shahiem says proudly: “Of course I was a bit excited, but I was also confident that he would do pretty well, because of his understanding about racing.
“But I really didn’t expect him to handle the kart the way he did. On lap one, by the time Muraad came back towards the start line he was already flying at full tilt.
“My boy obviously was dying to go a few more laps and now was looking at dad thinking, we need to seriously get into this. His face was literally screaming at me with all those expressions. Looks like dad will have to work hard so he can explore this love and natural talent for motorsport.”
Sean February of Spin and Drift fame brought his son, Connor.
Sean says: “Since he was born, I have been waiting for him to turn five so he could get behind the wheel of a kart. I wanted to see if he had the natural talent (naturally inherited from his father, thinks Bobby). He clearly has the talent, and outclassed the other kids in his age group.”
Could be a proud dad boast, but let’s give Sean the benefit of the doubt, apparently young Connor is brave, confident and even slightly aggro behind the wheel. It’s a decent recipe for racing.
Sean comments: “Now comes the story, Connor wants a kart now, no cricket bat or soccer boots, but the most expensive hobby. I must now sell my stuff and give him the start that I battled to get.”
Nice job, Sean. Give that kid a lekker start in karting, known to be the entry lane into a life in motorsport.
To get involved, contact Brad at [email protected] or watch the Facebook page EMR Kart Sports for the next promo day. After all, with an entry tag of about R20k for a Bambino kart, it’s useful to know if your kid has a knack for the sport.
*Want to see your kwaai cabbie in Bobby Nitro? E-mail a picture of your ride and your details to [email protected] or call Bobby Nitro on 021 488 4738.